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First All-High School Crew Set for MDRS

The Mars Society is pleased to announce the high school students selected to be part of the first all-high school crew participating in a full analog mission at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah. Spaceward Bound High School is part of the Mars Society’s K-12 STEM initiative called Spaceward Bound, which involves U.S. and international students. The student team was chosen for their personal skills and interests, as well as their ability to fit into a team… READ MORE >

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 >

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 >

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 >

Mars Society Creates MDRS-FMARS Alumni Group on Linkedin

The Mars Society recently established the MDRS-FMARS Alumni Group on LinkedIn to serve as a place of contact for former crew members who served at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah or the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) in Canada. The new LinkedIn platform will allow former crew members to network professionally, discuss career progress and opportunities, post research and presentations about analog work and related studies, add articles about and photos from past crew missions, and… 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 >

Tourists a (Major) Problem at Mars Analog Site (Article)

Dr. Shannon Rupert, Space.com, Nov. 3, 2021 Dr. Shannon Rupert is an ecologist and educator who has spent more than 20 years doing Mars analog research. She is the longtime director of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), which is owned and operated by The Mars Society. MDRS hosts researchers who conduct their work while in a simulation, living as if they were on Mars. For more details about the MDRS program, please visit: mdrs.marssociety.org. Dr. Rupert contributed this article to… 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 >

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 >

Three Volunteer Internship Opportunities for 2021-22 MDRS Field Season

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that there are three volunteer internship opportunities available for the upcoming 2021-22 field season at the Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah. Two are student positions which require a minimum month-long commitment on-site, and should be done in collaboration with the student’s academic institution as part of an independent study program. The first opportunity is designed for biology majors and requires the student to be on-site in December 2021 to do field… READ MORE >

NASA-Funded STEM Opportunity for Teachers in Utah

Spaceward Bound Utah to be held at MDRS Analog Spaceward Bound is a NASA-funded program to train K-12 educators 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 researchers at NASA Ames, today scientists involved in that early project are still organizing Spaceward Bound field expeditions around the world. Spaceward Bound Utah… READ MORE >

Update: 2020-21 MDRS Field Season

Due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases around the world and, in particular, in the United States and Utah, a decision has been made to delay the beginning of the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station field season until February 2021. According to experts, the next three months are expected to be the hardest of the pandemic, and MDRS management, led by Dr. Shannon Rupert, wants to ensure that all crew members stay safe and well throughout that time…. READ MORE >

MDRS Patch/T-Shirt Design Winners Announced

The Mars Society announced the winners of its international dual design contest for creating a special logo for a patch and t-shirt to be used by crew members at the Utah-based Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), the largest and longest-running Mars analog program in the world. The winner of the competition to create an official MDRS crew patch is Ognian Ivanov of Bulgaria, while the winner of the contest to design a logo for an official MDRS crew t-shirt is… READ MORE >

MDRS Director Shannon Rupert to Discuss Simulating Life on Mars at 2020 Virtual Convention

Dr. Shannon Rupert, long-time Director of the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, will give a virtual address entitled “Once a Martian, Always a Martian: Demographics and Stories of the People who have Crewed MDRS” during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18.  She will be sharing an analysis of the demographics of the researchers who have served as crew at the station over the last twenty years and providing some stories about… READ MORE >

MDRS Is A-Go!

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the 2020-21 field season at the Mars Desert Research Station will be held this fall as previously planned. MDRS is the largest and longest-running Mars simulation facility in the world involving U.S. and international crews. MDRS management, led by its director, Dr. Shannon Rupert, has worked tirelessly on plans and precautions to ensure protection of each visiting crew and is confident in moving forward with the upcoming field season. Some individual MDRS… READ MORE >

MDRS Hosting Historic Dual Habitat Simulation

The Mars Society’s MDRS – Mars Desert Research Station, the world’s largest and longest-running Mars analog program, welcomed a special Mars Academy USA (MAU) crew to its campus last week to begin an historic dual habitat simulation lasting two weeks. During this mission, one crew is operating at MDRS, while a second crew works out of the MAU habitat, which consists of a series of interlocking geometric tents that house crew quarters and a research area. The crew is made up… READ MORE >

Mars Society Analog in Utah Hosts NASA-Funded All-Teacher Crew

A unique team of educators, designated as Crew 217, completed its one-week crew simulation yesterday at the Mars Society’s Utah-based Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), the largest and longest-running Mars analog facility in the world. Funded by the Utah NASA Space Grant Consortium, the NASA Spaceward Bound Utah program serves as a workshop for K-12 teachers to conduct field science under astronaut simulation conditions. This inaugural crew consisted of middle school teachers from Utah, Colorado and Connecticut and was led… READ MORE >

NASA Funded Opportunity for Teachers at MDRS – Sign Up Today

ATTENTION EDUCATORS! NASA Funded Opportunity for Teachers in Utah: Spaceward Bound Utah crew to be held at MDRS (Dec. 9-13, 2019) Spaceward Bound is a 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… READ MORE >