Mars Society

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The Mars Society is an international space advocacy non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the Manned mission to Mars, the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet. It was founded by Robert Zubrin and others in 1998 and attracted the support of notable science fiction writers and filmmakers, including Kim Stanley Robinson and James Cameron. The organization is dedicated to convincing the public and governments of the benefits of Mars exploration, networking the communities involved and exploring the possibilities of private Mars missions.[1]



The Society was formally established in August 1998, when over 700 delegates – astronomers, scientists, engineers, astronauts, entrepreneurs, educators, students, and space enthusiasts – attended a weekend of talks and presentations from leading Mars exploration advocates.

Since then, the Society, guided by its International Steering Committee, has grown to over 4,000 members and some 6,000 associate supporters across more than 50 countries around the world. Members of the Society are from all walks of life, and all actively work to promote the ideals of space exploration and the opportunities for exploring Mars.

The Mars Society's goals aren't purely theoretical. Its aim is to show that Mars is an achievable goal through a practical series of technical and other projects, including these:

  • further development of the Mars Direct mission plan to send humans to Mars[2]
  • the Mars Analog Research Station Program (MARS) – analogues of possible future Mars habitation units, located in Mars-like environments. Established stations include the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) and the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)
  • the Mars Society Analogue Pressurized Rover – a competition to design a pressurized rover vehicle that could be used on Mars that was won by the Michigan Mars Rover Team[3].
  • the Mars Gravity Biosatellite - a program to design, build, and launch a satellite rotated to artificially provide partial gravity of 0.38g, equivalent to that of Mars, and hosting a small population of mice, to study the health effects of partial gravity, as opposed to zero gravity; this originated as a Mars Society initiative and is now supported by the YourNameIntoSpace web portal
  • the Mars balloon mission ARCHIMEDES, due to launch in 2018 (conducted by the German Chapter of Mars Society)[4]
  • Tempo3 The Tethered Experiment for Mars inter-Planetary Operations, a CubeSat based satellite that will demonstrate artificial gravity generation using two tethered masses

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