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French Mars Society Donates $6000 to MA365, Names Generator “Carnot”

posted Jun 17, 2013, 12:18 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Jun 17, 2013, 3:35 PM ]

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 “Carnot.” 

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.

The MA365 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. 

With the 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 is 31-1585646. 

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.