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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MARS-OZ Subsystem Research & Development Project

The MARS-OZ research and development project involved the design of a series of subsystems which are to be incorporated into the design of the proposed Mars mission crew habitat simulation module. These systems must facilitate the well being of the crew and provide an environment that supports the safe and efficient performance of tasks. It was the goal of this project to address the identified design deficiencies using an integrated systems approach. The study was undertaken by students at the Australian National University under the leadership of James Everdell in collaboration with the Mars Society Australia.

Read the full report here.
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MSA Member Steve Hobbs Launches Space Art Gallery

MSA member Steve Hobbs is a noted photographer and space artist whose work has been used by NASA, the National Geographic Channel, Science Magazine, Design Graphics and The New Sky & Space Magazine. His copyrighted artwork (including Mars art) may be viewed at and is available for purchase in poster form. Proceeds from art sales will be used to fund a small rover development project.
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First Paid Corporate Member for MSA

Mars Society Australia applauds its new corporate member, the Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

As a result of discussions between Ms Michele Clement, Acting General Manager, Innovation and Space Branch of the DIISR and MSA Board Members at the 11th Australian Mars Exploration Conference in Perth, the DIISR became our first paid up corporate member in August 2011. This is a major step forward for the Mars Society Australia which follows on from our Spaceward Bound Australia joint venture with NASA Ames Research Centre, our association with the Institute for Bio-Medical Problems, Moscow and the International Mars Society members. Our first Corporate member was an honorary one for the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary in South Australia, however it is expected that the DIISR will become a more active member of the MSA through its financial commitment as a Corporate member.
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12th Australian Mars Exploration Conference in Canberra

The 12th Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC) will be held in Canberra in 2012. While the venue and dates are to be confirmed, however expected to be at ANU in early November. Dr Jonathon Clarke and his team will be running this event, and welcome any assistance. Further details to follow.
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AMEC2011 an Outstanding Success

The 11th Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC2011) was held in Perth, Western Australia over the weekend of 22nd-24th July. It included a series of talks by internationally renowned Mars researchers including Dr Chris McKay & Dr Carol Stoker (NASA Ames) and Dr Vadim Gushin (Institute of Biomedical Problems, Russia). View the program here. The conference was an overwhelming success and the organisers wish to thank all those who attended and contributed.
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