AMEC2012 Conference Program Released - REGISTER NOW!!!

The 12th Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC2012) will be held in Canberra this coming weekend and is an opportunity for researchers and space enthusiasts to meet and discuss some of the latest Mars releated research.  A draft program has been released and may be downloaded from the AMEC2012 Homepage.  Themes that will be touched upon in presentations include robotic missions to Mars, Martian geology, space policy and Mars in education.  Registration is available for single days as well as both Saturday and Sunday, and includes lunch.  The conference will open with a public lecture by Professor Ross Taylor on the evening of Friday 14th September titled 'Are We Along?'.   REGISTER NOW!!!

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AMEC2012 Speakers Announced

A preliminary list of speakers and abstracts for AMEC2012 has now been released, and consists of local and international presenters. 

They include Dr Duncan Steel, Dr Jonathan Clarke, Dr Colin Paine, Mr David Willson, Mr Mike Bodnar, Ms Kellie Orr, Ms Haritina Mogosanu, Mr Guy Murphy, Mrs Steve Hobbs, Ms Annalea Beattie, Mr Shaun Moss and Mr Mark Gargano.  Themes addressed include present and future Mars robotic missions, Mars analogue research, Mars in popular culture and Mars in education.  Further speakers will be added to this list shortly. 

Read more including presentation abstracts on the AMEC homepage.

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Professor Ross Taylor to Deliver First David Cooper Memorial Lecture

The Mars Society Australia is delighted to announce Professor Ross Taylor will deliver the first David Cooper Memorial Lecture on 14th September.  His lecture will be titled 'Are We Alone?'.  This event will be held at the Woden Southern Cross Club at 7pm, and will open the 12th Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC2012) to be held over the weekend of 14th-16th September.  Entry will be $5. Download a lecture flyer.

The David Cooper Memorial Lecture series has been established in memory of David Cooper, co-founder and President of the Mars Society Australia, who sadly passed away in July of this year.


Presentation Summary - Is There Anyone Out There?

Now that thousands of planets outside our solar system have been discovered, it is often supposed that there must be other inhabited worlds out there whose inhabitants are much more advanced than we are. This  question has been around for at least 2500 years. Are we now closer to an...

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NASA's Curiosity Rover Successfully Lands on Mars

The Mars Science Laboratory Rover 'Curiosity' has successfully landed on Mars after a grueling 7 minute descent involving a 'Skycrane' landing system which had never been tried before on a space mission.  Curiosity is the largest robotic rover ever to be sent on a planetary mission, and has the largest scientific payload by mass.  It sent back the first surface images (including the one shown at right) soon after touchdown.  Curiosity will spend the first few days testing systems and surveying the surrounding terrain, before commencing its journey across the surface. 

Read more at Mars Science Laboratory Mission Homepage. 

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MEDIA RELEASE - Countdown Begins for Curiosity Landing

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At 3:31 pm, Eastern Australian Standard Time on August the 6th, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will arrive on the Martian surface.  This mission delivers Curiosity, the largest and most complex rover ever to land on Mars or any other planetary body in the solar system.  The mission is the result of almost a decade’s effort by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and their partners in Spain, Finland, and Russia. 

According to David Willson, a Mars Society Australia director and engineer working at NASA Ames, “whether it succeeds or fails, this mission will have an impact on the NASA Mars exploration program for years to come.”  

The landing site for MSL is Gale Crater, a large and ancient...

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VALE David Cooper 1945-2012

The Mars Society Australia is immensely saddened to announce the passing of MSA President David Cooper last night in Western Australia. David brought great committment and energy to MSA and contributed enormously in leadership and vision. He was the first Mars Society member in Australia and was instrumental in setting the Australian Society and the WA branch. He was always a member of the MSA board and was actively involved in both the high level direction and involvement in specific projects. These included fund raising, AMEC conferences, the Marsupial rover, and Spaceward Bound expeditions in conjunction with NASA Ames Research Center. David will be greatly missed.  

We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Maureen, the rest of his family and friends.  Messages of condolence may be forwarded to the Cooper...

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MSA Congratulates the SpaceX Team on a successful first mission to the ISS

In an email to SpaceX entrepreneur, Mr Elon Musk, today, the MSA President David Cooper expressed, on behalf of our members, the congratulation and admiration of the efforts on the SpaceX team’s first and successful cargo flight to the International Space Station. David's email is reproduced in fiull as follows.


1st June 2012

Mr Elon Musk


Dear Sir,

Please accept the congratulations and admiration of our members on the success of your teams effort in supplying the ISS with the first commercial supply flight.

 We see this as a major step forward in the establishment of humans as a space faring species for the betterment of all humankind.

Your personal efforts shows the world what can be done by...

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KiwiMars 2012 Mission Enters 2nd Week

The KiwiMars 2012 Mission has entered its second week, and is producing an impressive list of accomplishments.  Visit the Mission Support website to read daily schedules and reports.  You can also send messages to crew members using a Facebook messageboard at that site.  (Melbourne expeditioners Don Stewart and Annalea Beattie are pictured below.)   View the full article to see an expedition image gallery.

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KiwiMars 2012 Mission Commences

Mars Society members from Australia and New Zealand have arrived in Utah for the first ever fully Australasian crew at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS).  The crew comprises Commander Haritina Mogosanu, Mike Bodnar, Ali Harley, Bruce Ngataierua (all from New Zealand), and Annalea Beattie and Don Stewart (from Melbourne, Australia).  The mission will run for 2 weeks from April 21st to 5th May, 2012.  

Read more about the mission on the KiwiSpace website

Read more about the Mars Desert Research Station here

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Kiwi Mars

Six crew-members will be heading deep into the Utah desert in April/May 2012, to undertake a 2-week mission of exploration and research at the Mars Desert Research Station. Follow them as they train and undertake this exciting project. 

Two MSA members will be part of this expedition, building trans Tasman relations on the road to Mars 

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