Mars Society conference happening online Oct. 5 through Oct. 8

An illustration of Mars as it will appear in the April 2023 night sky.
An illustration of Mars. (Image credit: Starry Night Software)

The Mars Society is about to hold its annual convention, both in-person and online, and you can watch the whole thing virtually with registration.

The 26th Annual International Mars Society Convention will start Thursday (Oct. 5) at Arizona State University in Tempe. The meeting features a list of speakers talking about current missions on Mars, analog missions and plans for the future.

The event will run daily through Sunday (Oct. 8) and registration information is available on this page, courtesy of the Mars Society. There will be no free, publicly available livestream of the event, but registrants can access events live.

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"This year's event will center on the theme 'Mars for All'," Mars Society representatives wrote in a statement. "With growing global interest in and public support for humans to Mars, advocates for this endeavor — including the Mars Society — have developed a series of initiatives allowing members of the general public to learn about, and even experience, the idea of human settlement of the Red Planet."

Online tools will allow virtual attendees to submit questions to the speakers, network with other participants and view livestreams. There will also be a live demonstration of MarsVR, an open-source virtual reality platform from the Mars Society "that can be used for serious research and training towards the goal of sending humans to Mars."

 Sample speakers and events include: 

  • Teddy Tzanetos, Manager of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Ingenuity Helicopter mission 
  • Tiffany Morgan, Deputy Director, Mars Exploration Program, NASA 
  • Roberto Carlino, Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) Mars Analog Astronaut, NASA 
  • Kris Zacny, Senior Vice President, Honeybee Robotics 
  • Dean Cheng, China Expert & Senior Researcher, U.S. Institute of Peace 
  • Carol Stoker, Planetary Scientist, NASA 
  • Rick Tumlinson, Founding Partner, SpaceFund 
  • David Poston, Chief Technology Officer, Space Nuclear Power Corp. 
  • Robert Zubrin, Founder and President, The Mars Society 
  • Panel – How to Search for Life on Mars 
  • Panel – In-Situ Exploration vs. Sample Return 
  • Panel – 2023 Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS)Analog Mission to Canada 
  • Panel – Mars-Vision (Mars-V) Mongolian Analog and Chapter Update 
  • Panel – 2023 Mission to Mars High School Summer Program 
  • Student Debate – Mars or Bust? (organized by Debate to Educate) 

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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: