Press Release

Mars Society Special Bulletin #43 – 31 May 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
May 31, 2001
Filed under , ,

Mars Society Special Bulletin #43

May 31, 2001


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In this issue:

** Mars Society Expands Board of Directors

** MIT Mars Society Videocast Links US and French Universities

** The Saga of Flashline MARS in Scientific American

** Deadline Nears for Abstract Submissions to Mars Society Convention


** Mars Society Expands Board of Directors

Two successful entrepreneurs from the environs of Silicon Valley,
Elon Musk and Eric Tilenius, have been elected to the Mars Society
Board of Directors.

Elon Musk is founder of Zip2, which provides internet enterprise
software for media companies, and founder and largest shareholder of
PayPal, formerly known as PayPal, with over eight million
customers, is the world’s leading internet financial services company
and was recently named one of the "Top 25 New Companies" by Fortune
Small Business, and one of the "50 Most Important Private Companies
in the World" by Red Herring magazine.

Within the Valley community, Elon is known for his vision, drive, and
keen ability to transform ideas into successful ventures. "The Mars
Society has a simple, direct mandate as powerful as John F. Kennedy’s
quest to reach the Moon — that is permanent human settlement of
Mars," he notes, "I am proud to join the board of the Mars Society in
pursuit of that goal." In addition to joining the board, Elon has
contributed $100,000 to the Mars Society’s Desert Research Station,
which is currently in the final stages of fabrication and slated for
deployment in the American Southwest later this year.

Eric Tilenius has a strong track record as a high tech manager,
coupled with passion and experience in the space arena.
Professionally, Eric has served as CEO of enterprise software
start-up Atomica Corporation, was an entrepreneur-in-residence with
venture capital firm Mayfield, co-founded and was CEO then Chairman
of Netcentives Inc., and has held leadership positions with Oracle
Corporation, Intuit Inc., and Bain & Company.

Eric is also well-known within the space activist community for the
energy and intelligence he has poured into the quest for space
exploration and development. A past board member of the National
Space Society, Eric has been active in the Mars Society since its
inception. An International Space University graduate, Eric also
holds an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business,
where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, and a BA in Economics, summa
cum laude, from Princeton University.

"The Mars Society has grown from just an idea into a real force for
Mars research and public outreach in just three short years," Eric
says. "I hope my efforts will strengthen the society as an
organization and help launch humans on our next great adventure. I’m
happy to be aboard."

Robert Zubrin, Mars Society president, says of the new board members,
"The Society couldn’t be more fortunate, and I couldn’t be more
happier, than to welcome Elon and Eric to the Board of Directors.
They’ll bring new energy and vision to the Society that, I’m sure,
will be demonstrated in the near future."


** MIT Mars Society Videocast Links US and French Universities

On May 15, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mars Society
chapter hosted a videocast "From Earth to Mars." The program was
broadcast to MIT students and to students at five French
Universities: …cole des Mines de Paris, …cole Nationale
SupÈrieure de MÈcanique et D’aÈrotechnique, SupÈlec,
…cole Nationale SupÈrieure de l’AÈronautique et de l’Espace,
and …cole Centrale de Paris. Taking part in the program were
Ken Jewett, a Jet Propulsion Lab/NASA engineer; Dava J. Newman,
associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT; and
Leopold Eyharts, a French astronaut who once spent several weeks on
Mir, the Russian space station.

Jewett addressed the complexities of designing robotic rovers for the
Martian surface, touching on his efforts to design a prototype rover
the 2007 Mars mission opportunity. Newman, who is also a Harvard-MIT
Health Sciences and Technology MacVicar Faculty Fellow, spoke to the
issue of humans on Mazrs. She envisions astronauts wearing a
lightweight, mobile "biosuit" filled with biosensors that would
give NASA staff back on Earth a constant reading of the astronauts’
vital signs while providing mechanical counterpressure to offset the
lack of atmospheric pressure. Eyharts rounded out the conference,
offering his perspectives on the challenges of a Mars mission as
viewed by an astronaut.


**The Saga of Flashline MARS in Scientific American

The construction of the Society’s Flashline Mars Arctic Research
Station is a tale of setbacks and triumphs played out in the
otherworldly environs of the high Arctic’s Devon Island. The June
2001 issue of Scientific American delivers an engrossing account of
the story in an article penned by Robert Zubrin, "North to Mars." The
article details the efforts of Mars Society volunteers and
scientists, Inuit youth hired on for the job, and a few grumbling
journalists to erect the station after crucial Hab components and
construction materials were lost to a failed airdrop. Stirring stuff,
to be sure, and great exposure for the research efforts of the Mars


**Deadline Nears for Abstract Submissions to Mars Society Convention

Abstracts for papers to be presented at the 4th International Mars
Society Convention are due June 15. Presentations for the convention
are invited dealing with all matters associated with the exploration
and settlement of Mars(science, engineering, politics, economics,
public policy, etc.). Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be
sent to:

The Mars Society

P.O. Box 273

Indian Hills 80454

Abstracts may also be submitted via e-mail to (e-mail
submission preferred).

This year’s convention will be held at Stanford University, Stanford,
California, from August 23rd through the 26th. Special regular
registration rates of $180 are available until June 30. For
information on registration, campus housing during the convention,
and additional conference details, please visit

Secure registration for the convention is available online at:

SpaceRef staff editor.