SETI bioastro: FW: [marssocietynewsletter] Mars Society Special Bulletin#44

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From: Larry Klaes (
Date: Mon Jun 18 2001 - 09:02:59 PDT

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Subject: [marssocietynewsletter] Mars Society Special Bulletin#44

Mars Society Special Bulletin#44

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In this issue:



The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) will be exhibited at Kennedy
Space Center visitor's complex this summer, prior to being moved to a
permanent location in the American Southwest. The MDRS. represents
the second in a planned series of four analog stations which will be
used for research into Mars mission operations and for outreach to
the general public.

Along with the hab itself, The Mars Society has prepared an extensive
exhibit detailing tools and concepts for exploration of Mars. Space
Artist Bob Murray has created an inspirational mural to enhance the
exhibit, illustrating the transformation of a first human outpost
into a true Mars settlement. The exhibit will also include a mars
base diorama, created by noted space modeler Kevin Atkins, and
include interactive exhibits, such as one offering visitors the
opportunity to attempt mechanical assembly while wearing simulated
spacesuit gloves. As a special attraction, for an hour once a day the
communication center in the exhibit tent will give visitors the
opportunity to communicate with the Mars explorers who will be
operating out of the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon
Island this summer. All communication will include time delays
precisely matching that which would be involved in radio
transmissions to Mars' current position. Mars Society member
volunteers and personnel from the sponsoring unions will staff the

The Mars Society exhibit will run from July 1st through the Labor Day
weekend. The Kennedy Space Center visitor's complex is open from
9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day. In addition to the Mars Society
exhibit, the center provides a fascinating tour of rocket and space
related history. The visitor's center receives up to 12,000 visitors
per day, so we are thrilled to be a part of this exciting venue.

For more information on the MDRS. exhibit, contact
To become a sponsor of the Mars Desert Research Station, contact Dr.
Robert Zubrin, The Mars Society Inc., P.O. Box 273, Indian Hills, CO

Construction of the MDRS. has been sponsored by the Mars Society, the
International Pipe fitters Union and the Musk Foundation. The Mars
Society. is proud to welcome its newest sponsor, the Sheet Metal
Worker's International Association. .


The Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) has become
the newest major sponsor of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research
Station. Founded in 1888, the SMWIA has about 160,000 members.
Together with the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA)
the SMWIA sponsorship brings to over half a million the number of
skilled union men and women represented in the Mars Desert Research
Station project.

SMWIA president Michael Sullivan and General Secretary Treasurer
A.T. "Ted" Zlotopolski explain their mission thus: "From tinsmiths to
high tech specialists, sheet metal workers have plied their skills
long before our founding members organized this union on January 25,
1888 in Toledo, Ohio. We have established and improved our reputation
for skilled work that benefits society in the places where people
work, live, play, and pray. We reach for new avenues in our constant
pursuit for a better quality of life for all working persons."

Commenting on the SMWIA sponsorship, Mars Society president Robert
Zubrin said; "In the aerospace industry, when a project moves from
concept to reality, we say it has moved to the stage of `cutting
metal.' Well, the sheet metal workers are the people who actually cut
the metal. Together with other skilled working men and women like the
plumbers and pipefitters, they are the people who make dreams real.
We are delighted to have them on our team."

For more information about the sponsorship from the SMWIA contact Ted
Kuczynski, For information from the
Mars Society, contact


 The Mars Society, continuing its unprecedented, widespread effort to
involve everyone in the future of Mars exploration, announced June 15
that it will continue to fund three teams for their efforts to
develop Mars analog rovers. All three teams will have a working
model of their vehicle ready for this fall's research season, some at
the Mars Desert Research Station in the American Southwest.

A rover analog is designed to look like a rover which could function
on the Mars surface, without the high cost of complete fidelity.
Analogs allow research into the mechanics of operations such as
suiting up, traversing distances with someone outside, storing 1 week
of supplies for two people, and coordinating long distance explorers
with those at a Mars base.

The contest started last year in an effort to jump-start research
into mobility on the Red Planet. Teams presented their design at the
Mars Society conference in August. Three teams, Michigan, Toronto,
and Australia were selected to receive funds (US$5,000) to start work
on their rover. Now, at the halfway point, The Society is convinced
that their progress warrants additional funding.

The Michigan Team is building a living space that they will mount on
a surplus military vehicle. They are partnered with many industries
in their industrial state, and have minimized the out-of-pocket cost
for development. This fabrication will serves as a prototype for
another rover they will build in the coming year. The larger rover
will be built on a custom frame, drive train, and suspension system.

Across the border, in Toronto, a partnership of schools is working on
their rover. Placed on frame of a moving van, and integrated into
the cab, their vehicle relies on simplicity of design and
availability of parts for their vehicle in case of trouble in the

Across the ocean, the Australian team incorporated their rover into
the Operation Red Centre project countrywide. They procured a four
wheel drive van, and are stripping it down to its frame. Next,
they'll place a new shell on it, giving it all the amenities of home,
although smaller.

The North American teams plan to have their rovers on display at the
Mars Society convention at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA from
Aug 23-26. More information is available from Tom Hill, project
manager ( or


 Mars – Living Planet, the first symposium organized by the Dutch
chapter of the Mars Society, was a tremendous success. Around 150
people gathered in the Auditorium of Delft University of Technology
on June 2nd 2001. Visitors came from all over the country and also
from Belgium and from as far as Poland. Erwin Kroll, the Dutch
National weatherman, started the series of lectures with a Martian
weather report. Mauro Messerotti gave a further introduction to the
Red Planet, by means of his animations and stills. The highlight of
his talk was a movie previously shown on Italian television, which
was accompanied by music generated by the conversion of the used
digital Elevation Models. Messerotti also offered a peek in the
kitchen by simulating a session rendering a three dimensional view of
the Mars surface with VistaPro software and Viking data. Other
renderings done by Kees Veenenbos, with Terragen and Global Surveyor
data, were shown during breaks.

John Karemaker, researcher at the University of Amsterdam, gave an in-
depth and somewhat disquieting account of all hazards long distance
Space travelers are confronted with: by zero-gravity health effects.
The only real solution, it seems, is in creating artificial gravity,
like the tether-system proposed in the Mars Direct plan.

After lunch, attention focused on the European efforts to study
Mars. Don McCoy, responsible for the assembly, integration and
verification of Mars Express, Europe's first interplanetary probe,
spoke about the general objectives of the project and the techniques
used to achieve them. The ESA-spacecraft, scheduled for launch on
June 1st 2003, has a wide variety of instruments on board, such as a
High Resolution Stereo Camera, an Infrared and Visible Spectrometer
and a Sub-surface Sounding Radar/Altimeter. Mars Express also
carries a British lander, the four leaf clover-shaped Beagle 2, that
should touch down in Isidis Planitia to look for signs of water and
life. Con McCarthy, principal system engineer for the Beagle 2, spoke
about the experiments to be carried out on board that little
spacecraft. The most noticeable instrument aboard the Beagle 2 is a
mole, designed to take samples from nearby rocks. The third ESA-
speaker, Didier Schmitt, head of the organization's Life Sciences
Unit, talked about the European plans for planetary research beyond
2003. Those ideas, though still in a schematic phase, are quite
ambitious and include a sample return mission and even research in
preparation for a manned mission to Mars.

Following the ESA speakers, Robert Zubrin presented Mars Direct, his
proposal for a cost-effective manned Mars mission. Chris McKay,
working at NASA Ames Research Center, then talked about "Life on
Mars – past and future". According to McKay, there's strong evidence
that Mars once was a warm and wet planet, much like Earth in its
early days. Life, either related to terrestrial life forms or
representing a true "second genesis" may have flourished there.
Research in the Antarctic and other cold and dry locations on Earth
may provide clues to how that life might have survived the change in
Martian climate. A question of equal importance is whether it might
be possible to restore habitable conditions on the Planet. The whole
series of lectures took more than one hour longer than foreseen but
the attention of the audience never wavered. "Mission control", the
symposium taskforce of the Dutch chapter, looks back at a very
inspiring event, after which organizing the 2002 European Mars
Society Convention definitely looks feasible.

The symposium caused a wave of attention for Mars in both old and new
media. John Karemaker, one of the speakers, was interviewed in
NCRV's "Plein Publiek" on radio AM 747 and Mars Society Netherlands
board member Artemis Westenberg appeared in AVRO's "1 in de middag"
on radio 1. During the symposium-day most of the speakers were
interviewed by the Dutch World Service.

Among the major National and regional newspapers that paid attention
to the event were De Volkskrant, the Haagsche Courant and Het Parool.
The Haagse Courant borrowed our slogan "Voorwaarts Mars!" (on to
Mars) as a headline. Govert Schilling wrote an extensive article for
the front page of De Volkskrant's science section of June 2nd.
Schilling, who in the past often criticized human Space flight, this
time wrote an almost poetic review about Zubrin's and McKay's
dreams: "Mars will be a living Planet. A dream? Still. But you've got
to start somewhere."

Apart from websites specializing in Space flight and science, like
Astronet and Astronova, also major internet-portals like Planet
internet and World Online picked up the story of "Mars - Living
Planet"; the latter even published the complete Founding Declaration
of the Mars Society. Another new media that during the weeks before
the symposium attracted the attention of the public to the Red Planet
were the large master-screens in the Shopping Gutter, Rotterdam's
famous shopping Mall. More than a million shoppers were treated to
animation composed of renderings by Kees Veenenbos.


The ten most promising mission concepts of the 43 proposed to NASA
for possible launch to Mars in 2007 as part of the "Scout" program
were selected last week to receive funding for six months of
continued studies.

Included in the ten concepts selected for study are missions to
return samples of Martian atmospheric dust and gas, networks of small
landers, orbiting constellations of small craft, and a rover that
would attempt to establish absolute surface ages of rocks and soils.
NASA plans to evaluate the ten innovative concepts using rapid six-
month studies as a means for jump-starting the identification of new
Mars Scout missions that will compete for a possible launch in 2007.
The proposals were submitted to NASA's Mars Exploration Program in
the Office of Space Science in Washington, DC, in response to a call
for proposals in March 2001. Those selected will receive up to
$150,000 each for the study.

The Mars Scout program was originally proposed in 1998 by the Mars
Society, which at its Founding Convention resolved on a campaign to
create a "Mars Discovery" program, through which university-industry-
government teams with innovative concepts for low-cost Mars
exploration missions could propose them for funding through an open
competitive process. This open competition of ideas, the Mars Society
maintained, would lead to a much more dynamic and creative program
that one entirely run top-down by a central planning committee closed
to outside ideas. Starting in the Fall of 1998, Mars Society chapters
visiting with their congressmen in local district offices brought the
call for a Mars Discovery program to numerous lawmakers. At a
workshop held in Washington DC in March 2000, Mars Society leaders
succeeded in making the establishment of such a competitive "Mars
Discovery" program the workshop's leading recommendation, and shortly
afterwards, the recommendation was published in Space News in the
form of an op-ed by Mars Society president Robert Zubrin. In the
summer of 2000, the idea was embraced by NASA and publicly announced
as part of the new Mars program by then program manager Scott Hubbard
in October 2000.

Commenting on the selection, Mars Society president Robert Zubrin
said "These mission concepts are illustrative of the wealth of
powerful creative ideas that abound throughout the Mars exploration
community. It is a shame that funding constraints will prevent the
execution of more than a couple of them. The Mars Scout program needs
to be doubled."

The selected mission concepts, and the Principal Investigators, are:
* SCIM (Sample Collection for Investigation of Mars): Professor
Laurie Leshin, Arizona State University, Tempe. This innovative
mission would sample atmospheric dust and gas using aerogel and use
a "free-return trajectory" to bring the samples back to Earth.
* KittyHawk: Professor Wendy Calvin, University of Nevada- Reno. A
mission involving three gliders would explore the composition and
stratigraphy of the walls of Valles Marineris in ways not possible
for orbiters and landers.
* Urey: Dr. Jeff Plescia, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ. A
surface rover would allow the absolute ages of geological materials
to be remotely determined for the first time on any planet.
* MACO (Mars Atmospheric Constellation Observatory): Professor Robert
Kursinski, University of Arizona, Tucson. A network of micro-
satellites as a constellation around Mars would characterize the 3-D
structure of the atmosphere, giving a new look at Martian
* Artemis: Professor David Paige, University of California, Los
Angeles. Three small landers and micro-rovers on the Martian surface,
with two directed to the polar regions, would explore the surface and
shallow subsurface for water, organic materials and climate.
* MEO (Mars Environmental Observer): Dr. M. Janssen, NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA. This science orbiter would
intensively explore the role of water, dust, ice and other materials
within the Martian atmosphere to understand parts of the hydrologic
* Pascal: Dr. Rob Haberle, NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett
Field, CA. A network of 24 weather stations on the Martian surface
would provide more than two years of continuous monitoring of
humidity, pressure and temperature and other measurements.
* Mars Scout Radar: Dr. Bruce Campbell, Smithsonian Institution's
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC. An orbiter mission
would use Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging to map the surface
geomorphology and very shallow subsurface (three to five meters
deep), to detect buried water channels and other features.
* The Naiades: Dr. Bob Grimm, Blackhawk GeoServices, Golden, CO. Four
landers will explore for subsurface liquid water using a novel low-
frequency sounding method.
* CryoScout: Dr. Frank Carsey, JPL. This mission, designed to use
heated water jets to descend through Martian polar ice caps, could
potentially probe to depths of tens to hundreds of meters while
measuring composition and searching for organic compounds.

A special symposium on plans for Scout missions will be held at the
Mars Society Convention at Stanford University, August 23-26, 2001.


The winners of the 2001 Hakluyt prize for the best letter written by
students to world leaders advocating a humans-to-Mars initiative have
been announced.

First place goes to Bridget Gallaway of Portland, Oregon. Bridget
just graduated from high school and will be attending college in
Texas next fall. Bridget wrote to the heads of state of 26
countries, to Pope John Paul II, and to all the members of the
Science committees of the US House and Senate about the need to
inspire the human spirit with the dream of a Martian civilization.
As Bridget put it to the world's elites;

"I am an 18-year old college student and I am writing to you because
I need your help with a goal to which I am dedicating the rest of my
life. It is an endeavor that will catapult the human race into an era
of discovery, excitement, and achievement – a manned mission to Mars…

"Mars is the new frontier, with the potential to reawaken human
hopes, dreams, and opportunities. The exploration of our solar system
can tell us much about who we are, where we come from, and the
innumerable possibilities of where we might go….

"It is part of the human psyche to learn, explore, create a better
life… and to survive... It is only through the colonization of Mars
that these needs will be fulfilled. I cannot imagine anything more
noble than helping to insure the survival of the human race.

"I firmly believe that the development of Mars and beyond will be the
greatest undertaking in human history. I am excited about my own
personal involvement. However, one more aerospace engineer will not
take us to Mars. I sincerely hope that you will join me and others in
this quest. Please be an advocate for future generations by leading
your nation in joining this effort.

"Our world is old and tired. The human spirit is stagnating under the
burden of existence without direction. But within each of us is the
ancient spirit that drove us to tame the natural elements, conquer
the seven seas, and settle every continent. That same spirit will,
with your help, take us to the stars."

Bridget will be given an all-expenses paid trip to the Mars Society
convention in August where she will present her letter at the annual
Mars Society banquet. She will also be given a top quality Bushnell

Second place winner was fifteen-year-old Steve Melnyk of Winnipeg,
Canada. Steve, who wrote to members of the Canadian and United
States government, emphasized the historical importance of
exploration. Third place is awarded to John Hills of West Yorkshire,
United Kingdom. John wrote to heads of state, focusing on
underdeveloped countries, with an emphasis on the benefits of an
international effort to colonize Mars. Steve and John will each
receive a great Bushnell telescope.

Bushnell binoculars will go to our fourth and fifth place winners,
Matthew Simonson, Washington D.C. and Denise Murphy, Canada. Runners-
up Chris Guerin, Channel Islands, UK, Tanya Harrison, Washington
State, and Yohan Carlyle Denzil Ferreira, Sri Lanka, will receive
Mars Society memberships/renewal and prizes.

The Hakluyt prize is named after Richard Hakluyt, the tireless
pamphleteer whose writings convinced Queen Elizabeth I and the circle
around her to take the policy decisions that led to the British
settlement of North America. Previous first place winners of the
contest were Adrian Hon, of Liverpool England (1998), Katie Harris,
of Georgetown Ontario (1999), and Felix Dance, of Melbourne,
Australia (2000).

Thanks to all of the young people who participated in this year's
letter writing campaign.

Bridget Galway can be reached at


Conference Registration Fees to Increase July 1st.

The deadline for reduced registration is fast approaching. After
June 30th, full registration fee, including membership, increases
from $180 to $240. You can register quickly and securely with your
Visa/MC, Discover or American Express card through our website -

Dormitory Rooms

Dormitory registration will close July 31st. At this point there are
fewer than 30 double beds remaining. If you have reserved a double
bed and wish to specify your roommate, write to The
floors in the Stanford dorms are segregated by gender, so couples
will not be able to share a double room. There are still plenty of
single rooms available. Check in for the dorm room is Wednesday,
August 22 after six p.m. and check out is Sunday by noon. A $75
refundable key deposit will be required at check in.

Vendors and Displays

We are accepting reservations for Vendors and Displays at the
convention and have already reserved several tables. Space is very
limited this year. If you wish to set up a display, please contact so we can reserve your space. Remember, chapters and
task force groups are not charged to display at the conference.

Abstract Deadline Extended

In response to many requests, the deadline for submitting abstracts
for presentation at the convention has been extended to July 15th.
The range of sessions planned should provide opportunity for members
involved all sorts of areas to present their ideas. This year we
will have presentations from our rover teams, a youth seminar, a Mars
Scout mission session, a terraforming panel, the Mars Desert Research
Station and Denver Mission Control teams, an education track and much
more. Plenary speakers include the German Mars Balloon Mission team,
award winning science fiction authors Kim Stanley Robinson and Greg
Benford, former NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Mike
Griffin, Exobiologist Imre Freeman, Flashline Station crew members,
leaders of the JPL 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission team, the Mars
Society's "Green Team" Environmental Outreach group and many more.

At this time, over a hundred abstracts dealing with every aspect of
exploring and settling Mars – from science and technology to politics
and ethics- have been received. The convention promises to be another
intellectual feast. To present a paper yourself,
send your 300 word abstract to Notification of
acceptance will begin in early July. If you have special scheduling
needs, let us know as soon as possible.

Matching Donor Program at Convention

For the second year, board member Eric Tilenius will be matching
donations collected during the four days of the convention. Last
year, thanks to the generosity of Eric and the Mars Society members,
we raised over $75,000 during the conference. Those funds were used
to support the F.M.A.R.S. field research season this year, the
international analog rover teams, expanded outreach and educational
activities, improved administration, and the launching of the Mars
Desert Research Station project. So come to the convention and have
your donations doubled!

For further information, visit our website at
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