Mars Society & EU-INTERACT to Cooperate on Climate Research at FMARS in Canada

 

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (EU-INTERACT) to use the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island in northern Canada, approximately 900 miles from the North Pole, as one of the network’s field stations.

 

FMARS is a unique Mars analog research station established by the Mars Society in July 2000 to serve as a key element in support of various studies of technologies, strategies, architectural design and human factors involved in proposed human missions to the Red Planet.  As part of this, the Mars Society announced on Monday that it is initiating an effort to conduct a one-year simulated human Mars exploration mission at the FMARS facility.  

 

To lead this effort with EU-INTERACT, the Mars Society has set up a high-level climate research team consisting of Dr. Ghassem R. Asrar (World Climate Research Program/World Meteorological Organization), Dr. Chris McKay (NASA), Dr. Alexander Kumar (Concordia Station, Antarctica) and Dr. Bruno D.V. Marino (Planetary Emissions Management, Inc.). The team is currently discussing the feasibility of a climate program at FMARS and potential program design. 

 

“FMARS has always been a test bed for Mars analog studies.  It makes perfect sense to extend our program to terrestrial climate research, from which we may discover important clues as to the history not only of Earth’s climate, but that of Mars as well,” said Mars Society (Acting) Executive Director Susan Holden Martin.

 

[Latest News: Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin will speak publicly about the planning for the new FMARS program at the 32nd International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in San Diego, California on Saturday, May 25th at 10:00 a.m.]

 

For more details, please contact: 

Michael Stoltz
Director, Media & Public Relations
The Mars Society   
Mobile: 847-560-1275
Skype: mstoltz60062


Mars Society Launches Effort to Conduct One-Year Mission in the Canadian High Arctic
 
The Mars Society announced today that it is initiating an effort to conduct a one-year simulated human Mars exploration mission in the Canadian high Arctic at its Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS). Situated at 75 degrees north, roughly 900 miles from the North Pole, FMARS is located adjacent to a 20 kilometer meteor impact crater in the midst of a polar desert that is known to represent one of the most Mars-like environments on Earth. By conducting a Mars surface mission simulation at FMARS of the same duration as is needed for an actual expedition to the Red Planet, the Mars Society will take a major step forward in learning how humans can most effectively explore the new interplanetary frontier.
 
The Mars Society plan, called Mars Arctic 365 (MA365), is divided into two phases. Scheduled to commence this July, the first phase will accomplish the refit of FMARS and enhance the facility’s equipment, enabling it to support an effective one-year mission, which will require wintering at the station through six months of deep sub-zero temperatures. Phase 2 will be the one-year simulated Mars mission itself. Costs of the MA365 program are estimated at $130,000 for Phase 1 and $1,000,000 for Phase 2.  
 
“The Mars500 mission recently completed in Moscow resulted in a good deal of scientific data and attracted worldwide attention. MA365 will go much further. We will also deal with isolation issues, but instead of sitting safe and sound in a nice warm room in the middle of a city, our crew at FMARS will be required to conduct a sustained program of geological, microbiological and climatological field exploration in a cold and dangerously remote environment while operating under many of the same constraints that a human crew would face on Mars,” said Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin.
 
“It is only under these conditions,” Zubrin continued, “where the crew is trying hard to get real scientific work done, while dealing with bulky equipment, cold, danger, discomfort, as well as isolation, that the real stresses of a human Mars mission can be encountered, and the methods for dealing with them mastered. It is only under these conditions that all sorts of problems that Mars explorers will face can be driven into the open so they can be dealt with. Only by doing these missions can we make ourselves ready to go to Mars. Nothing like this has ever been done before. It needs to be done, and we intend to do it.”
 
A complete report on the MA365 Phase 1 mission will be given by members of its crew at the 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention, August 15-18, 2013 at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  

For more details, please contact: 

Michael Stoltz
Director, Media & Public Relations
The Mars Society   
Mobile: 847-560-1275
Skype: mstoltz60062