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#101 2022-01-15 19:32:37

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

'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 Utah.

Using the latest virtual reality technologies and techniques, the team is working to design a fully-fidelity simulation of the MDRS campus, including the station’s exterior and interior spaces and key training scenarios that crew members learn to conduct a Mars analog simulation in real life.

As the world’s largest and longest-running analog program, MDRS has been in operation since 2001, with 235 crews and over 1,500 individual crew members having stayed at the facility during the two decades since its establishment.

For more details about MarsVR, visit: MarsVR.com, and for additional information about the Mars Society’s MDRS analog program, go to: MDRS.MarsSociety.org.

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#102 2022-01-15 19:34:41

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

For SpaceNut re the above announcement ....

If you have a moment, could you inquire what equipment we (ordinary Internet users) would need to be able to use the upcoming VR presentation by the Mars Society.

Will the presentation play on an ordinary laptop, or do we need a VR headset?

(th)

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#103 2022-01-15 20:45:30

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,750

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

https://www.cnet.com/features/the-first … es-and-vr/

bg.jpg?auto=webp&width=1092

open-source VR platform that brings viewers to the desert base to explore the landscape.

The platform will be both an educational tool that anyone with a VR headset can download,

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#104 2022-01-17 15:35:17

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

RPL 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 on Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, and Jupiter’s moon Europa, both likely possessing sub-surface oceans.

So there’s plenty to discuss with Dr. Graham during the hour-long live broadcast. Questions from our virtual audience will be welcomed.

Known online as “The Cosmobiologist”, Dr. Graham is a research scientist with the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, director of communications & marketing for Blue Marble Space, host of the show “Ask an Astrobiologist”, sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Program and SAGANet, and director of logistics for the Mars Society’s University Rover Challenge.

Watch Red Planet Live on Tuesday evening via the Mars Society’s YouTube page, as well as on its Linkedin page, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#105 2022-01-19 15:28:56

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Mission Summary, Crew 238
Mars Desert Research Station, Utah
January 2-15, 2022

Crew

Commander: Dr. Sionade Robinson
Executive Officer & Journalist: Pedro J. Marcellino
Health & Safety Officer: Robert T. Turner
GreenHab Officer: Dr Kay Sandor
Artist-in- Residence & Crew Astronomer: Aga Pokrywka
Crew Engineer: Simon Werner

Acknowledgements

Crew of MDRS 238 would like to thank the Board and members of the Mars Society whose vision for MDRS made our mission possible: Dr. Robert Zubrin, President, Dr. Shannon Rupert, MDRS Director, Atila Meszaros, Assistant Director, Dr. Peter Detterline, Director of Observatories, who trained and assisted our Crew Astronomer before and during the mission; and Bernard Dubb, Johanna Kollewyn, Dani Gamble, Juan Miranda, who in addition to Atila, served as CapCom. 

We would also like to thank Bharghav Patel for his exceptional ground support, Jason Michaud of Stardust Technologies for engaging us in a VR project in use in several space analogues.  Drew Smithsimmons and Rob Brougham Co-Founders of Braided Communications for the training and facilitating use of a new communication technology to address emotional wellbeing in future deep space faring, and Dr. Julia Yates of City University of London who will evaluate this first-of-its-kind study.

Thanks are also due to Don Mear for receiving and storing many crew packages Grand Junction prior to our arrival.  Lastly, enormous gratitude goes to our family and friends for both joining research project and for sparing us not only for our rotation, but the many online weekend meetings over the last two years of preparation.

Mission Description & Outcome

Crew 238 is a team of diverse, international, multidisciplinary, and experienced professionals, curated by the Mars Society after individual applications in 2019. The average age is 53.  Our assigned rotation was for January 2021, but necessarily postponed in the global pandemic. Nevertheless, we maintained and developed our focus and once travel and the MDRS re-opened in Autumn 2021, we were on our way.

Our focus throughout has been the wellbeing of future astronauts – both in our individual and joint projects.  Our shared objectives were:

Maintaining simulation fidelity in all activities, including standard ops, communications, emergency procedures in collaboration with Mission Support
Producing and documenting results on emergency preparedness and responsiveness
Effectively working with External Partners in testing effects of “Braided” communications” vs Latency Governed Messaging on the well-being and emotional response of the crew when communicating with loved ones
Engaging in mindfulness and reflection practices as mitigation strategies for stress conditions
Extensive multimedia journaling for internal MDRS use and external public relations
Welcoming and engaging a visiting journalist arranged by The Mars Society
Post mission, generating a portfolio of multimedia assets and creating additional outreach opportunities for media, schools, and other public support of future human travel to Mars.
With the exception of the last objective (ongoing), the crew have successfully completed these shared goals. Data collected in a world-first study Examining the impact of communication latency on crew closeness to loved ones on Earth – Mars Desert Research Station Mission 238: A Small Group Study (IRB-approved) will be analysed by Dr. Julia Yates of Department of Psychology at City, University of London on our return.  Additionally, it is pleasing to report we have managed our water, internet and food resources efficiently.

But our shared goals are the mere tip of the iceberg when considering work undertaken at MDRS over the last two weeks.  Our individual projects have included data collection in Standardized Emergency Response Strategies (SRS), Mars Research Storytelling: Personal and Public Narratives in Mars & Space Research, From Space to Bacterial Colonization, Astronauts’ Coping Strategies in High Pressure Environments and Value creation with an Explorer’s Mindset. Both research work and “HabLife” have been followed by a leading Portuguese national newspaper on a daily basis, demonstrating considerable public engagement and outreach expertise of our XO and Crew Journalist.

Physically, crew health, as assessed by HSO Turner, has been robust despite a few minor bumps and bruises expertly dealt with along the way.  Our commitment to maintaining simulation and to optimising our time meant we adopted many best practices of successful crew rotations in environments much more demanding than our two-week rotation at MDRS.  We have actively followed a schedule of work, rest and play.  We have eaten breakfast, dinner and almost every lunch together (some surprisingly excellent meals, by the way), we socialised and we made time to reflect on learning, challenges and positive experiences in a daily After Action Review following dinner.

We also shared a lot of laughter – and it is important to note laughing together should not be considered a mere passing pleasure.  Studies have shown that shared humour is likely to play an important part in selecting the crews that will travel to Mars.  Laughter is a valuable interpersonal tool essential to coping with boredom brought about by prolonged periods of isolation, routine and social monotony. It enhances morale and serves an important communication function when expressing frustration or dissatisfaction in a socially acceptable manner, without causing additional stress or conflict.  Crews that laugh together have been shown to be significantly more productive and high functioning, as well as likely to remain “intact”, rather than split into cliques and subgroups.

To read the full crew mission summary, please click here.

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#106 2022-01-25 19:08:36

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Mars Society to Partner with The Big Dream Art Initiative
Get Your Vision of Humans to Mars Transformed into Art

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that it will be partnering with Dreame, a global collective of artists and dreamers headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, on its initiative, The Big Dream, which lays out through art the dreams of humanity.

In the latest phase of The Big Dream, the company is collecting tens of thousands of examples of dreams and ideas from people around the world about the future of our universe, the planet Mars included.

Many of these dreams for the future of humanity in space will be transformed into 500 individual artworks by 50 participating artists for public projection at 20 locations worldwide beginning on February 22, 2022.

The 500 pieces of artwork will then accompany the planned Axiom Space all-civilian crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in late March 2022, where it will be projected inside the ISS during the duration of the crew’s mission.

To further Dreame’s artwork campaign, the Mars Society is reaching out to its members and friends for submissions of space-related dreams for humanity for The Big Dream initiative, with the chance of your descriptive vision being converted into art and added to the global promotion, both on and off world.

Let us know about your dream, your vision about humans to Mars and the establishment of a permanent human presence on the red planet and across the solar system by participating in The Big Dream’s art project.

To learn more about The Big Dream and how you can submit your dream about humans to Mars and beyond, please click here.

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#107 2022-01-27 14:31:48

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Humans, Mars and the Solar Ecosystem (Blog)
By Evan Plant-Weir, Senior Writer, Red Planet Bound

Imagine that you have been transported 3.5 billion years into the past.

Somewhere on a young planet Earth, you find yourself standing by the edge of a warm tidal pool. In it, life has just taken shape for the very first time on this world, and perhaps anywhere.

As the result of circumstances that we still do not fully understand, non-living matter has somehow joined together in just the right way to generate a living system. You are witness to the mystery and wonder of abiogenesis.

Now, suspend disbelief for the moment and pretend that this community of microbial precursors has the capacity for thought and discussion. Gathering together in their solitary liquid bastion, they deliberate over a very important decision.

This choice will determine the fate of – well – every living thing to ever exist on Earth.

Should they proliferate beyond the sanctuary of their small pool?

What if it’s dangerous? What if the other pools have life too? How would their migration impact those life forms and vice versa? What about the home they already have, shouldn’t they focus on learning to live in that one?

Isn’t that enough?

On one hand, they could play it safe and stay in the pool, surviving for an arbitrary period of time before it is sterilized by some catastrophe. Maybe they will even get very lucky and endure the long ages until the sun meets its end.

Either way, life on this planet would never flourish beyond that pool.

Alternatively, they could push out into the wider world, thereby ushering in the full, spectacular interplay of complex living systems on Earth; the vast and beautiful global ecosystem as we know it.

Standing there, bearing witness to the unfolding of their debate, what if you could communicate with them? What counsel would you give? Almost all life that will ever exist on this world hangs in the balance.

While considering your response, bear in mind that – although this thought experiment is largely an exercise of fiction – the dilemma itself is quite genuine. Whereas those first microbes had no capacity for thought and very little control over their future, their propagation beyond that solitary pool would ultimately give rise to creatures that do.

It is 3.5 billion years later, and a ragtag collection of ape descendants with questionable intelligence are deliberating on exactly this issue. We have returned to reality and the present day.

As we debate the pros and cons of settling Mars and elsewhere, Humanity is looking beyond the atmosphere with hope, apprehension, and with a very big decision to make.

Do we reach out beyond our little puddle?

To read the full blog, please click here.

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#108 2022-01-28 01:32:43

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,348

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

dream of mars. fill in the blanks.

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#109 2022-01-31 11:23:39

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

What’s Your Dream for Mars?

The Dreame-Mars Society partnership continues to recruit submissions from people around the world, detailing their dreams about the future of humanity on Mars and in space for The Big Dream art initiative.

Many of these visions will be transformed into 500 individual artworks by 50 participating artists for projection at 20 locations worldwide beginning on February 22, 2022.

In addition, 500 pieces of artwork will accompany (digitally) the planned Axiom Space all-civilian crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in late March 2022, where it will be projected inside the ISS during the duration of the crew’s mission.

A few recently received visions for space were already converted by The Big Dream into art by Shelly Soneja of the Philippines, one of 50 participating international artists. These include:

"Humanity building the first city on Mars."
“Here at Gordo station on Mars, the temperature inched above freezing, just enough for the genetically-modified lichens to start oozing out some oxygen.”
“The space exploration sector being inclusive to all kinds of people regardless of their background.”
Get your vision of humanity's future on Mars and beyond transformed into art as part of this special global project, with only a couple weeks remaining for new submissions! For full details about how you can get involved, please click here.


The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

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#110 2022-02-03 00:33:04

jburk
Executive Director
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: 2011-11-17
Posts: 155
Website

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Hello all my NewMars friends.

I am 1 month into my tenure as Executive Director and I would like to ask you for your advice on a couple of matters. 

1) What should we give paid members of the Mars Society as a benefit?

2) What would you do to improve the New Mars Forums?

For the 3rd question below, the context is: we have many ways for people to talk to each other online including NewMars, Slack, Discord, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Even Instagram and Pinterest. 

3) Any other ways that our members and community should be communicating with each other in 2021 that we do not currently have as an option?

Thank you in advance for your advice on these topics!


James L. Burk
Executive Director, The Mars Society
jburk@marssociety.org
+1 (206) 601-7143

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#111 2022-02-04 11:33:25

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

This House Would Populate Mars: The Oxford Union Debate

Dr. Greg Autry, an educator, author, space policy expert, technology entrepreneur, and a good friend of the Mars Society, gave a wonderful talk yesterday at the prestigious Oxford Union, advocating for the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet.

[The following is the prepared text for Dr. Autry's address to the Oxford Union, Oxford UK, on the evening of 3 February in support of the proposition, This House Would Populate Mars. The Oxford Union is the world’s foremost debating society.]

“This House Would Populate Mars!” I doubt there has ever been a bolder proclamation made in this historic hall. I am so honored to be standing here in support of it!

Sailing on HMS Beagle in 1832, a young naturalist once wrote, “How great would be the desire in every admirer of nature to behold, if such were possible, the scenery of another planet!” One can almost hear the scoffing of Darwin’s contemporaries. Yet, a century later Buzz Aldrin described to us the “magnificent desolation” of the lunar surface. Today, NASA and fifteen international partners are preparing for a permanent and sustainable return to the Moon. Space settlement is here my friends and it’s a good thing!

Homo Erectus ventured out of Africa and into Asia and Europe a million and half years ago, but it was a mere 20,000 years ago that explorers from Asia settled my home state of California. Europeans arrived in the last few hundred years. Today, there are 40 million Californians, mostly from recent immigration. Migration, by selecting for bold risk takers, has made California the global capital of innovation and the fifth largest economy on Earth. The best ideas in consumer tech, entertainment, automobiles, and space travel come from California. That is the power of human settlement.

Even NASA’s Mars rovers come from California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. These automobiles sized, nuclear powered beasts are comparable in complexity to a human landing system. Human exploration of Mars is not a matter of what is “technically possible” but a matter of the means and the will to go. We can afford to do this. NASA’s $24 billion appropriation is less than ½ of 1% of U.S. federal spending. That’s a faction of the cost overruns on the F-35.

And there are others with both the means and the will to settle space. Elon Musk’s SpaceX is building massive rockets on the coast of Texas, designed to carry hundreds of settlers to the Red Planet. Jeff Bezos and partners are preparing to build a huge space station called the Orbital Reef. We should be in awe at the audacity of their ambition. We mustn’t let the fretting of Earth’s meek restrain our risk takers. If we cease to explore and settle, we cease to be human. We become an evolutionary dead-end, to be swept aside by some more ambitious life form.

To read the full OU debate text, please click here.

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#112 2022-02-09 15:22:18

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Executive Director's Report - The Mars Society (02.22)

The Mars Society invites you to watch a video report by James L. Burk, the organization's new Executive Director, about his first full month in the position.

The five-minute video outlines a number of key accomplishments achieved since January 1, 2022, such as the announcement of our world-wide Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition (TMEDC).

James also discusses the Mars Society's plans and initiatives for the coming month, including the official public release of its one-of-a-kind MarsVR Virtual Reality project.

To watch the new Executive Director's Report video, please click here.

This will be the first in a series of Executive Director video updates provided by the Mars Society this year, so stay tuned!


The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

For SpaceNut ,... the "Click Here" didn't transfer ... any chance you might be able to add it?

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#113 2022-02-11 18:59:32

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Red Planet Live to Host MDRS Director Dr. 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 hosted by Ron Craig!

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 (MDRS) 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 missions in the Mars-like terrain of the southern Utah desert, carrying out important research that contributes to the scientific planning for the eventual human exploration of the Red Planet.

Dr. Rupert is an expert in planetary mission simulations and field exploration. Her current research includes desert varnish ecology, biodiversity studies at MDRS, and the development of simulation experiences for educators and their students. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of New Mexico, a Master's degree in Biological Science from California State University (San Marcos), a Bachelor's degree in Ecology, Behavior & Evolution from the University of California (San Diego), and an Associate's degree in Biology from San Diego Miramar College.

Bring your questions for Dr. Rupert about all things related to MDRS and Mars analog studies, as well as how initial human explorers will live and work on the Red Planet for our next RPL broadcast on February 14th.

To register for RPL (free of charge), please click here. We hope you'll be able to join us this Monday!


The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#114 2022-02-15 15:07:15

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

What’s Your Dream for Mars?

The Dreame-Mars Society partnership continues to recruit submissions from people around the world, detailing their dreams about the future of humanity on the planet Mars and in space for The Big Dream art initiative.

Many of these visions will be transformed into 500 individual artworks by 50 participating artists for projection at multiple locations worldwide beginning on February 22, 2022.

In addition, the 500 pieces of artwork will (digitally) accompany the planned Axiom Space all-civilian crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in late March 2022, where they will be projected inside the ISS for the duration of the crew’s mission in orbit.

There's still time to get your vision of humanity's future on the Red Planet and beyond transformed into art as part of this special global project. Please note that all submissions need to be sent in no later than Friday, February 18th!

For full details about how you can participate, please click here.

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

(th)

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#115 2022-02-21 19:53:51

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Final Mission Summary - MDRS Crew 240

Following a hiatus of one year, after our mission had to be pushed back due to Covid, it has truly been a return to form for Supaero crews at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, as we had the chance to perform two larger-scale rotations in a row this Field Season, for a total of six weeks of combined mission time. This is the Mission Summary of the first of those two crews, and the one that had worked – and waited – the longest before setting foot on Mars.

Our Crew

The selection for Crew 240 took place in late 2019, and the Commander was appointed a few months later, following a first assignment as Crew Journalist as part of Crew 223. We all met each other at that time: five fresh-faced, first year Engineering students, without even a bachelor’s degree; a first year Master’s degree student; and a second year Engineering student, just returned from a first mission at MDRS – all studying at the same place, but with different dreams, desires and objectives for the future.

Two years on, it’s clear that this group of seven extra motivated people had grown a lot. We’d seen hard work, doubt, successes, hardships, the hurt of knowing that our mission would have to wait, and the strength to go on and move forward anyway.  During those two long years of preparing the mission, we had the chance to acquire knowledge and experience, either in our studies, or in our work in a professional setting. Clearly, this time spent on growth has had a huge impact on the way we approached our mission at MDRS.

Yes, I did mention the number seven on that previous paragraph: that’s how many we used to be throughout all the preparation. Raphaël, the seventh crew member, was set to be our GreenHab Officer, and was responsible for the atmospheric experiments we run with French research centre CNRS, amongst other large parts of our work. We had to go on to MDRS without him due to visa issuance problems, and we miss him for many, many reasons, either it be for his hard tireless work and thorough knowledge of his subjects of focus, or simply his never-ending positivity and good spirits. His absence is felt throughout the Hab all the time, and while he can’t technically be considered a member of this crew, all the work he’s put forward for this mission makes him, in our eyes, just as much of a member of our group.

Our Work

Supaero crews benefit from the wealth of experience and prior knowledge gathered during all the rotations our older students or alumni have participated in, and it’s clear that with this experience, Crew 240 has managed to put together a set of scientific content that far exceeds what had been performed in any prior mission by our crews. A strong desire to push towards the most relevant content, that makes the best use of the specificities of the station, and the region around MDRS, has led to a number of brand-new experiments and continued advances on the experiments we had already brought on. This will be an outline of all the work that was performed over these past three weeks.

Human Factors Research

This year has seen an increase on our attempts to research the ways a stay at MDRS influences us physiologically as well as psychologically.

On the technical performance side, one of our longest-running experiments, TELEOP, once again arrived at MDRS under the helm of Crew Biologist Marion, taking advantage of the longer mission time. Developed in-house at the SacLab Laboratory at Supaéro, this experiment was part of the testing regiment of analogue astronauts for the Sirius mission in Russia, and at MDRS we similarly performed regular tests of simulated rover driving on the Moon, testing fatigue in different physical positions to get Earth-level understanding of how weightlessness can influence performance.

In the meantime, an experiment from the University of Bourgogne offered daily questionnaires to assess a large array of psychological reactions to our living situation, and an experiment from the University of Lorraine combined questionnaires with long, extensive sessions on a piece of software designed to assess attentiveness through numerous tests.

These experiments were performed on time, efficiently and in accordance with the protocols given to us by the researchers responsible for these experiments, under the supervision of Crew Engineer François. While many of them were tiring – by design – the crewmembers took it to heart to put in their best efforts so that our scientific partners gather relevant data.

On the topic of physiology, we have continued to study sleep. After Crews 206, 222 and 223 used Dreem headbands to show the relevance of consumer-level hardware applied for scientific data, we have followed on this work by using Fitbit wrist bands to obtain biometric data across the mission, with the goal to study sleep, performance during sports session and EVA, as well as nutrition from before the mission all the way to the post-mission. This, combined with frequent questionnaires on sleep quality and emotional levels, should help us better understand the physiological and psychological effects of a mission like this one.

Lastly, space medicine company SpaceMedex has entrusted us with another consumer-ready biometrics tool, HexoSkin, a skin-tight shirt that measures data during exercise. This helps us gather extra data from our EVAs, data that not only gives us more precise values for the amount of exercise performed, but can also be used for further analysis of our experiment based on performance on EVA. Both the data of the Fitbit wristbands and the HexoSkin have been collected by Crew Scientist Marion, and will be further analysed after the full duration of the experiment.

To read the full crew mission summary, please click here.
The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#116 2022-02-22 12:52:13

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Public Displays for The Big Dream Space Art Initiative Begin Today (2.22.22)

World-wide presentations for The Big Dream space art initiative begin TODAY (2.22.22), with 15 public displays of 500 (+) pieces of artwork based on people's dreams for humanity's future in space, including the planet Mars!

Partnering with Dreame, the Mars Society has called on its global membership and friends to submit their visions for the human settlement of Mars and beyond to The Big Dream project for transformation into inspiring art.

The enclosed graphic lists the locations for all 15 sites around the world where the artwork can now be viewed. At the end of March 2022, as part of the SpaceX Axiom-1 crewed mission into orbit, the art will be displayed again, this time inside the International Space Station (ISS).

"We're glad to have worked with Dreame on this exciting art initiative, with the goal of sharing our members' dreams for humanity off-world and, in particular, on the red planet. Thanks to everyone who took the time to participate in this creative endeavor. We can't wait to see all of the new artwork," said Michael Stoltz, the Mars Society's Director of Media & Public Relations.

To learn more about The Big Dream art initiative, please visit: www.big.drea.me.

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#117 2022-02-23 18:27:30

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Mars Society’s MarsVR Now Available for Public Beta on Steam Digital Platform

What you need to know:

The first Early Access release of MarsVR, showcasing the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, is now available to the general public.
MarsVR is listed in the Steam directory of VR applications, the main VR content platform, and supports most major brands of VR headsets.
This version of MarsVR is a guided tour of the MDRS campus and surrounding area.  Future versions will add building interiors, including objects used in analog space missions as well as crew training procedures.
Major Milestone Reached

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that our MarsVR application showcasing the Mars Desert Research Station, which has been in development for over four years, is now freely and publicly available in the Virtual Reality and video game marketplace Steam, the largest digital distribution platform for computer games in the world, having around 95 million monthly active users.

The MarsVR team has been working since 2018 on a digital twin of the real-life MDRS campus located in southern Utah, including the surrounding Mars-like terrain. Using the latest virtual reality technologies and techniques, the team is working towards a full-fidelity engineering-grade simulation of the MDRS, including the station’s exterior and interior spaces and key training scenarios that crew members learn to conduct a Mars analog simulation in real life. 

This first Early Access version of the MDRS Virtual Reality environment on Steam includes a guided tour of the MDRS campus and several “easter eggs”, which can be found by VR explorers.

As the world’s largest and longest-running analog program, the MDRS has been in operation since 2001, with 250 crews and over 1,500 individual crew members having cycled through the facility during the two decades since its establishment.

Project Goals

The MarsVR program is a long-term initiative by the Mars Society to incorporate emerging virtual and augmented reality technologies into the critical human factors research that is required for a humans-to-Mars mission.  We plan to create stunning 3-D and VR environments for schools, museums, the public and our future space explorers in order to learn more about Mars analog science, technology, and procedures. We will also provide PC-only options for the core experiences to encourage maximum accessibility for all.

Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin described how this new technology could make a huge impact on the future human exploration of Mars: “What we hope to demonstrate in our VR program is a new way of exploring Mars, one which could bring millions of people to participate directly in the exploration of the Red Planet.”

Partnerships

MarsVR intends to be one of the most immersive Virtual Reality experiences ever created. By implementing the latest cutting-edge technologies, we intend to offer unique sensory abilities.  The following technology partners and devices are planned for integration: 

VR headsets – MarsVR will be enjoyed on most major brands, yet we have particularly focused our efforts on the HTC Vive series, Oculus Quest 2, and Valve Index.
Virtual smells – Our partner HapticSol has produced the Cilia and micro-Cilia, allowing you to experience the unique smells of the red planet.  This smell producing hardware is available for both consumers and commercial applications.
Full motion simulator – With YawVR, we are allowing users to feel vibrations and movements of driving and flying over terrain built using NASA data.
Full body haptics – Teslasuit is the world leader in full body sensory feedback. We are exploring leveraging their suit that contains biometry, haptic feedback, and the sense of hot and cold to give a very high-end experience.
Foot movement – We’ve partnered with several alternative motion controllers, including 3DRudder and Cybershoes.  These options allow for a more natural movement throughout the experience, and also improve our accessibility options by allowing users with limited hand movement to more easily navigate the MDRS environment.
Alternative Input Devices

While some of our experiences require complex interactions, where possible, we are integrating alternative peripheral devices to open the experiences to as many users as possible, irrespective of ability or disability.  Devices being explored include the Microsoft XBox Adaptive Controller (XAC), one-handed joysticks, XBox controller, and more.

For more details about MarsVR, please visit: http://MarsVR.com, and for additional information about the Mars Society’s MDRS analog program, go to: http://MDRS.MarsSociety.org.

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#118 2022-03-02 14:22:21

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

From the Executive Director
March 2, 2022
Dear <member>,

It’s been three months since I was appointed as Executive Director by Robert and our Board of Directors, with the broad support of our Steering Committee, members, and supporters, and I wanted to provide everyone an update on how I see things progressing in my new role.

The Mars Society was founded nearly 25 years ago to inspire the next generation of explorers to visit and settle Mars.  In this time, we have established ourselves as a leader in the space advocacy community and we have inspired many to follow our cause.

This Friday, I will be participating in the Better Futures event series.  In addition to giving an extended video report on my first three months as Executive Director, I will be participating in a panel discussion titled “Space Advocacy Organizations: Change the World” with Michelle Hanlon, President of the National Space Society, and Angela Peura, a strategic communications specialist at NASA Headquarters and President of the International Space University US Alumni Association. (You can Register Here and use the promo code “15OFF” to get a discount on your ticket.)

Now it’s time to motivate more people to make a difference by expanding and enhancing our activities as an organization.  This year, we have already announced one major initiative, the Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Contest (TMEDC), which will conclude at our international convention in October.  We hope to make use of the winning designs, along with the contest’s requirement for a human-sized lander of 10 tons or more, to be used as concrete program ideas that may accelerate planning for a human mission to Mars.

I see the role of Executive Director as leading our fundraising activities, conducting regular strategic planning, enhancing our program delivery, and improving our organizational operations. To these ends, I have engaged a range of people to get advice, feedback on what we’ve done so far as an organization, and ideas of what we can do in the future.

After speaking with our advisors and partners, it is clear to me that we should be doing three core activities to meet our organization’s mission:
Promote the adventure of living and working on Mars among the public;
Develop education and outreach programs that engage, inspire and (most importantly) train and educate those who will live and work on the red planet with the skills they will need;
Build and maintain a roadmap that results in the human exploration of Mars within a decade, and convene and partner with industry, government, and academia to ensure our plans come to fruition.

To these ends, I will have more to say soon about our analog programs, educational initiatives, and planned hybrid convention (in-person with virtual participants) this October. And to these ends, we will need broad support to expand and enhance our organization’s abilities to tackle all of these opportunities.

As tax season nears, please consider sending in a tax-deductible contribution to help support the Mars Society, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit.  Using our donation form, you can specify which program you would like to support or choose to allocate your contribution to the area of greatest need.  You can also send us a cryptocurrency donation, or even donate Marscoin.

With your support, we can assure that the Mars Society is positioned well to make a huge impact in the near future to advocate for exploring Mars, inspiring the youth, and someday soon, having a direct role in the first human exploration of the red planet.

Hopefully forum members will note the ideas and opportunities given in this document.

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#119 2022-03-14 18:05:28

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Final Mission Summary - MDRS Crew 263

The following is the final summary report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 263 (SUPAERO). A full review of the 2021-22 MDRS field season and crew activities will be presented at the 25th Annual International Mars Society Convention (date and location to be announced in the coming weeks). 

After a year of planning, we were very excited to finally be on Mars. We are members of the Mars Association of our University ISAE-Supaero in France, just like Crew 240 which rotation was right before ours. We went on with some of their scientific experiments as the researchers were interested in having data over 6 weeks or from two separate crews.

Concerning the atmospheric experiment delivered by the French Center of National Scientific Research (CNRS), a part of a device was lost by Crew 240 before their rotation. We successfully handcrafted parts of the device in order to make it work and were able to take it outside by the end of the first week, securing 2 weeks of data. We had a humidity issue on Purple Air during the second week, constraining us to remove it. The LOAC (Light Optical Aerosol Counter) had to be taken in when snow was forecasted, which is the nominal use. All other devices worked nominally.

In addition to scientific experiments consecutively performed by Crew 240 and us, we wanted to have our own experiments, which explains our busy mission planning. Three ultrasound medical surveillance sessions were performed. An Augmented Reality App developed by the French Space Agency (CNES) along with an ultrasound device from Sono-scanner were used to assess an autonomous organ capture by astronauts. All crew members showcased an improvement on their ultrasound performance.

For the ham radio experiment, we had two objectives. Troubles with the statistic study happened because of wind which broke and disoriented our antenna. We fixed it three times during EVAs. However, we managed to listen to a few beacons. For the contact with the other “Martian base”, it did not work as we thought it would. The plan was to contact Toulouse using three modes: Data, CW and SSB. The Data mode was the most promising one but unfortunately, we never received any signal. We managed to decrypt Toulouse’s indicative “F5KSE” in Morse code (CW). We do not know yet whether Toulouse has heard us or not. For the SSB mode, we knew it would be more difficult to have any signal at all and the luck wasn’t on our side this time.

About our gravitropism experiment, we wanted to make plants grow on a rotating platform and make daily measures. It was planned in two parts, the first one with a horizontal rotation (the historical “Knight’s wheel experiment”), the second one with a vertical rotation. But we did not succeed in making our seed grow. We tried several times different ways. We do not know exactly why it did not work.

The safety protocols experiment had one main educative goal. The three protocols were written along with children from priority education areas to introduce them to space exploration. Two of them were held during EVAs and one in the Hab. The Hab security protocol tested reactions during a small depressurisation. It highlighted how disorganised we were and how difficult it was to communicate efficiently.

As for the deep sky astrophotography, two galaxies (M51 and M81) and nebulas (Horsehead and Rosette) have been successfully imaged during the crew 263 rotation. The pictures are currently post-processed by the astronomer to obtain final images. Several attempts to capture other objects have been made during the 3-weeks of the mission but the weather conditions (wind, clouds) and other unknown issues lead to blurry or mis-pointed photos and prevented the obtention of exploitable pictures. Concerning the exoplanet transit detection, one exoplanet transit (TOI 959.01) has been imaged during the mission, the light curve has been traced but no transit can be identified from the comparison of the exoplanet light curve and its comparison stars.

If the beginning of the simulation was complicated and frustrating because the weather prevented us from doing the EVAs as planned, it got much better during the second week. Two geological field studies were performed. The first one consisted on identifying and documenting the transition between 2 geological eras -Cretaceous and Jurassic. This study allowed to asses Martian field campaigns by human operators using a handheld LIBS (laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy) analyzer, the SciAps Z-903. The second study was the analysis of sulphate deposits in the Summerville formation. Robotic missions on Mars have identified sulphate deposits and hence studying them on Earth to allow comparison was of importance. These studies were successfully performed while following an EVA protocol and wearing spacesuits, gloves and a helmet.

Moreover, a search and rescue experiment were implemented to study the use of drones for saving astronauts on Mars. Three EVAs were necessary for this survey: two with a drone using different speed, and one without any drone. We noticed that even with gloves and helmets, the situations using the drone were quicker, less dangerous and less stressful. Even if the drone’s thermal camera was not as efficient as predicted, the visible camera helped the rescuing team to find the better way to reach the other team.

We also took advantage of EVAs to test the emergency protocols. It helped us take the best actions to be found quickly with or without a drone to find us. We also wrote an exhaustive feedback for the children.

During the course of the mission, Crew 263 had the chance to test an AR application developed for astronauts’ geological fieldwork. The application required a HoloLens to be used during EVAs. It was difficult to use the HoloLens while wearing a suit, but the crew overcame the issue quickly and provided useful feedback to improve both the hardware and the software. In all, it was a successful first testing of the AR application.

A neuro-ergonomic approach to cis-lunar operation was also tested by the astronauts. The objective of this experiment was to test the effect of different body positions on performance when teleoperating a rover. Each astronaut performed the task 3 times every week: once sitting, once standing up and once on their side. After each task, they had to report their tiredness and how they had perceived their performance. This experiment was nominal along the course of the mission.

The first week of simulation was a bit complicated and the crew was confused a lot. Shannon came back to the Outpost on Wednesday and questioned a lot of our ways. It was stressful for us as we felt like we were doing everything we could according to the Handbook, the Report templates and examples from the two weeks prior to our rotation on the mission support mailing list. Nevertheless, we are very grateful for her advices as they were very relevant: we learned a lot from them. We learned how to redact precise EVA Requests that were also compliant with the Mars simulation. Shannon also highlighted that we may have planned to perform too much experiments and that future Martian missions would probably be more centered on daily life activities.

As we think that like on the ISS, water will be a rare resource on Mars  crewed missions, we were very careful with our water consumption. We collectively decided that only two showers would be allowed for each crew member, using alternative methods for daily hygiene. Nevertheless, two crew members decided not to take any shower and the other five took only one. Moreover, the water consumption was carefully monitored by category of use, in order to see if it was possible to save more water. Techniques were put in place to save water while doing the dishes, cooking or brushing our teeth. Monitoring of sleep status throughout the mission was performed using Dreem headbands. This allowed to take initiatives such as relaxation sessions according to the crew members sleep state.

As for the general engineer operations, the Crew Engineer had work to do with some batteries and fuses that stopped operating in the suits. Of course, he had to do his daily work like pumping water from static tank to loft tank, maintaining the station, the rovers and emptying the toilets. Moreover, we were happy to have a better situation than Crew 240 regarding the toilet’s situation: it was almost aroma free and could be emptied every four days.

Given that the GreenHab was only operative for the first 4 days of the mission, we were left with no fresh food, and Elena was left with no plants to take care of. However, the GreenHab emergency was the team’s first Martian emergency, and they reacted in a successful way: everyone pitched in and helped emptying the greenhouse as fast and precisely as possible.

Last but not least, the crew has learned to live as a Space Team. Proximity, lyophilized food and EVAs were our routine. We all enjoyed our journey on Mars!
The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#120 2022-03-17 14:19:20

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Public Welcomed to CHASM Analogue Conference at Cambridge (UK)
The Mars Society <info@marssociety.org>
Thu, Mar 17 at 6:59 AM

MARS SOCIETY ANNOUNCEMENT

Public Welcomed to CHASM Analogue Forum at Cambridge

Members of the public are invited to meet with analogue astronauts and mission specialists at the Conference on Human Analogue Space Missions (CHASM) on Sunday, April 3rd (14:30-18:00 BST) at the Lucy Cavendish College on the Cambridge University campus.

Organized by Mars Society UK, one of the Mars Society's global chapters, CHASM involves talks by UK and international analogue space mission crews and staff about their missions and goals. One of the key speakers will Dr. Shannon Rupert, Director of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.

The Sunday afternoon open-door session is free to the general public and provides students, families and professionals an opportunity to ask questions about Mars analogue training and see some of the analogue hardware used during missions. All are welcomed!

In order to attend the CHASM session, please note that online registration via Eventbrite (https://bit.ly/3KzWTcD) is required.

If you reside in the United Kingdom or plan a visit there in early April, don't miss this wonderful opportunity to learn more about Mars analogue missions and planning for human Mars exploration in the not too distant future!

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#121 2022-03-31 13:05:18

tahanson43206
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Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

Space Organizations Unite to Support Approval of Starship Test Flights

A group of 14 space advocacy organizations today published a joint statement urging rapid U.S. government approval of SpaceX’s Starship test flights.

Commenting on the initiative, Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin said: “The organizations that have come together to make this statement represent every point of view within the space community. Whether one’s priority is settling Mars, developing space commerce, exploring the Moon, assuring national security, or gaining new knowledge of the Earth, the planets, or the universe, we all agree that it is vital that this program be allowed to move forward. There may be many more hurdles like this that SpaceX and others seeking to open the space frontier will face, but this statement shows that the often-fractured movement of space advocates can come together to help when it really counts.”

The statement and its signatories are shown below.

The SpaceX Starship offers extraordinary potential benefits for the exploration and development of space by both the public and private sectors. It will enable many new commercial space ventures as well as dramatically lower the costs and raise the frequency of scientific missions that will provide amazing new knowledge about our universe and home planet.

Its relatively clean environmental footprint, the large savings it offers U.S. taxpayers as a means of transport for government programs and missions, and its ability to rapidly and regularly deliver satellite constellations and payloads to orbit will enhance national security, increase high paying jobs in the space sector, and propel American space leadership far ahead of any global competitors.

Therefore we, the undersigned organizations, strongly urge the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other federal agencies to provide full approval to SpaceX to begin orbital test flights of the Starship at the earliest possible date.

Approved by:

The Mars Society

National Space Society

Earthlight Foundation

Alliance for Space Development

Space Development Foundation

Space Development Network

The Moon Society

The Mars Foundation

Space for Humanity

Tea Party in Space

For All Moonkind

The Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration

The Space Resources Roundtable

The Space Development Steering Committee

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#122 2022-04-14 18:34:38

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

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 Society staff and volunteers, the organization will manage its own vendor booth during the four-day conference, which will include Mars Society brochures, program info sheets and organizational swag, as well as Mars-related displays and interactive presentations.

By participating in The 56-Year Mission, the Mars Society is seeking to educate and excite a wider public audience about the importance of long-term human Mars exploration and settlement.

In addition to its planned exhibit, the Mars Society is working in conjunction with program supervisors to arrange several public talks and panel discussions, to coincide with the four-day event, about space exploration, plans for humanity’s future on Mars and other space-related subjects.

To learn more about The 56-Year Mission: Las Vegas, including how to register, please click here. Volunteers to help oversee the Mars Society’s planned four-day exhibit are also welcomed and can sign up by contacting Michael at mstoltz@marssociety.org.

We hope you’ll be able to join us this August in Las Vegas for this fun event, and remember… Live Long & Prosper and On to Mars!

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2021 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#123 2022-04-19 14:14:08

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

JPL’s Vandi Verma to Talk about Driving Rovers on Mars during RPL Podcast (April 21)

Have you ever thought about how scientists on Earth drive a rover on the planet Mars? Do you have other questions about robotic exploration of the red planet? 

Dr. Vandi Verma, Chief Engineer of JPL Robotic Operations for NASA’s Perseverance and Curiosity rover missions, will be joining the Mars Society's Red Planet Live video podcast on Thursday, April 21 (6pm PT / 9pm ET) to talk about how these two mobile explorers navigate on the Martian surface.

Having joined JPL’s Mars rover team in 2008, Dr. Verma specializes in space robotics, autonomous robots, and robotic operations. She has designed, developed, and operated robotic missions in the Arctic, Antarctica, and the Atacama Desert in Chile, and has also addressed the two most recent International Mars Society Conventions.

During her time at JPL, Dr. Verma has worked with both the MER Spirit and Opportunity rovers, as well as the MSL Curiosity rover. With the arrival of Perseverance on Mars in early 2021, she also began supervising the rover’s navigation mission as it searches the red planet for ancient life and collects rock samples for an eventual return to Earth.

Please join us on April 21st to receive an update from Dr. Verma about NASA’s two operational Mars rovers and to have all your questions about exploring Mars answered in real time.

To sign up today for the RPL broadcast via Eventbrite (free of charge), please click here.


The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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#124 2022-05-06 11:13:42

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 11,988

Re: How's the Society doing right now?

MARS SOCIETY ANNOUNCEMENT
View this email in your browser

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, the new Mars-focused STEM initiative will begin in December 2022 and include academic curricula, online videos, and professional scientists assigned as classroom mentors to guide the teacher and interact with the students via an online class meeting platform.

The labs are based on the experiments carried out by students who come out to the MDRS campus and have been designed and written by Utah teachers who have participated in a Spaceward Bound Utah cohort. The overall project directly aligns with the goals of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and the UNSGC’s support of hands-on learning in Utah middle school classrooms, accompanied by collaboration with actual scientists working in the fields explored by the labs.

“I’m so pleased that the Utah Space Grant Consortium has once again approved funding for one of our MDRS educational programs. This lab in a box project will benefit hundreds of students across the state, allowing these young people to know what it’s like to carry out testing on projects with a space-related focus,” said Dr. Rupert.

The Spaceward Bound Classroom project is an extension of the fundamental ideas defined in Spaceward Bound Utah, a UNSGC-funded program held at MDRS that brings cohorts of Utah teachers to the station where they experience what it would be like to live on and explore the red planet. While in residence there, the educators work on field research being conducted at the station and develop activities to teach their students about space science.

“This program has been a true inspiration to all involved, and this year we also created a MDRS Teachers Council to formalize the experiences and classroom activities we have developed during the course of the program,” added Dr. Rupert.

More recently, during the 2021-22 crew field season at MDRS, three groups of middle schoolers, all of whom were students of Spaceward Bound teachers, were hosted at the Mars Society’s analog facility outside Hanksville, with each student group spending three days “on Mars”, conducting experiments and doing relevant field work both in and out of simulation.

To learn more about MDRS, its programs, and crews, please visit: mdrs.marssociety.org. If you’re interested in supporting the Mars Society’s MDRS educational program or serving as a volunteer with the program, please contact srupert@marssociety.org.

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#125 2022-05-10 14:08:22

tahanson43206
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Re: How's the Society doing right now?

MARS SOCIETY ANNOUNCEMENT
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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 modeled 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 it, students in an engineering design class are provided background and then asked to work together as a team – or group of teams - to try to design some new technology. For example, a class may be asked to design a new fighter aircraft that needs to meet a difficult set of requirements and be divided into sub-teams each responsible for a different area, such as aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, and weaponry.

Optimizing any of these necessarily conflicts with the rest. For example, stronger structures add weight, which takes away mass that could be used for propulsion or weapons and doing anything better nearly always adds to cost.  So, in addition to handling their own area as well as they can, the sub-teams must try to work out the best possible compromise to produce the best overall result. Frequently a number of university engineering classes are given the same problem to solve, and compete against each other’s designs, which really makes the whole thing a great deal of fun.

This summer, the Mars Society is organizing a global competition along these lines, but open to high school students, and with the topic not being the design of a fighter aircraft or nuclear reactor, but of the first human exploration mission to the Red Planet.

Here’s how it is going to work. The 6-week course will be done online allowing participation from students anywhere in the world to take part. The class will consist of three elements:

1.      Lectures by leading experts in areas of science and engineering relevant to the means and goals of human Mars exploration and assignment of supporting readings. This will prepare the students for the next parts.

2.      The organization of students into design teams, comparable to those in a university engineering design class, charged with designing a human mission to Mars. The ground rules are that it is assumed that they have a mission enabled by the delivery of 30 metric tons of useful payload to the Martian surface, plus an ascent vehicle capable of returning up to five astronauts from the Martian surface to Earth. The students will need to design the surface mission, including its habitat, surface vehicles, scientific instruments, power system and other equipment and supplies, crew size and composition, mission location, scientific objectives, rations, duration, and exploration plan. The designs of each team will be written up in a report, which each team member responsible for authoring a section.

3.      The teams will then compete their designs in a contest, involving live presentations in front of a panel of expert judges, with winners chosen based on technical and scientific merit. The course will run from the beginning of July through mid-August (2022). Tuition fee to the course will be nominal a $50, making it possible for students for all economic levels to participate. Students who contribute a section to a design report will receive a certificate attesting to their participation, useful for augmenting their college entry applications.

The best Mars mission designs will be published by the Mars Society in a book, which will be available for sale in both paperback and kindle forms on Amazon.com.

If you are a student and wish to sign up, you can do so by filling out this online form. The deadline for applying is Wednesday, June 15th, 5;00 pm MT.

We already have a group of eminent instructors, including NASA scientists and commercial space executives, lined up to give the talks, but we can use more! We also need coaches for the design teams and judges for the contest. If you are someone who wishes to help out by serving as a lecturer, coach, or judge, please let us know by signing up here.

Students: This is your chance to not only have some fun while learning a lot, but also to get involved in Mars exploration and have your ideas on how we should explore Mars published!

Professionals: This is your opportunity to not only help a bunch of bright students get into science, but to make educational history by demonstrating the value of a new and much more creative way to teach science at the secondary school level than is currently being practiced.

So don’t wait! Sign up today!



The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
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