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SpaceX’s Starlink Comms System Now Used by Crews at Mars Society’s MDRS in Utah

The Mars Society announced that its Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) management team has installed SpaceX’s Starlink system at its remote campus in southern Utah to help dramatically improve the facility’s communications network used by analog crews involved in on-site simulation training and field studies.  Starlink is a global satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing internet access coverage to dozens of countries around the world, and frequently used in areas where wifi connectivity is typically unreliable or completely unavailable. … READ MORE >

U of Michigan Wins URC Competition!

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the Michigan Mars Rover Team (University of Michigan) has won the 2022 University Rover Challenge, the world’s premier Mars robotics competition for college students, with 388.97 points! Way to go, Wolverines! Coming in second place was the Monash Nova Rover (Monash University, Australia) with 380.55 points, and third place was taken by the Mars Rover Design Team (Missouri University of Science & Technology) with 370.71 points. All 36 student teams did a… READ MORE >

2022-23 MDRS Field Season Announced

With the 2021-22 field season at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah winding down in the coming days, MDRS management, led by its director, Dr. Shannon Rupert, is pleased to announce the crew itinerary* for the 2022-23 field season at MDRS. Congratulations to the crews on being selected, and we look forward to hosting them “on Mars”! 2022 October 1 – 16: MDRS Work Party October 20 – 23: [Off-Site] The 25th Annual International Mars Society… READ MORE >

Hiring: Assistant Director (for remote research station in Utah)

The Mars Society is seeking applications from highly qualified people for management positions at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, the largest and longest-running Mars analog facility in the world.  The station is set amid some of the most spectacular landscapes you will ever see, and researchers come from all over the world to work here. We are looking for assistant directors beginning in October 2022.  You must be able to work in the U.S. and possess a… READ MORE >

Mars Society to Hold International High School Mars Mission Design Class & Competition

The Mars Society will hold an international high school student Mars Mission Design Class & Competition this summer. The virtual class will be a unique experience, allowing high school students from around the world to take part in an educational activity modelled on the design course now practiced by the best world-wide university engineering departments. A university design class differs greatly from a typical college class. Instead of being taught some material by a professor and then being tested on… READ MORE >

Utah NASA Space Grant Consortium Approves 5K Grant for MDRS Classroom Initiative

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the Utah NASA Space Grant Consortium has approved a $5,000 grant request to fund an educational project called “Spaceward Bound Classroom: Bringing Mars to Utah Students,” which focuses on developing a series of labs in a box with engaging science experiments that can be shipped to Utah classrooms when visiting the organization’s Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah is not an option for students. Led by MDRS Director Dr. Shannon Rupert,… READ MORE >

From the Executive Director

How You Can Help Humanity Get to Mars Many people ask me, “James, how I can help get human beings to Mars? I’m not a rocket scientist… I’m just a regular person!” I tell them that the Mars Society was founded on the principle that we need people from all walks of life to achieve our mission. From the beginning, we have been a grassroots organization powered by people from all cultures, with a wide variety of skill sets and… READ MORE >

Celebrate our 25th Annual International Mars Society Convention

As the world’s largest space advocacy group dedicated to humans-to-Mars, the Mars Society has been bringing together key scientists, researchers, commercial space executives, government representatives, and journalists to discuss the latest news about human Mars exploration and settlement, as well as cutting-edge topics in space exploration, science, and technology. For the last two years, due to the pandemic, our international conference has been virtual only, resulting in a significant online audience. This year, our Mars Society leadership is pleased to… READ MORE >

Invitation: NASA-Funded Utah Teachers Program at MDRS (Dec. 11-17, 2022)

Spaceward Bound is a joint NASA-Mars Society program to train K-12 teachers in how to engage their students in activities that will inspire careers in the space sciences by taking teachers into the field with scientists who are working on space-related research in a given location. First instituted by scientists and researchers at NASA Ames, today researchers involved in that early project are still holding Spaceward Bound field expeditions all over the world. Spaceward Bound Utah is a 5-day workshop… READ MORE >

It’s a Zubrin Base Birthday!

Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin celebrated his 70th birthday with family and friends in Colorado over the weekend. To mark the occasion, Dr. Zubrin was presented with a special gift – a detailed and futuristic Mars base model named after him. Key members of the Mars Society’s leadership funded the gift through personal donations. The customized model was created by the talented conceptual designer Bryan Versteeg of Spacehabs.com, showing an external hub leading into a vast underground network of… READ MORE >

Mars Society Invited to Participate in 2022 Star Trek Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the organization has accepted an invitation from The 56-Year Mission Las Vegas (previously Star Trek Las Vegas) to participate in this year’s event, scheduled for August 25-28 at Bally’s Hotel & Casino. Organized and managed by Creation Entertainment, the Las Vegas-based annual Star Trek convention will include a line-up of approximately 100 actors, such as William Shatner (“Captain Kirk”), involved in the historic science fiction television and film series. Supervised by Mars… READ MORE >

Sign Up for Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition

The Mars Society announced recently the launching of a new international contest to design a telerobotic Mars expedition. There will be a prize of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, $2,500 for third, $1,000 for fourth, and $500 for fifth. In addition, the best 20 papers submitted will be published in a new Mars Society book, “Telerobotic Mars Expeditions: Exploring the Red Planet with Platoons of Robots.” An essential requirement for any human Mars exploration mission is a system capable of… READ MORE >

Executive Director’s Report (02.22) – The Mars Society

We invite you to watch a video report by James L Burk, our new Executive Director, about his first full month in the role. The five-minute video lists a number of key accomplishments achieved since January 1st, such as the announcement of our Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition (TMEDC). James also outlines plans and initiatives for next month, including the official public release of our Mars VR Virtual Reality project. To watch the new video report, please click here. This… READ MORE >

Red Planet Live to Host MDRS Director Shannon Rupert

Please join us on Monday, February 14th at 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET as we welcome Dr. Shannon Rupert to Red Planet Live, the Mars Society’s monthly video podcast! A trained ecologist with more than two decades of experience in Mars analog studies, Dr. Rupert has been the Director of the Mars Desert Research Station since 2009. MDRS is the largest and longest-running Mars surface simulation facility in the world, where 6-7 person crews participate in two-week field… READ MORE >

‘Coming Soon’ Trailer from MarsVR

The Mars Society’s MarsVR team has released a “Coming Soon” trailer for its MDRS Virtual Reality environment, to be hosted on Steam in the near future. The goal of the MDRS VR project is to create a special training environment for MDRS (Mars Desert Research Station) crew members and the general public in order to learn more about Mars analog science, technology, and procedures. The MarsVR team has been working since 2018 on a digital twin of the real-life MDRS facility located in southern… READ MORE >

Red Planet Live Podcast to Welcome Astrobiologist Graham Lau on Jan. 18th

Astrobiologist & science communicator Dr. Graham Lau will appear on Red Planet Live, the Mars Society’s monthly video podcast hosted by Ron Craig, this Tuesday, January 18th (6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET) to answer all your questions about the ongoing search for life in our solar system.  With the latest research, scientists view not just the planet Mars as a possible abode for life, but also Venus, where biosignatures may have been detected in the planet’s atmosphere, and… READ MORE >

Mars Society Announces Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition

The Mars Society is pleased to announce the launching of a new global contest to design a telerobotic Mars expedition. There will be a prize of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, $2,500 for third, $1,000 for fourth, and $500 for fifth. In addition, the best 20 papers will be published in a new Mars Society book “Telerobotic Mars Expeditions: Exploring the Red Planet with Platoons of Robots.” An essential requirement for any human Mars exploration mission is a… READ MORE >

MDRS to Host Its First Ever Middle School Crew for Field Studies

Most visiting crews to our Mars Desert Research Station come for a two-week analog mission and consist of researchers, members of academia, or university students. In recent years however #MDRS has opened its doors occasionally to younger groups of would-be Mars explorers, including high school students. Beginning tomorrow (December 9th), a team made up of middle school students from Ogden Preparatory Academy in northern Utah will be participating in a three-day mini-sim on campus. Led by an educator who participated… READ MORE >

Mars Society Appoints New Full-Time Executive Director

The Mars Society is very pleased to announce that James L. Burk has been appointed as the organization’s new full-time Executive Director, supervising the group’s world-wide efforts to promote the human exploration and settlement of the planet Mars. In this role, James will oversee the organization’s fundraising efforts and high-level networking, lead and coordinate volunteers and chapters, both in the U.S. and around the world, and coordinate any organizational involvement in informing government representatives about humans-to-Mars. Commenting on his new position, James… READ MORE >

Presentation on (Non-Crew) Biology Research at MDRS during the Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that a special one-hour virtual presentation entitled “Is There Life Out There: Current Biological Research at the Mars Desert Research Station” (MDRS) in Utah will be held during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention on Friday, October 15th from 7:30-8:30 pm PT. A group of four experts led by MDRS Director Dr. Shannon Rupert will highlight several long-term research projects that are being conducted at the MDRS facility, including new research looking… READ MORE >

Deputy NASA Administrator Pamela Melroy to Address 2021 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is very pleased to announce that Pamela Melroy, Deputy NASA Administrator, will give a virtual keynote address on Saturday, October 16th at 9:00 am PT on “NASA’s Path to Mars” during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17. As Deputy Administrator, Ms. Melroy performs the duties and exercises the powers delegated by the Administrator, assists the Administrator in making final agency decisions, and acts for the Administrator in his absence by performing all… READ MORE >

SpaceNukes’ David Poston to Discuss Mars Reactor Technology at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. David Poston, Co-Founder of Space Nuclear Power Corporation (SpaceNukes), will discuss the company’s plans to evolve its reactor technology to 5-Mwe Mars surface power systems during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17, 2021. SpaceNukes has developed a simple, stepwise evolutionary approach to high-power systems that is rooted in KRUSTY – the 1-kWe Kilopower system prototype that was successfully designed and developed in 2018, and was the… READ MORE >

Red Planet Live Episode #5 with Dr. Jim Bell on Sept. 30th

Please join us Thursday, September 30th at 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET for another amazing episode of Red Planet Live!!! In this episode, RPL host Ron Craig will be speaking with Dr. Jim Bell, Professor of Astronomy & Planetary Science at Arizona State University’s School of Earth & Space Exploration, and past President & Board member of The Planetary Society. Dr. Bell will be discussing a number of incredible Mars-related topics that he is involved in… past, present… READ MORE >

Space Exploration Economics to be Discussed by Voyager Space’s Dylan Taylor at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dylan Taylor, Chairman & CEO of Voyager Space, a multi-national space holding firm that acquires and integrates leading space exploration enterprises globally, will address the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention in October on “Economically Sustainable Space Exploration: What is Needed to Open the High Frontier and Mars.” As an early-stage investor in more than 50 emerging ventures, including Accion, Kepler, York, Astrobotic, Made in Space, Relativity, and Planet, Mr. Taylor is… READ MORE >

NorCal Delivers New Spacesuits & Helmets to MDRS

T minus 7 days until the crew field season begins at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in Utah! NorCal Chapter of the Mars Society continues to refurbish and upgrade our spacesuits for MDRS and its crew members, who carry out important research and field exploration during two-week simulations in the Mars-like terrain of southern Utah. New to this field season, which begins on September 26th, are the 3-D printed neck rings which are HALF the weight of the… READ MORE >