April 24, 2013
15-Year-Old May Be on Her Way to Mars
Abigail Harrison, who operates under the online persona "Astronaut Abby," has already amassed an impressive following. \Harrison's niche celebrity, though, wasn't her original intention. It all started with an eighth-grade project she was doing about the ISS.
"My mom helped me set up Twitter to get in touch with NASA employees for quotes," she says. "So I started sharing pictures of projects I was working on and writing about my dreams."
NASA and other influencers in the space community took notice and helped fill her plate with projects. Harrison now travels around the country promoting space and STEM careers in schools. She's introducing a pen-pal program in which she'll send readers personal emails about her experiences. This August, she will speak at a convention for the Mars Society about her No. 1 love: the importance of putting a human on the Red Planet.
March 20, 2013
NASA Passed on Mars Flyby Mission in 1990s
U.S.News & World Report
Millionaire entrepreneur Dennis Tito got space enthusiasts excited last month when he announced a project to fly a married couple around Mars in 2018—but NASA may have passed on a similar mission when it was proposed in the late 1990s by a prominent aerospace engineer.
According to Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society and a prominent advocate for exploration of the red planet, he had meetings with former NASA administrator Daniel Goldin in the late 1990s to pitch him a nearly identical mission to Tito's that would have launched in 2001 and cost the agency about $2 billion.
Dubbed Athena, the mission would have used technology that existed in 1996 on a two-year Mars flyby mission. Two astronauts would have orbited the planet for about a year, remotely-controlling rovers on the Martian surface with about 100 times less lag time than rovers controlled from Earth. The spaceship would never land on Mars, which Zubrin contends was Goldin's problem with the mission.
March 18, 2013
A Mars simulation in the southern Utah desert
Some scientists argue that the fate of the human species hinges upon our ability (or inability) to leave our comfortable home behind and colonize other planets. Tucked away in the San Rafael Swell of southern Utah, members of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) are preparing for exactly this type of voyage.
The MDRS, just under seven miles from Hanksville, Utah, is the second of four such sites planned as part of the Mars Analogue Research Station (MARS) Project operated jointly by the Mars Institute and SETI Institute. With funding from NASA, the project scientists have been preparing for a hypothetical manned mission to Mars in some of our planet's most alien landscapes.
March 12, 2013
The Mars Desert Research Station
In the vast open spaces of southern Utah, Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart recently paid a visit to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS). Built and operated by a space advocacy group called the Mars Society, the research facility is investigating the feasibility of human exploration of Mars, using the Utah desert's Mars-like terrain to simulate working conditions on the red planet. Since 2000, more than 100 small crews have served two-week rotations in the MDRS, conducting research in an on-site greenhouse, observatory, engineering area, and living space. Urquhart was able to accompany members of the Crew 125 EuroMoonMars B mission inside the MDRS facility, and on a simulated trip to collect Martian geological samples.
February 26, 2013
The Right-Wing Mars Guru: Is Robert Zubrin America's Best Hope for Colonizing the Red Planet?
When you think of people who urge humanity to go to the stars, you tend to think of cheery liberal icons like Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson. But Newt Gingrich had to get his starry-eyed and much-ridiculed ideas about space exploration from someone, and it certainly wasn't any of those guys.
Enter Robert Zubrin, the right-wing bulldog for space travel. Trained as a nuclear engineer, he's spent more than 20 years pushing for the colonization of Mars through books like 1996's The Case for Mars; advocacy through the Mars Society, which he founded and leads; and relationships with people like Newt Gingrich, whom he advised on space policy in the 1990s. He's not a hardcore Republican ideologue by any means, but he regularly rails against environmentalists for being "anti-growth", writes for the National Review, and proudly wears his American nationalism.
Zubrin, who just published a new e-book called Mars Direct: Space Exploration, the Red Planet, and the Human Future, spoke to me by telephone from his home in Colorado about why to go to Mars, how we might get there, and why it will be important to defend private property and entrepreneurship on the fourth planet from the sun.
February 19, 2013
Sex on Mars: A Dangerous Love Story
When Jane first met John, she knew that they would spend the rest of their lives together — literally. The pair spent more than eight years in space flight training before leaving Earth without the possibility of return.
As members of the first Mars colony, Jane and John naturally gravitated towards each other because they share the same future of an isolated life on a new planet. And as their mental bond grew, so did a fervent, passionate physical urge for each other. Now they face an obstacle for which they never trained: sex on the Red Planet.
Jane and John are fictional characters. But if a handful of Mars colonization projects have their way, their lives could be a reality in just 10 years.
December 26, 2012
Christmas on Mars
My pal, astronomer, educator and science fiction writer Diane Turnshek, is spending Christmas in a most unusual place. Here she is to tell you what it’s like to have the holidays on (nearly) another planet. DIANE TURNSHEK:
I’m out at the Mars Desert Research Station north of Hanksville, Utah. I’ve been in training for this mission all my life. A couple of science degrees, my motorcycle license, years spent cooking for four kids, and my journalism skills all contributed to being chosen by The Mars Society for a two week stint in their desert base, a small two-story cylindrical Habitat with 4 x 11 foot bunk rooms and a single bathroom for six crewmembers.
Christmas will be different. We are hosting a Swiss film crew who is making an indie movie featuring humanity’s future life on Mars. We’ll celebrate good tidings with beef stew, homemade bread, potato pancakes and a brownie dessert.
December 20, 2012
Mars Rover: Local man leaves sands of Manhattan for desert simulation of red planet
The Beach Reporter
This week, Derek Pelland is going to Mars. Well, kind of.
The Manhattan Beach resident takes off Thursday for the cold, barren desert of southern Utah to help oversee the Mars Desert Research Station, which simulates the conditions on Mars.
While there, Pelland and the five other crew members will conduct research for future manned missions to the red planet.
Pelland said filling out the application for the program was “a shot in the dark.”
September 28, 2012
Fueling the Fleet, Navy Looks to the Seas
U.S. Naval Research Lab
Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are developing a process to extract carbon dioxide (CO2) and produce hydrogen gas (H2) from seawater, subsequently catalytically converting the CO2 and H2 into jet fuel by a gas-to-liquids process.
"The potential payoff is the ability to produce JP-5 fuel stock at sea reducing the logistics tail on fuel delivery with no environmental burden and increasing the Navy's energy security and independence," says research chemist, Dr. Heather Willauer.
NRL has successfully developed and demonstrated technologies for the recovery of CO2 and the production of H2 from seawater using an electrochemical acidification cell, and the conversion of CO2 and H2 to hydrocarbons (organic compounds consisting of hydrogen and carbon) that can be used to produce jet fuel.
September 27, 2012
The Mars Society Launches Major Membership Drive
The Mars Society has launched a new campaign to add 1,000 new members to the organization by December 31st. If you’re not already a member, join us today. Also ask your friends and relatives to consider becoming part of our effort to educate the public, the media and government about the importance of an expanded Mars exploration program and the need for a humans-to-Mars mission in the coming decade.
August 24, 2012
Call for Volunteers for MDRS 2012-2013 Field Season
The Mars Society is pleased to announce that preparations for the 12th annual Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) field season in Utah is moving ahead as planned. The upcoming season is currently scheduled to run from December 1, 2012 through May 4, 2013.
Volunteer positions are now open for participating crew members at the MDRS. Crew members will be required to pay for their own transportation to/from Grand Junction, Colorado and also provide a $1,000 participation fee (reduced to $500 for students) to cover station expenses. Volunteers should send their applications to: MDRSapplications@marssociety.org by September 30, 2012 in order to be considered.
Both individual applications and group applications of up to an entire crew (6 people) will be considered
August 01, 2012
Mars Society 15th Annual Convention - Pasadena CA
The Mars Society is pleased to announce that it will be convening the 15th Annual International Mars Society Convention at the Pasadena Convention Center on August 3 - 5, 2012 in Pasadena, California. The annual event convenes key experts, scientists and policymakers to discuss the latest news regarding Mars exploration and efforts to promote a humans-to-Mars mission in the coming years.
February 28, 2012
Mars Society Announces Dates/City for 2012 International Convention
The Mars Society is pleased to announce that it will be convening its 15th Annual International Mars Society Convention on August 3 - 5*, 2012 in Pasadena, California. Registration is open now.
September 19, 2011
‘The Mars Underground’ Documentary Updated and on DVD
The Mars Society is pleased to announce that ‘The Mars Underground’, a documentary film that became an instant classic among space enthusiasts, has been updated and revised by the director and released on DVD.
Leading aerospace engineer and Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin has a dream. He wants to get humans to the planet Mars in the next ten years. Now, with the advent of a revolutionary plan, Mars Direct, Dr. Zubrin shows how we can use present day technology and natural resources on Mars to make human settlement possible. But can he win over the skeptics at NASA and the wider world?
‘The Mars Underground’ is a landmark documentary that follows Dr. Zubrin and his team as they try to bring this incredible dream to life. Through spellbinding animation, the film takes us on a daring first journey to the Red Planet and envisions a future Mars teeming with life and terraformed into a blue world. A must-see experience for anyone concerned for our global future and the triumph of the human spirit.
September 14, 2011
A Call on Mars Society Members to Submit Questions for GOP Debate
The Republican presidential candidates will convene in Orlando, Florida on Thursday, September 22nd at 9:00 p.m. EST to participate in the FOX News/Google Debate. The two companies have invited members of the public to submit questions for the chance to have them asked live during the political forum.
The Mars Society is calling on its members and friends to submit questions with a Mars-related theme for the GOP presidential debate. For example, “"Will your administration ensure the U.S. resumes a destination driven space program which results in sending Americans to Mars?"
Please take advantage of this opportunity to submit your questions in video or text form at www.youtube.com/foxnews and vote on others that you would like to hear asked live of the candidates. Those submitting questions must have a current YouTube account.
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