Call for Volunteers: Mars Arctic 365 Mission (MA365)
One-Year Mars Mission Simulation at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station:
The Mars Society is seeking six volunteers to participate as members of the crew of the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) during an extended simulation of human Mars exploration operations on Devon Island in northern Canada (August 2014 through July 2015).
As currently planned, the crew will consist of four individuals chosen primarily for their skills as field scientists in areas including geology, geochemistry, microbiology, biochemistry and paleontology. Two additional crew members will be chosen primarily for their skills in engineering areas. The ability of crew members to support both roles is considered a strong plus.
For 12 months, these six crew members will conduct a sustained program of field exploration on Devon Island, 900 miles from the North Pole, while operating under many of the same constraints that will be faced by explorers on an actual human Mars mission. For example, no one will be able to go outside without wearing a spacesuit simulator. The crew will be responsible for all of its own field work, lab work, reportage, repair of equipment and chores of daily life. They will work in telescience collaboration with a Remote Science Team, a Mission Support Group and an Engineering Support Team located in the continental United States. In addition to the six person Mars exploration crew, one field support person will also participate in the expedition in and out of simulation role. This person should have excellent field mechanic and wilderness skills.
Both volunteer investigators who bring with them a proposed program of research of their own compatible with the objectives of the Flashline Station (see below) and those simply wishing to participate as members of the crew supporting the investigations of others will be considered. Volunteers may submit applications as individuals, couples or both. Applications will be considered from anyone in good physical condition between 22 and 60 years of age without regard to race, creed, color, gender, or nationality. Scientific, engineering, practical mechanical, arctic, wilderness, first aid, medical, and literary skills are all considered a plus. Applicants should have either a four-year college degree or equivalent experience.
Applicants will need to pass a physical exam and must be cleared by their personal physician to participate. Applicants must be non-smokers and should state what, if any, food allergies and/or dietary restrictions they may have. Dedication to the cause of human Mars exploration is an absolute must, as conditions are likely to be very difficult and the job will be very trying.
To read the full announcement, please click here.
CHECK OUT a great video and article about the Mars Society's recent Mars Arctic 365 (MA365) mission (Phase 1), when a crew of staff and volunteers visited the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island in northern Canada last July to help prepare the facility for a historic one-year Mars surface simulation, scheduled to begin in 2014.
The Mars Society would like to express its appreciation to Jim Moore (writer/videographer) and Tom Haines (editor) of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) for documenting the MA365 mission to FMARS. AOPA is the largest, most influential aviation association in the world, with a membership base of nearly 400,000 pilots and aviation enthusiasts.
The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the Mars Arctic 365 (MA365) Phase 1 mission has been successfully concluded. Led by Mars Society Steering Committee member Joseph Palaia and including Adam Nehr, Justin Sumpter, Barry Stott, Garrett Edquist and Dr. Alexander Kumar and supported by experienced pilots Richard Sugden and Richard Spencer, journalist Jim Moore and the staff of Mars Society HQ, the crew has completed the key essential mission objectives and has returned safely to civilization.
Departing from Idaho on July 8th, the mission spearhead, composed of Palaia, Nehr and Sumpter, reached the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) located in the polar desert on Canada’s Devon Island on July 10th. Supported by and eventually joined by the others, the team set about refitting and improving the facility, which had been dormant since 2009.
Among the tasks executed were the revival of two on-site diesel generators and the delivery of a sophisticated new “Carnot” diesel generator purchased courtesy of Association Planète Mars, the French chapter of the Mars Society. As such, there are now a total of three working diesel generators available at FMARS, as well as a gasoline-powered backup. In addition, the crew reactivated the satellite Internet communication system and tested a new satellite phone system donated by Iridium. A large, powerful four-wheel drive ATV capable of hauling heavy payloads across rough terrain and provided at a sharp discount by Arctic Cat, was brought in, along with an ATV trailer. The station’s old ATV trailer was made operational again as well, assuring redundant ground transport capability. (For a complete list of mission sponsors, please click here.)
The structural condition of the FMARS facility was assessed and found to be in excellent shape. The station’s electrical, water and waste disposal systems were all successfully reactivated. A new induction cooking range was installed, and other interior fixtures were also refurbished. The on-site stored food supplies were assessed, with most found to be sound and the rest disposed of.
Outside the FMARS hab, a berm to enable secondary containment of large quantities of fuel was built and stockpiled with diesel fuel. Two new airstrips were opened up to help assure good logistic support of the station despite unfavorable crosswinds, snow or other nuisances that might impede operations were the mission restricted to just one airstrip. A weather station, useful for both climate research and support of mission operations, was installed and activated. Large amounts of additional equipment from U.S. and Canadian suppliers were also transported to Resolute Bay, where it will be stored over the winter and ready for rapid deployment to FMARS in July 2014.
Commenting on the success of MA365 Phase 1, crew commander Joseph Palaia said, “Our team completed the critical mission objectives we had set out to accomplish. We plan to return to FMARS at the beginning of next season to deliver more equipment and supplies and complete preparation of the station for the Mars Society’s historic one-year expedition.”
MA365 is a plan to simulate a one-year Mars human surface exploration mission at FMARS. The mission crew will conduct a program of field exploration in one of the most Mars-like environments on Earth, while operating under many of the same operational constraints as an actual Mars mission. In the course of doing this, crew members will learn a great deal about which methods, technologies and tactics will work best on the Red Planet. Furthermore, they will do this while dealing with the stresses that come not only from isolation, as the Mars500 crew experienced, but also cold, danger, hard work and the need to achieve real scientific results, and thus truly begin to explore the critical human factor issues facing Mars exploration. Nothing like this has ever been done before.
The preparatory Phase 1 of the MA365 mission has now been completed. Phase 2, which will include final refitting operations followed by the initiation of the one-year Mars simulation, will begin in July 2014. A call for crew volunteers for the MA365 Phase 2 expedition will be issued shortly by the Mars Society.
Financial contributors are also needed to enable and support the MA365 mission. All donations to the Mars Society are tax-deductible (federal tax ID number 31-1585646). Numerous sponsorship opportunities, including purchase of the mission name, are available. Please contact Mars Society Executive Director Susan Holden Martin for more details.
A gallery of photos taken by the MA365 Phase 1 crew has been posted on the mission’s new web site (www.ma365.marssociety.org). Also a complete report on July’s MA365 expedition and plans for the one-year simulation mission will be presented at the 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention to be held at the University of Colorado Boulder, August 15-18, 2013. The preliminary schedule for the conference has been posted, and online registration is available.
Crew members of the Mars Arctic 365 mission (Phase 1) have begun their journey to the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) in northern Canada, departing earlier today from Idaho. Weather permitting, the nine-person team plan to arrive on Devon Island on Wednesday to begin a two-week expedition to upgrade and refit the FMARS facility in preparation for the one-year Mars surface simulation, which is expected to begin in the summer of 2014. Regular updates, including photos and videos, will be posted on the Mars Society's web site and Facebook page.
Mars Society announced today the selection of nine crew members chosen to participate
in the Mars Arctic 365 mission (Phase 1) this July at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island in the Canadian High Arctic. This will be the thirteenth crew to inhabit the FMARS facility since its establishment in July 2000, continuing the Mars Society's pioneering work in organizing sustained field exploration while operating under Mars mission constraints.
to be in Canada for two weeks, the new crew will install key equipment and
infrastructure and also upgrade systems needed to support the one-year Mars surface simulation expedition (Phase 2), which will begin in the summer of 2014. The visit to FMARS is also expected to include a limited duration Mars simulation exercise to provide crew members with an opportunity to gain first-hand experience with technical and human factor considerations which are likely to be faced by the first human explorers to the Red Planet.
following nine people will make up the Mars Arctic 365 (MA365) mission crew for
Joseph Palaia (Orlando, FL)
Mr. Palaia is the
MA365 Crew Commander (Phase 1) and is a FMARS veteran who served as Executive
Officer on the most recent Mars Society expedition to Devon Island in July
2009. He is also Chief Operating Officer of Earthrise Space Inc.
Dr. Alexander Kumar (Oxford, UK)
Dr. Kumar is a
British medical doctor and experienced scientific explorer, who spent one year
at Concordia Station in Antarctica and also organized the White Mars
field study for Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ Coldest Journey expedition across
the southern continent. Dr. Kumar will serve as Principal Investigator of the
MA365 mission and is a member of the project’s science team.
Adam Nehr (Orlando, FL)
Mr. Nehr is a
veteran engineer experienced in electro-mechanical design and image system
operations, who will serve as MA365 Executive Officer and Engineer (Phase 1).
He is also Senior Manufacturing Engineer for Earthrise Space Inc.
Justin Sumpter (Orlando, FL)
Mr. Sumpter will
serve as IT Specialist for the MA365 expedition (Phase 1). At present, he works
as Senior Systems Administrator for Earthrise Space Inc.
Barry Stott (Chadds Ford, PA)
Mr. Stott is a veteran
pilot and owner of several aircraft charter firms. He will serve as one of the
pilots during the MA365 July mission. He is also a life-time Mars Society
member and one of the major sponsors of the MA365 summer expedition.
Dr. Richard Sugden (Driggs, ID)
Dr. Sugden is a
family medical doctor and an experienced pilot who owns Teton Aviation.
He will serve as one of the pilots during the MA365 July visit to FMARS.
Richard Spencer (Wilson, WY)
Mr. Spencer is an
experienced aviator who will fly one of the aircraft during the MA365 summer
mission. He is also a former investment banker and headed several major
investment firms. In addition, he served as a naval pilot in the U.S. Marine
Garrett Edquist (Glenwood Springs,
Mr. Edquist will
serve as the crew videographer during the summer mission on Devon Island. He is
experienced in filming and producing short-form films and documentaries and
holds the position of Editor at Summit Films Inc.
James Moore (Farmington, CT)
Mr. Moore is an
experienced photo-journalist who serves as Associate Editor of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Mr. Moore is being dispatched by AOPA
on editorial assignment to cover the MA365 summer mission.
on the importance of MA365 and the summer mission, Dr. Alexander Kumar said, “Once
completed, the first phase of the MA365 mission will open the door to new
Mars-related science and exploration.
The one-year Mars simulation on Devon Island will serve as one of the
most reliable Mars analog studies conducted to date and will involve true
isolation and real challenges lasting 365 days, where science, organized by
some of the world’s leading experts and institutions, will cover topics ranging
from human biology to geology to climate research.
MA365 Phase 1 expedition is made possible with the involvement of the summer
crew, as well as through the generosity of key mission sponsors, including
Barry Stott, the Louis L. Stott Foundation, Arctic Cat, Association Planète Mars, Earthrise Space Inc., ATCO Structures & Logistics Services, Iridium Communications Inc. and dozens of
private donors. In addition, pilots Richard Sugden and Richard Spencer are
kindly providing the use of their personal aircraft, Quest Kodiaks, to ferry crew, equipment and supplies to the
Canadian Arctic and land them on Devon Island.
Crew Commander (Phase 1) Joseph Palaia sums up the summer mission as follows, “I
know we will be able to depend on this terrific crew and talented pilots to
complete our critical work, making FMARS a much more robust and capable
simulated Mars habitat. MA365 Phase 1 prepares the facility, setting the stage
for ground-breaking science in the upcoming MA365 one-year Mars surface
simulation. I’m proud to be doing my part to help drive this initiative
A full report on
the MA365 Phase 1 summer 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 about this year’s Mars
Society convention, including registration details, please visit our website.
Your Help is Needed
While the beginning
of the Mars Arctic 365 summer mission is only weeks away, additional funding
still needs to be raised by the Mars Society to ensure the full success of the
Among the intended
goals in upgrading the FMARS facility will be to refit and better insulate the
hab, build an equipment storage shed and add two new generators, a thermal
heating system, four all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), four snowmobiles (skidoos), a
weather station, a ham radio station backup com system, a small electric range
and an upgraded lab.
$5,000 or more will be given the right to name any one of the 16 aforementioned
major units (the hab was named after Flashline.com in 2000) as they choose, on
a first come, first choice basis. Please indicate your top three preferences
with your donation.
To raise money for
the MA365 mission, the Mars Society is making use of the online fundraising
system Crowdtilt. Those wishing to donate online are kindly asked to visit our
Crowdtilt page. In addition, those
interested in contributing by check should send their donation to The Mars
Society, 11111 W. 8th Avenue, unit A, Lakewood, CO 80215 (USA).
All donations to
the Mars Society, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, are tax
deductible. Our organization’s federal tax ID number is 31-1585646. Please help make the Mars Arctic 365 mission
a historic success by giving generously!
Association Planète Mars, the French chapter of the Mars Society, has donated $6,000 to
help fund the Mars Arctic 365 (MA365) mission. Accordingly, the chapter was given the right
to name one of the major pieces of mission equipment and chose to designate the
first of the two primary generators that will power the MA365 mission as
MA365 is a
plan to simulate a one-year Mars human surface exploration mission at the Mars
Society’s Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) located in the polar
desert on Canada’s Devon Island. The crew of the mission will attempt to
conduct a program of field exploration in one of the most Mars-like environments on Earth, while operating under many of the same operational constraints as an actual Mars mission. In the course of doing this, crew members will learn a great deal about what methods, technologies and tactics will work best on the Red Planet. Furthermore, they will do this while dealing with the stresses that come not only from isolation, as the Mars500 crew did, but also cold, danger, hard work and the need to achieve real scientific results, and thus truly begin to explore the critical human factor issues facing Mars exploration. Nothing like this has ever been done before.
mission is divided into two phases. Phase 1 will begin this July, sending a
crew up to the Canadian Arctic to refit the FMARS facility for winter work.
Phase II, which will commence in the summer of 2014, will be the actual
one-year Mars simulation mission. Costs of the mission are estimated at
$130,000 for Phase 1 and $1 million for Phase 2.
addition of the $6,000 from Association Planete Mars, contributions for the
Phase 1 mission have now amounted to about $60,000 in cash, plus $50,000 in
kind through the services of two Arctic-capable aircraft and their expert pilots.
Another $20,000 is needed to fulfill all the objectives of the Phase 1 mission.
Please help by donating via the Crowdtilt website or sending a check to the Mars
Society, 11111 W. 8th Ave. unit A, Lakewood, CO 80215. All donations to the
Mars Society are tax deductible, and our federal tax ID number
Commenting on the French donation, Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin
said, “I’d like to personally thank every member of Association Planète Mars for
this wonderful gift. Sadi Carnot was one of history’s greatest scientists, the
discoverer of laws of thermodynamics that make power generation possible. By
stepping forward in this way, the French chapter has shown that his spirit
still lives on in France and has helped ensure that it will be fondly
remembered on Mars as well.”
“We will need another generator to provide the redundancy needed for the
year round mission. Who should Carnot’s companion be? Faraday, Diesel, Edison,
Curie, Rutherford, Fermi? Perhaps another national or international chapter will
step forward and donate $5,000 or more to give the honor to one of its own.”
“But please donate now, whatever you can, because we have the aircraft now
and can use them to send everything we receive now to the Arctic at a small fraction
of the cost of commercial transport. That makes a dollar now worth three
dollars next year. I can’t overemphasize the importance of this. So here’s what
I’ll offer. If you donate $100 or more, I’ll send you a personalized, signed
copy of any of my books, with an inscription thanking you for helping make the
historic Mars 365 mission possible. It’ll be a badge of honor to show your
grandchildren that you were there when it counted,” added Dr. Zubrin.
We're very pleased to announce that Dr. Chris McKay will be interviewed as part of the inaugural broadcast of 'Red Planet Radio', the Mars Society's new online podcast, scheduled for Monday, July 1, 2013.
Dr. McKay is a respected planetary scientist at NASA who specializes in astrobiology, planetary atmospheres, terraforming and planning for the human exploration of Mars. He was recently appointed as a member of the Mars Arctic 365 science team.
More details to follow.
Several weeks ago, the Mars Society announced that it was initiating a ground-breaking project known as Mars Arctic 365, a special one-year Mars surface simulation mission to take place at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island in northern Canada.
The Mars Arctic 365 program, scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014, will provide scientists with the most extensive testing to date on how a multi-person crew can live and work together under isolated, stressful and harsh conditions as part of a human mission to the Red Planet.
Given the importance of this scientific endeavor to the planning for a humans-to-Mars expedition, the Mars Society had recruited a high-level team of experts to design and manage the science program that will be carried out during the year-long simulation. Areas of research will include geology, microbiology, human physiology and psychology, nutrition-food studies and field technology studies, to name a few.
The following eight people will make up the Mars Arctic 365 science team:
Dr. Alexander Kumar (Principal Investigator) -- Dr. Kumar is a British medical doctor and experienced scientific explorer, who spent one year at Concordia Station in Antarctica and also organized the White Mars field study for Sir Ranulph Fiennes' Coldest Journeyexpedition across the southern continent.
Dr. Chris McKay -- Dr. McKay is a planetary scientist at NASA, who specializes in astrobiology, planetary atmospheres, terraforming and planning for the human exploration of Mars and has extensive experience in polar field work. He was also one of the founders of The Mars Underground.
Dr. Carol Stoker -- Dr. Stoker is a planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, who works on developing instruments and robotic systems for space exploration and has lead field testing in numerous analog environments, including Antarctica. She was also one of the founders of The Mars Underground.
Dr. James Rice -- Dr. Rice is an astrogeologist specializing in the surface geology and history of water on Mars and also works as a co-investigator and geology team leader on the MER (Spirit & Opportunity) project. In addition, Dr. Rice has extensive field experience in Antarctica, the High Arctic, Hawaii and elsewhere.
Dr. Penelope Boston -- Dr. Boston is a speleologist and astrobiologist specializing in the study of caves, related subsurface structures and gem-microbiology. She serves as academic director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute and was one of the founders of The Mars Underground.
Dr. Robert Zubrin -- Dr. Zubrin is an aerospace engineer, expert on Mars exploration, author and president and founder of the Mars Society, the world's largest space advocacy group dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet. He is also president of Pioneer Astronautics.
Shannon Rupert -- Ms. Rupert is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Mexico specializing in biological sciences and ecology. She also serves as Mission Director of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), a Mars Society sponsored simulation analog in the Utah desert.
Lauren Fletcher -- Mr. Fletcher is a Ph.D. candidate at Oxford University specializing in environmental microbiology, planetary sciences and engineering. He has also carried out extensive biological field studies in the harsh Mars-like deserts of Peru and Chile.
A full update on the Mars Arctic 365 project, including a report on a pre-mission visit to the FMARS facility in July, will be presented at the 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention, August 15-18, 2013 at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
By Emily Carney, AmericaSpace.com, 06.01.13
The Mars Society announced that it 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), located on Devon Island in northern Canda, as one of the network's field stations. This partnership comes just after the Mars Society announced an effort to conduct a one-year "mission" in the Canadian High Arctic on May 20, called "Arctic 365" to learn more about what it will take to visit the Red Planet.
To lead this effort with EU-INTERACT, The Mars Society has established a climate research team including Dr. Ghassem R. Asrar (World Climate Research Program and World Meteorological Organization), Dr. Chris McKay (NASA), Dr. Alexander Kumar (Concordia Station, Antarctica) and Dr. Bruno D.C. Marino (Planetary Emissions Management, Inc.). The scientists are currently discussing the feasibility and possible program design at FMARS. FMARS is a Mars analog research station established by The Mars Society in 2000 to study various technologies and human factors needed to approach a manned Mars mission.
Acting Executive Director of The Mars Society, Susan Holden Martin, said, “The Arctic 365 mission will be the first experiment combining long-term isolation and a sustained program of field exploration under Mars mission simulation conditions, in a relevant Mars analog environment, ever done anywhere in the world. There is a growing interest in environment change in the Arctic, and so 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. ”
To read the full article, please click here.
By Elizabeth Howell, Universe Today, 05.25.13 The Arctic’s a lot like Mars, according to the Mars Society. It’s cold, it’s isolated, and it’s kind of dangerous. And, the society says, it’s ready to bring humans to the Arctic for a year to make a mission there even more Mars-realistic.
The proposed Mars Arctic 365 (MA365) mission on Canada’s Devon Island would take place at Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station, where missions have been sent since 2001 for periods of a few months each. This mission would encompass all seasons, though, including the bitter winter.
In a press release, Mars Society president Robert Zubrin drew comparisons of his latest venture with the Mars500 mission that saw a group of people put into a simulated Mars spacecraft in Moscow. But, he added, the Mars Society will go “much further” as the work will include field exploration similar to what Mars astronauts would do: geology, climate and microbiology. Also, the Arctic — like Mars — is a “cold and dangerous remote environment.”
To read the full article, please click here.