News

Spaceward Bound: Reports from the Pilbara

Spaceward Bound Australia is on. An intrepid crew of 23 expeditioners have left Perth and been travelling ever north to investigate aspects of life on early Earth. The scientists from the NASA Ames Research Center, various universities and research institutes are anticipating expanding our knowledge and understanding of dawn of life on Earth and our solar system. From what is learnt here, can be applied to potential sites on Mars and perhaps provide an answer for the question, Are we alone in the solar system?

Read the daily reports:-
     Days 1-3
     Days 4-5
     Day 7
    ...

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Seeking Mars in Perth and the Pilbara

2011 is notable for a number of significant events relating to the exploration of Mars - three new robotic Mars missions and a major human Mars mission simulation. In this eventful year Mars Society Australia (MSA) announces two Mars-related events to the Australian media, the Spaceward Bound Australia 2011 Pilbara Expedition (SBA 2011, July 10-21), and the 2011 Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC) in Perth (July 23-24). The SBA 2011 Expedition is a joint initiative of the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) and MSA.

Read the full media release.
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Dr Vadim Gushin & Dr Chris McKay Keynote Speakers at AMEC2011

This year's Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC2011) will be held on the 23rd-24th of July at the University of Western Australia. MSA is very pleased to announce that the keynote speakers will be Dr Vadim Gushin & Dr Chris McKay.

Dr Vadim Gushin - Lead Researcher, Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Ministry of Health, Moscow, Russia - Dr Gushin is the Principal Investigator of the MARS 500 experiment being held by the European Space Agency and the Russian Space Agency to study the factors of long duration Human space flight to Mars and return. Dr Gushin will dicuss the findings from the intitial 125 day mission and the 520 day mission.



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Aussies Join MDRS Crew 104

MSA Directors David Willson and Dr Jonathan Clarke are currently participating in the 104th Crew rotation at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah. The seven person crew comprises Dr Carol Stoker (mission leader), Dr Jonathan Clarke, David Willson, Jhony Zavaleta, Sarah Thompson, Luisa Rodrigues and Julio Valdiva Silva. Crew 104's objectives are to test an automated drilling system, and a manually operated "backpackable" drill system, using them to collect scientific drill cores in the context of a human exploration mission scenario, and to extend and infill geological and biological data collected during crews 83 and 92 to MDRS last season.

Read more including daily mission reports here.

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MSA Calls upon Australian Youth for Inspiration

In the lead up to the NASA Spaceward Bound expedition to the Pilbara (10th-21st of July) and the Australian Mars Exploration Conference (23rd & 24th of July), Mars Society Australia is calling upon Australian students for their creativity and scientific expertise. A range of competitions for all ages of students from all states are now available. So if you have a flair for space exploration, inspirational thoughts about Mars base designs, ideas about future off-world colonies, concepts for sustainable energy management or simply how can we survive a future long-term space mission-then here is your chance. For further details about these competitions including entry guidelines and closing dates, click here to download an information sheet about the Mars base and expedition patch competitions and...
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MSA Invites Teachers to Attend Spaceward Bound Australia’s 2011 Pilbara Expedition

The Mars Society Australia offers Science teachers and graduate students an opportunity to join with NASA and MSA scientists on a field expedition to the Pilbara. Running between the 8th and 24th of July 2011, (during school holidays) it will involve participants examining fossil sites recording the early emergence of life of Earth, and also areas of tourist interest for the “Dawn Of Life Trail” near Marble Bar. Participants will also take part in the 11th Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC2011) at the University of Western Australia at the end of the expedition. The cost per person will be between $1800 and $2200, includes camping equipment, fully catered expedition and transport from the start to the end of the expedition. These costs also include the registration fee for AMEC2011. Full details of these items will be available by end of May. These activities may be used for professional learning renewal for their college or teacher registration with listing the 40 hours of...
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AMEC2011 Registrations and Call for Papers is Now Open

Presentations at the 11th Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC2011), a 2 day event from the 23rd to 24th July, at the University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, will cover comparisons of environments for the dawn of life on Earth and comparing with the possibility of life on the red Planet, Mars. Written submissions from teachers, scientists, engineers, social theorists, managers, writers and artists are welcomed. Full papers will be reviewed and published in accordance with the DEEWR guidelines. The theme for AMEC2011 is Environments for the Dawn of Life on Mars and Earth.

Find out more at the AMEC2011 homepage.
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Mars or Bust ... Well Mojave for Starters!

Dr Paula Mills has recently received an opportunity of a lifetime. Paula is the latest in a growing group of Australian Science Teachers who have been selected to attend a NASA Spaceward Bound expedition. She will be participating in this event in the Mojave Desert from the 17th to the 21st of April. Paula is currently the Science Curriculum Leader at Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, South Australia and brings over 10 years of secondary and tertiary science classroom experience, currently teaching Physics, Chemistry and Junior Science.

Read more here.
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Mars Discussions at the WA Science & Engineering Summer School

Two of our Board of Directors, Mark Gargano and Dr Graham Mann presented the key note session on Thursday 20th January to the 2011 WA Science & Engineering Summer School, an event hosted by the Science Faculties at Murdoch University in Western Australia.

Read more here.
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Australian Teacher Opportunity for Spaceward Bound Mojave 2011

If you are a Secondary School Teacher with an interest in earth, planetary and space science, then the Spaceward Bound Mojave 2011 expedition might be just the professional learning for you. NASA Spaceward Bound have once again extended this fantastic opportunity to Australian teachers and one lucky person in 2011 will gain an experience of a lifetime working with scientists, engineers and educators in the Mojave Desert.

Read more and...

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