Join the 2022 Mars Society Convention online this week for the latest Red Planet ideas

Red Planet fans have a big conference to look forward to. 

The International Mars Society Convention 2022 is running from Thursday to Sunday (Oct. 20 to 23), with some parts being broadcast online. Coverage will be available here at, via the Mars Society.

The four-day event "represents a unique opportunity for those interested in the planet Mars to come together and discuss the science, technology, social implications, philosophy and a multitude of other aspects of Mars exploration," the nonprofit Mars Society wrote on its website.

The theme of this year's convention is "Searching for Life with Heavy Lift," which will bring in discussion of options including SpaceX's Starship vehicle and NASA's Space Launch System rocket, which will launch Artemis missions to the moon.

Related: Possible sign of Mars life? Curiosity rover finds 'tantalizing' Red Planet organics

NASA's Perseverance rover is among the missions that will be discussed at the International Mars Society Convention 2022. (Image credit: NASA/JPL–Caltech/MSSS)

Other topics will include NASA's Perseverance Mars rover mission, the possibility of life on Mars and updates from the European and Chinese space programs, to name a few. 

Some of the prominent speakers include Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin, Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck, NASA deputy administrator Pam Melroy and long-time Mars researcher Jim Bell of Arizona State University.

The Mars Society says the below are some of the highlight talks:

  • Thursday, Oct. 20: Dr. Robert Zubrin, Mars Society President & Founder, Opening Remarks
  • Thursday, Oct. 20: Dr. Marcia Rieke, Univ. of Arizona, The Webb Space Telescope's First Months: A Treasure Trove of Results
  • Thursday, Oct. 20: Dylan Taylor, CEO, Voyager Space, How the Space Industry will Likely Evolve in the Next Few Years
  • Thursday, Oct. 20: A Talk with Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck
  • Thursday, Oct. 20: The Search for Life on Mars - Dr. Robert Zubrin, Dr. Steven Benner, Jan Spacek, and Dr. Jim Bell
  • Friday, Oct. 21: Dr. James Green, Former NASA Chief Scientist, Bringing Earth Life to the Red Planet
  • Friday, Oct. 21: Pamela Melroy, NASA Deputy Administrator, The Human-Machine Teaming Path to Get Us There
  • Friday, Oct. 21 Dr. Ezinne Uzo-Okoro, Assistant Director, Space Policy, The White House, In-Space Capabilities for Mars & Beyond
  • Saturday, Oct. 22: Dr. Albert Haldemann, ESA Mars Chief Engineer, ESA's Plans for Exploring Mars and the Solar System
  • Saturday, Oct. 22: Michael Edmonds, Senior VP, Strategy, Marketing & Sales, Blue Origin, Blue Origin & Its Plans for Space 

There are many more presentations as well. Here's a look at some of them, day by day.

Thursday, Oct. 20

  • 12 p.m. EDT/1600 GMT: Dr. Robert Zubrin — Opening Remarks 
  • 12:30 p.m. EDT/1630 GMT: Dr. Jim Bell — Postcards from Mars: Curiosity and Perseverance Mission Update
  • 1 p.m. EDT/1700 GMT: Dr. Marcia Rieke — The James Webb Space Telescope's First Months: A Treasure Trove of Results 
  • 1:30 p.m. EDT/1730 GMT: Dr. Vandi Verma — Mars Rover Operations and Role of Autonomy and Humans in Sample Return
  • 2 p.m. EDT/1800 GMT: Dylan Taylor — NewSpace 2025: How the Space Industry will Likely Evolve in the Next Few Years 
  • 2:30 p.m. EDT/1830 GMT: Steven A. Benner — The Case for Extant Life on Mars
  • 6 p.m. EDT/2200 GMT: Peter Beck — CEO, Rocket Lab 
  • 10:30 p.m. EDT/0230 GMT Oct. 21: Search for Life on Mars Panel — Robert Zubrin, Steven Benner, Jan Spacek, Jim Bell

Friday, Oct. 21

  • 12 p.m. EDT/1600 GMT: Jan Millsapps — Model Mars
  • 12:30 p.m. EDT/1630 GMT: Greg Autry — Artemis and the Moon as a capabilities building destination for Mars
  • 1 p.m. EDT/1700 GMT: Jim Green — Bringing Earth Life to the Red Planet
  • 1:30 p.m. EDT/1730 GMT: Bhavya Lal — NASA’s Plans for Fission-Based Propulsion / Space Nuclear Propulsion
  • 2 p.m. EDT/1800 GMT: Pamela Melroy — The Human-Machine Teaming Path to Get Us There
  • 2:30 p.m. EDT/1830 GMT: Dr. Ezinne Uzo-Okoro — In-Space Capabilities for Mars and Beyond

Saturday, Oct. 22

  • 12 p.m. EDT/1600 GMT: Albert Haldemann — Mars (European Space Agency)
  • 12:30 p.m. EDT/1630 GMT: Jekan Thanga and Sergey Shkarayev — Mars Exploration Using Sailplanes and Balloons
  • 1 p.m. EDT/1700 GMT: William Bianco — Russia and The Limits of Global Space Cooperation
  • 1:30 p.m. EDT/1730 GMT: International Mission to Mars — N.E.W. E.R.A. Mars Mission Proposal
  • 2 p.m. EDT/1800 GMT: International Mission to Mars — Mars Society's Engineering Design Course and Competition for High Schoolers
  • 2:30 p.m. EDT/1830 GMT: Kris Zacny — Future of Robotic Mars Exploration
  • 9 p.m. EDT/0100 GMT Oct. 23: Banquet/awards ceremony including speakers: Michael Edmonds of Blue Origin, and Erdenebold Sukhbaatar of MARSA (Mongolian Aerospace, Research and Science Association) 

Sunday, Oct. 23

  • 12 p.m. EDT/1600 GMT: Jingnan Guo — Topic on Chinese space exploration
  • 12:30 p.m. EDT/1630 GMT: Sabine Heinz — Space Renaissance International: Art on Mars
  • 1 p.m. EDT/1700 GMT: Maria Perino — Thales Aerospace Italy
  • 1:30 p.m. EDT/1730 GMT: Kai Staats — Mars Analog and Research Station at Biosphere 2
  • 2 p.m. EDT/1800 GMT: Ezio Melotti — Increasing Fidelity of the SIMOC (Scalable, Interactive Model of an Off-world Community) Mars Habitat Simulation
  • 2:30 p.m. EDT/1830 GMT: Sergey V. Ushakov — CALculation of PHAse Diagrams (CALPHAD)-Assisted Thermal Analysis for water-free production
  • 3 p.m. EDT/1900 GMT: Stefano Nerozzi — International Mars Ice Mapper Measurement Project
  • 3:30 p.m. EDT/1930 GMT: Maraia Tanner — Star Harbor Academy
  • 4 p.m. EDT/2000 GMT: Alfredo Munoz — The Off-World Metaverse: Digital Simulation of Martian Settlements
  • 4:30 p.m. EDT/2030 GMT: Robert Zubrin — Closing Remarks

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: