Located on Devon Island 165 kilometers north east of the hamlet of Resolute in Nunavut, Canada, the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) is a unique Mars exploration analog research facility established in 2000 by the Mars Society, the world's largest space advocacy group dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet.


Latest News from FMARS

  • 160-Day Mars Mission Simulation Kicks Off in Utah
    By Mike Wall
    Space.com, 09.24.16

    The first half of an ambitious 160-day-long simulated mission to Mars is getting underway.

    Seven people from six different countries are setting up shop today (Sept. 24) at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), a facility in the Utah desert operated by nonprofit group The Mars Society. For the next 80 days, the explorers will conduct a series of experiments and exploration campaigns to hone the skills and strategies that will be needed by real-life Red Planet pioneers in the future. The same crew will then venture to The Mars Society's arctic station in 2017 for another 80-day session to complete the full 160-day mission.

    "What we're doing is not an isolation experiment," Mars Society President Robert Zubrin told Space.com, contrasting this Mars 160 mission with other efforts such as Mars500, a Russian-European-Chinese project that kept six crew members cooped up inside a Moscow facility for 520 days in 2010 and 2011.

    "I don't think a Mars mission is about isolation; a Mars mission is not about sending people to Mars to do nothing and watch them get bored," Zubrin added. "A Mars mission is about sending people to Mars and working them hard in an aggressive program of field exploration."

    To read the full article, please click here.

    Posted Oct 19, 2016, 11:50 AM by Michael Stoltz
  • Mars 160 Crew Patch Unveiled by Mars Society

    The Mars Society unveiled today the official crew patch for its Mars 160 mission, a twin desert-Arctic analog project using both of the organization's field research stations - the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) located in southern Utah and the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island in northern Canada.

    Mars 160 is an extended Mars surface simulation involving a unique program of field exploration, using the same crew to carry out similar science operations for the same period of time – 80 days – first at MDRS (as Mars Desert 80), scheduled to begin September 24, 2016, and then again at FMARS (as Mars Arctic 80) in June 2017.

    Members of the multi-national crew include:
    + Dr. Alexandre Mangeot, Commander & Engineer (France)
    + Yusuke Murakami, Executive Officer (Japan)
    + Anastasiya Stepanova, Journalist (Russia)
    + Claude-Michel Laroche, Engineer, MD 80 (Canada)
    + Dr. Jonathan Clarke, Geologist (Australia)
    + Annalea Beattie, Health & Safety Officer (Australia)
    + Anushree Srivastava, Biologist (India & United Kingdom)
    + Paul Knightly, Geologist, MA 80 (U.S.A.)
    + Shannon Rupert, Biologist, Back-up Crew (U.S.A.)

    The Mars 160 patch is divided into two halves, symbolizing the dual nature of the desert-Arctic mission, and includes a cairn at MDRS and an inukshuk at FMARS, human-made stone landmarks used by native peoples in regions of North America.

    For more details, please click here.

    Posted Sep 6, 2016, 8:46 PM by Michael Stoltz
  • ONE MONTH until Launch of Mars Desert 80 Simulation at MDRS in Utah

    First Half of Mars 160 Mission Involving Unique Twin Desert-Arctic Analog

    Earlier this year, the Mars Society announced plans to carry out a new Mars surface simulation using both of the organization’s analog research facilities – the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah and the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) in Canada. This unique dual mission entitled Mars 160 involves a seven-person crew doing similar science operations for the same period of time – 80 days – first at MDRS, with the sim scheduled to begin September 24th and then once again in the summer of 2017 at FMARS.

    During the course of the two 12 week missions, the Mars 160 crew will conduct a sustained program of field exploration involving geology, micro-biology and paleontology while operating under many of the same constraints that human explorers on the Red Planet would face. The team will also carry out Mars-relevant engineering research, testing spacesuit technologies, EVA traverse strategies, astronaut cross-training in the field and habitat technologies. By doing so, they will help advance humanity’s knowledge of how to better explore the Martian surface.

    Furthermore, by conducting the Mars 160 mission in the form of twin studies, dubbed Mars Desert 80 (MD80) and Mars Arctic 80 (MA80) with the crew operating in the desert and the Arctic, the program will provide important information as to how well Mars analog missions held in the desert can serve in place of far more expensive Mars surface simulations carried out in the Arctic regions, and to what extend conclusions drawn from desert-based research need to be adjusted to reflect that which would likely be obtained under more stressful Arctic field conditions. Mars 160 is expected to greatly improve the cost-effectiveness of Mars analog research.

    For more details, please click here.

    Posted Sep 6, 2016, 8:42 PM by Michael Stoltz
  • Mars Society to Launch Mars 160 Twin Desert-Arctic Analog Missions

    The Mars Society 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 Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah in the fall of 2016 and then continuing at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) in northern Canada in the summer of 2017.

    The multi-national crew will include:

    + Dr. Alexandre Mangeot, Commander & Engineer (France)
    + Yusuke Murakami, Executive Officer (Japan)
    + Shannon Rupert, Biologist (U.S.)
    + Anastasiya Stepanova, Journalist (Russia)
    + Claude-Michel Laroche, Engineer (Canada)
    + Dr. Jonathan Clarke, Geologist (Australia)
    + Susan Jewell, MD, Biomedical Research (UK)

    Ms. Rupert will serve as the mission’s Principal Investigator, while Dr. Robert Zubrin, President of the Mars Society, will operate as Program Manager.

    During the course of two 12 week missions, the crew will conduct a sustained program of geological, paleontological and micro-biological field exploration while operating under many of the same constraints that human explorers on the Red Planet would face. The team will also carry out Mars-relevant engineering research, testing biomedical tele-science, spacesuit technologies, EVA traverse strategies, astronaut cross-training in the field and habitat technologies. By so doing, they will help advance humanity’s knowledge of how to explore on the Martian surface.

    To read further, please click here.

    Posted Apr 7, 2016, 9:21 AM by Michael Stoltz
  • Mars Society Announces Precursor Mission for MA365

    The Mars Society intends to advance planning for its one-year Mars Arctic 365 program at FMARS on Devon Island by down-selecting to a single crew that will first be “put to the test” as part of an 80-day mission at the organization’s Mars Desert Research Station in the fall of 2016. 


    The crew, including alternates, of Mars Awakening 80 (MA80), as the mission is being called, will consist of nine individuals drawn from the U.S., France, Canada, Germany and Russia who previously made the cut of 21 finalists chosen from an initial pool of over 200 volunteers. 


    More details regarding the new MA80 mission will be announced soon.


    [Mars Society Steering Committee, 09.01.15]

    Posted Sep 7, 2015, 6:54 PM by Michael Stoltz
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