Searching for Life with the SpaceX Dragon, IceBreaker and BRINE

Red DragonThe Mars Society Australia and the Space Association of Australia would like to invite you to a public event at the Mail Exchange Hotel 688 Bourke Street, Melbourne at 7pm on Friday 24th June.  

SpaceX’s recent announcement that it intends to land a Falcon Heavy-launched Dragon 2 spacecraft on the surface of Mars opens up many possibilities for landing heavier payloads on the planet. At the same time, the US Congress directed NASA to search for life in the outer solar system.  Both of these developments indicate a paradigm shift in both the way and what NASA explores in the solar system.  In 2012 and 2013 NASA's Ames Research Center undertook a series of studies using Dragon on Mars, defining possible payloads, which included deep drills for astrobiology missions and Earth Return Rockets for Mars sample return. In 2015 Ames proposed the IceBreaker search for life mission to Mars for NASA's Discovery Program and now is currently working on a mission to Saturn's moon Enceladus.   

In this presentation, David Wilson will discuss the Mars Red Dragon studies, the Mars Icebreaker mission and the Enceladus BRINE mission, all related to the search for life.  

Find out more and register at the following URL -

All are welcome to meet with members for a joint dinner at 6pm beforehand.  


Speaker Bio: 

David Willson has been involved with Mars Society Australia since 2003 and has been vice president since 2012. He has been extensively involved with research at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah and has been part in Spaceward Bound Expeditions to the Pilbara, central Australia, and New Zealand. David has worked at NASA Ames Research Center since 2010 on a range of projects including Icebreaker, Red Dragon and, most recently, Enceladus mission concepts.  Prior to then he worked as a project engineer with the Hobart-based firm SEMF.