Press Release

Mars Society Special Bulletin #36

By SpaceRef Editor
November 28, 2000
Filed under ,

Mars Society Special Bulletin #36

November 28, 2000

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For further information, see our website at
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In this Issue:

– Volunteers Needed for Flashline Crew: Hard Work, No Pay, Eternal Glory

– 4th International Mars Society Convention Slated for Stanford University

– Three Teams Selected for Rover Project

– Flashline Management Committee Meets at Ames

– This Christmas, Shop for Mars at the Mars Society Mall

– Contact Information


** Volunteers Needed for Flashline Crew: Hard Work, No Pay, Eternal Glory **

The Mars Society is requesting volunteers to participate as members
of the crew of the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station during an
extended simulation of human Mars exploration operations on Devon
Island during the summer of 2001. It is anticipated that the field
season will run from late June through late August; volunteers should
state during what segments of this span they are available. Both
volunteer investigators who bring a new proposed program of research
compatible with the objectives of Flashline Station, and volunteers
simply wishing to participate as crew members supporting ongoing
investigations will be considered. Applications will be considered from anyone in good physical
condition above 18 years of age without regard to race, creed, color,
gender, or nation. Scientific, engineering, practical mechanical,
first aid, wilderness, and literary skills are all considered a plus.
Dedication to the cause of human Mars exploration is an absolute
must, as conditions are likely to be tough and the job will be very
trying. Team spirit is essential. Those selected will be required to
participate in short (a few days) crew training exercises to take
place in the western United States during the spring of 2001, and to
act under crew discipline and strict mission protocols during the
field season on Devon Island. The Mars Society will pay travel and
related expenses during training and field deployment, but, aside
from potential student stipends, there will be no salary.
Applications including resume, character references, a brief letter
explaining why you wish to participate, and a summary of any proposed
research should be sent to Mars Society, PO Box 273, Indian Hills, CO
80454 no later than January 31, 2001. Total length of applications
should not exceed three pages. Please include seven copies of the
entire application in addition to the original. Submitted
will be reviewed by members of the Flashline Management Committee.
Applications will NOT be accepted by email.

If you have specific questions regarding this announcement please
direct them to the appropriate email address listed here;

General inquiries –

Media inquiries –


** 4th International Mars Society Convention Slated for Stanford University **

The Mars Society will hold the fourth annual convention at Stanford
University, in Stanford, California, August 23 – 26, 2001. Dr. Bruce
Lusignan, Mars Society steering committee member and Stanford
professor, will act as our sponsor on campus. Sam Burbank and the
Northern California chapter of the Mars Society have volunteered to
help coordinate the event.

As at Ryerson last year, we will be offering dormitory rooms at
Stanford this summer. There are limited hotel accommodations in the
area with relatively high prices, so we expect the dorm rooms to be
quite popular. Information on conference and dorm registration will
be posted on the website around the first of the year.

We are very excited about the Stanford venue and expect to attract
many interesting guests and speakers.

In 2001 we will be continuing the tradition of the Hakluyt contest.
This contest provides a trip to the conference for the winner and
wonderful Bushnell telescopes to finalists. Winners are chosen based
on the best letter sent to public figures advocating the exploration
of Mars. All entries should be sent to The Mars Society, P.O. Box
273, Indian Hills, CO 80454 or emailed to

In addition, we will again be sponsoring a contest for a poster for
the convention.

Over the last three years, it has been our pleasure to recognize
outstanding volunteers at the annual banquet. This year, we are
opening up the recognition process to a nominating procedure.
Nominations will be accepted from chapters or from individuals.
Nominations should include specifics about the outstanding efforts of
the member. Please email your nominations to


** Three Teams Selected for Rover Project **

The Mars Society has selected three teams to develop analog Mars
pressurized rovers to be used as part of our program of global Mars
analog operations research in polar and desert environments. The
three teams selected, out of an initial pool of 22 competitors, were
the Australian “Team Marsupial,” based out of the University of
Queensland, Brisbane; the Michigan Mars Rover Design Project, based
out of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and the ARES team
supported by allied groups at the University of Toronto and MIT. Each
of the teams selected included over fifty participants, with the
large majority consisting of undergraduate engineering students. The
MIT/Toronto team is led by Vesna Nikolic (, the
Australian team by Ben Cairns (, and the Michigan
team by Patrick Hunt (rover Those wishing to volunteer
their services in support of one of these projects should contact the
team leaders. The three teams took three different, but equally valid
approaches to developing an analog rover at low cost. Initial
versions of the rovers will be complete and ready for preliminary
field testing in either the American or Australian deserts as early
as the fall of 2001. The overall rover project is being managed for
the Mars Society by Tom Hill, Information on
the designs as they develop will be posted at the Mars Society


** Flashline Management Committee Meets at NASA AMES **

The Flashline Management Committee, in charge of developing plans for
the Mars Society’s Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station, met at
NASA Ames Research Center October 9. Chaired by FMC Chairman Chris
McKay, the meeting included FMC members Robert Zubrin, Pascal Lee,
Charles Cockell, Carol Stoker, Richard Wagner, and Marc Boucher, as
well as prominent Haughton Mars Project (HMP) members Bill Clancy and
Steve Braham. A series of important decisions were made at the
meeting, including;

— The Mars Society’s Flashline Station and the NASA HMP will be
conducted as a single unified program in 2001, centered on the Mars
mission simulation operations conducted out of Flashline Station.

— Pascal Lee will serve as Expedition Lead and Project Scientist for
the joint Mars Society/NASA project, reporting to NASA and the Mars

— The Flashline Station will be commanded for part of the summer by
Pascal Lee and part by Robert Zubrin.

— That an open call for volunteers would be put out to recruit
qualified Mars Society members into the crew of the station.

— That a preliminary expedition including Pascal Lee and Flashline
Program Manager Frank Schubert would be sent to the Arctic in April
to assess the condition of Flashline Station and preposition
Since Devon Island is snow-covered in April, the expedition will
reach the island on a Twin Otter equipped with skis.

— That a team led by Frank Schubert would be sent to Devon Island to
effect improvements in the habitat interior in advance of the planned
field season.

— The main expedition will take place in late June and continue
until late August, with the goal of implementing an eight week Mars
mission simulation.

— That the crew of the station would consist of a mix of people
staying a few weeks with some staying for the full duration


** This Christmas, Shop for Mars at the Mars Society Mall **

The Mars Society needs money to do such projects as the Flashline
Station and the development of analog Mars pressurized rovers. You
can help, a lot, without costing yourself a cent by doing your
Christmas shopping at the Mars Society Mall. All you need do is to go
to the Mars Society website at and click
on “Buy it at the Mars Society.” There you will see the Mars Society
mall: A listing of well known merchants selling everything from books
and software, to computers, cameras, tools, toys, games, clothing –
in fact almost everything. Then just click on the merchant who has
stuff you want, and buy the goods online in the usual way. It won’t
cost you anything extra, but five percent of the gross of your
purchase price will go to the Mars Society. That five percent can add
up to a lot, fast. If everyone reading this bulletin takes the
trouble to do their online shopping by clicking through the Mars
Society mall, we’ll have enough money to build our planned Mars
desert research station in the American southwest in no time.

Some new items including a special deal from Sky Publishing will be
added in the next week.

So remember. This Christmas, Shop for Mars!


** Contact Information **

For further information, see our website at
or contact

SpaceRef staff editor.