Want to Go to Mars? Crews Wanted for Mock Missions
The sun sets behind two members of a mock Mars mission for one of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station expeditions.
Credit: The Mars Society.

If you have been waiting for your chance to learn what it is like to live and work on Mars wait no more!

The Mars Society is currently taking applications from the general public, educators, and students to develop the skills necessary to thrive in a regime analogous to The Red Planet. Crews of dedicated volunteers work in full simulation in the canyonlands of Utah in order to conduct field investigations in the physical sciences and engineering.

The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is host to many ?firsts? when dealing with crews and their research. There were the first all women and all men crews who resided within the Mars hab. The MDRS has also been host to the first children to live, study and play while in full simulation during the Family Living Analysis on Mars Expedition (F.L.A.M.E.) missions conducted in June 2005, March 2006, and March 2007.

The crew is now planning yet another mission March 1-16, 2008 in hopes to better understand the human factors side of crews with young children present along with their educator who will ensure that the students stay on track with their peers back on ?Earth?. With webcams all around the Hab, both inside and out, students from around the world can view the F.L.A.M.E. students living and going to school on ?Mars?. They can even send questions and proposed experiments to the F.L.A.M.E. students but will have to wait the 49-minute lag time for messages to be received and sent from Mars.

Currently there are several open mission rotations available for individuals who are interested in forming crews and going to the Mars Hab.

2007-2008 Mars Desert Research Station Field Season Schedule

  • Crew D-8 (Dec. 8-23, 2007) ? [Crew not assigned yet.]
  • Crew D-22 (Dec. 22, 2007-Jan. 6, 2008) ? [Crew not assigned yet.]
  • Crew J-5 (Jan. 5-20, 2008) ? [Crew not assigned yet.]
  • Crew J-19 (Jan. 19, 2008-Feb. 3, 2008) ? [Crew not assigned yet.]
  • Crew F-2 (Feb. 2, 2008-Feb. 17, 2008) ? Expedition Delta
  • Crew F-16 (Feb. 16, 2008-Mar. 2, 2008) ? Expedition Epsilon
  • Crew M-1 (Mar. 1, 2008-Mar. 16, 2008) ? Family Living Analysis on Mars Expedition Crew
  • Crew M-15 (Mar. 15-30, 2008)? Georgia Tech Crew
  • Crew M-29 (Mar. 29, 2008-Apr. 13, 2008) ? [Two Crewmembers assigned.]
  • Crew A-12 (Apr. 12, 2008-Apr. 27, 2008) ? Hungarian Crew

End of Season

Volunteers should state clearly whether they are volunteering for MDRS, and what segment of this span they are available. Both volunteer investigators who bring with them a proposed program of research of their own compatible with the objectives of the MDRS and those simply wishing to participate as members of the crew supporting the investigations of others will be considered. Research proposals which focus the effort of or require selection as a team of up to the full six-person crew will also be considered.

Applications will be considered from anyone in good physical condition between 18 and 60 years of age without regard to race, creed, color, gender, or nation. Scientific, engineering, practical mechanical, wilderness, and literary skills are all considered a plus. Dedication to the cause of human Mars exploration is an absolute must, as conditions are likely to be tough and the job will be very trying. Those selected will be required to participate in certain crew training exercises and to act under crew discipline and strict mission protocols during the simulations.

All of those selected will also be required to sign a liability waiver. The Mars Society will pay travel and related expenses from Salt Lake City, Utah during training and simulation, but there will be no salary. Applications including resum?, character references, and a brief letter explaining why you wish to participate should be sent to Mars Society, PO Box 273, Indian Hills, CO 80454. Total length of applications should not exceed three pages. Please include nine copies.

Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto is a National Space Society Board of Director (Region 3), NSS Phone Tree Coordinator, NSS Phoenix Chapter President and is on several NSS Committees such as the Chapter Projects and Events, Policy, Strategic, and Space Book Committees. She is also the Founder and was Chapter President of the Mars Society of Phoenix, Arizona from 2000-2006 and is now the Education Outreach Coordinator for that Chapter.

NOTE: The views of this article are the author's and do not reflect the policies of the National Space Society.

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