News

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...

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MSA President Dr Jon Clarke Joining 80 Day MDRS & Flashline Missions

The Mars Society (US) is pleased to announce a new mission, Mars 160, using both of the organization’s analog research stations. This program will involve the same seven person crew doing similar science operations for the same period of time – 80 days – initially at the ...

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Mars Society Announces International Gemini Mars Design Competition

Students to propose design concepts mission to open the path to the Red Planet

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Introduction
The U.S. human spaceflight program is currently adrift. It needs a goal, and that goal should be sending explorers to Mars in our time. In order to help provide such direction and get a real humans to Mars program underway, the Mars Society is launching an international student engineering  contest to design the Gemini Mars mission, creating a plan for a two-person Mars flyby that could be placed on the desk of the President-elect in late 2016 and be completed by the end of his or her second term.

The Gemini Mars...

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2015 David Cooper Memorial Lecture

Professor Malcolm Walter will deliver this year's David Cooper Memorial lecture as part of the Australian Space Research Conference.  The lecture will be held at 7pm at the Australian National University at 7pm.  For further details including how to book a free ticket, click here.  Download a lecture flyer (pdf).  The title and abstract for the talk are as follows.

 

THERE IS LIFE ON MARS… PROBABLY

Professor Malcolm Walter

Australian Centre for Astrobiology, UNSW

It is difficult to imagine any greater goal for science than searching for life beyond Earth. Everything we know about life is based on a sample of one: life on Earth. We can only imagine the consequences of discovering life elsewhere, provided it had a separate origin. That, ultimately, is why we are exploring Mars.

As recently as the 1950’s it was thought by serious scientists that there could be advanced forms of life on Mars – not little...

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15th Australian Space Research Conference Opens Next Week

The 15th Australian Space Research Conference (ASRC) commences in Canberra on Tuesday 29th September.  The ASRC is intended to be the primary annual meeting for Australian research relating to space research. The ASRC is jointly sponsored and organised by the National Space Society of Australia (NSSA) and the National Committee for Space and Radio Science (NCSRS) - formerly the National Committee for Space Science (NCSS). The Mars Society Australia will be running sessions on Mars topics on Wednesday 30th Septmber. The conference schedule includes a banquet on the evening of Wednesday 30th, and the David Cooper Memorial Lecture on the evening of Thursday 1st October.

To find out more and to register, visit the ASRC homepage.  See you there!

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Spaceward Bound India 2016 Website Launched

NASA Spaceward Bound, a NASA Ames initiative is an opportunity for astrogeologists and astrobiologists to work with students in remote, off Earth analogous environments to conduct field experiments and engage in scientific discussions with participating students and science educators. As a first, scientists from NASA's astrobiology community are teaming up with their counterparts in Australia and India to visit Ladakh, India in August 2016 to conduct experiments in a range of research areas. Ladakh is a cold, high altitude (3000-6000m asl) desert environment that offers permafrost regions, saline and palaeolakes, hot springs that have shown to harbor microbial communities. It is also a young and active geological region that exhibits topological processes which hold clues about Martian terrain history. Interested researchers can contact the team with ideas/suggestions towards planned experiments at  ...
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Free Public Lecture - Was Mars Ever Alive?

The Mars Society Australia invites you to a free public lecture 'Was Mars Ever Alive?' by Assoc. Prof. Victor Gostin, M.Sc. (Melb), PhD (ANU), University of Adelaide. 

Where:  Nova Systems, 27-31 London Road, Mile End South, South Australia, 5031.

Abstract: Exciting discoveries are continually being made on our sister planet, Mars. NASA's rovers plus orbiting satellites have revealed many, often unexpected features, including lava tunnels. Bright ice exists only a few cm below the surface.  Martian river networks formed under semiarid climates, when floods alternated with long dry spells. The newly arrived Curiosity is already increasing our understanding of Martian long history.

Bio: Victor Gostin is a retired Associate Professor in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Adelaide. Victor lectured in earth sciences at Adelaide University from 1970 to 2001...

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An Evening with Buzz Aldrin

Live on Stage Australia presents an evening with Buzz Aldrin 'Mission to Mars'. Join legendary Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin on a journey through space history and into the future from mans first Moon landing and his historic walk on another world to his revolutionary vision for a future manned mission to Mars.  Hosted by Ray Martin, this event will be held in the Sydney State Theatre on 27 November and Melbourne Town Hall on 29 November, 2015.  Tickets are available from Ticketmaster. 

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Spaceward Bound India

The Next Spaceward Bound Project shall take place in Ladakh, India. This project is being jointly coordinated by a few Mars Society Australia members along with researchers at UNSW, NASA Ames, JPL and partner institutions in India.

The Spaceward Bound Program is an educational program developed at NASA Ames Research Center. This brings astrobiologists, scientists and students together to a remote, extreme environment to explore and understand how microbial communities sustain themselves in such biospheres. Earlier expeditions have been to Mohave Desert, Idaho, North Dakota, Australia, New Zealand, Polar regions. For the 2016 edition, we have decided to visit Ladakh, India.

Why Ladakh?
Ladakh offers a cold, high altitude (3500m-5500m above sea level), high UV exposed, dry ecosystem with Mars analogue topological features that tell us heaps about the origin and evolution of our planet's topological features and also about how microbial life has adapted...

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