Why Is Mars so Special? Some Basic Knowledge.
Mars is the fourth planet in increasing order from distance to the Sun and the second in increasing order from size and mass. Its distance from the Sun is between 1.381 and 1.666 AU (206.6 to 249.2 million km), with an orbital period of 669.58 Martian days (686.71 days or1.88 land-years).
The planet Mars has taken its success not just for its red color. Also referred to as the “red planet,” its rocky and desert surface is covered with dust rich in reddish-colored iron oxide. Still, he was a topic within the Greek mythology from which came the names of his two natural satellites (moons), Deimos (or Deimos) and Phobos who are the children of King Arés (god of war) and Aphrodite (goddess of Love).
Today Mars seems to us as a desert world. But astronomers estimate that billions of years ago, there was plenty of water flowing over the Red Planet. So much so that the whole world would have been covered with an ocean around 100 to 1,500 meters deep. Half of our Atlantic Ocean equivalent.
The researchers usually blame gravity for the weakness of Mars as an explanation for the disappearance of this water. It would have allowed the water simply to escape into space.
The Planet Mars has always been a topic that concerns astronomers, researchers, astronomy hobbyists and even civic society such as the Mars society.
Mars Society dedicates itself to convince/explain the public and governments of the benefits of space exploration, and Mars in particular and defends the idea of human trips toward Mars.
The Mars Society
Mars Society is an international, not-for-profit organization that aims at promoting the benefits of exploring and colonizing the Mars planet. Therefore, the necessity of planning a human expedition to Mars in coming decades and the need to create a permanent human presence on the red planet. Led by volunteers from all across the world. It was founded in 1998 by Robert Zubrin and was supported by well-known science-fiction writers and directors such as Kim Stanley Robinson and James Cameron, as well as major scientists (astronomers, astrophysicists, planetologists, and biologists).
Mars Society Convention
Since its establishment in 1998, the International Mars Society Convention has provided a unique opportunity for those who are interested in the world of Mars to get together and discuss science, technology, social ramifications, philosophy, and other elements of Mars’ exploration.
Last year, in the face of the COVID 19 outbreak, the Mars Society decided to have its conference in the shape of a virtual event (the 23rd International Annual Convention). It proved to be an incredible success, with more than 10,000 people in attendance and more than 150 articles presented. The conference had an impressive range of high-level speakers from all across the world, including Space X Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk as well as NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Thus, the Mars Society will begin again this year and is planning to make it even better, with great speakers, as well as panels and debates about the most burning subjects of Mars exploration and the future of humanity on the red planet.
The 24th Annual Convention of the International Society of Mars will be a virtual event, taking place from Thursday, October 14th, 2021 through Sunday, October 17th, 2021. This 4-day event will be free and will bring together leading scientists, policymakers, contractors, and spatial advocates to discuss the importance of the latest scientific discoveries, technological advances, and political-economic and social developments that could impact Mars’s human exploration and development plans. As always, the convention will include a wide range of timely plenary conferences, roundtables and public debates on key matters related to Mars human exploration.
Registration to the 2021 International Mars Society Convention online is now available for free.
The Goals of the Mars Society
The Mars Society’s goals are not just theoretical. Its principle is to show that Mars is an achievable goal thanks to a series of practical, technical, or other projects:
- Continued development of the Mars Direct Mission Plan for Sending Humans to Mars.
- The Mars Analog Research Station (MARS – Station de recherche analogue à Mars) program for studying prospective Martian future dwellings located on Mars-like terrain.
- The Mars Society Analog Pressurized Rover competition, a competition to design a pressurized off-road vehicle that can operate on Mars.
- The Mars Gravity Biosatellite Program, a program to conceive, build, and launch rotating satellite to artificially provide partial gravity of 0.38 g, equivalent to that of Mars, and to welcome a small mouse population to study the health effects of a partial gravity; it is initially a Mars Society initiative that is being supported by now. This program is being carried through by Mars Gravity Biosatellite.
- The balloon project led by the German part of the Mars Society.
- The Tethered Experiment for Mars inter-Planetary Operations initiative, a CubeSat based spacecraft designed to demonstrate the generation of artificial seriousness by using cable-connected masses.
Apart from this, the Society of Mars :
- Provide lectures and presentations to schools, colleges, universities, professional agencies and the general public about Mars Direct ;
- Promotes the teaching of science, astronomy and space flight subjects in schools.
- Campaigns for more investment from each country in space research and development.
- Actively supports NASA, ESA and other space agencies in their Mars-in-progress programs.
- Host the largest annual Mars Exploration Conferences in the U.S., Europe and Australia.
Mars Desert Research Station is a research laboratory simulating what would be a populated outpost on the planet Mars. It is located in Utah, near the town of Hanksville.
Why is there no Flat Mars Society!?
Surely everyone has heard the false information which says that the earth is flat. Although there is no scientific evidence that the earth is flat, the scientific evidence shows that it is round. Yet, there are still communities today that think that the earth is flat from where since 1956 this community has founded an organization called the Flat Earth Society (always called the International Flat Earth Society) which supports the idea of the flat earth.
For the Mars planet, that was not the same case, yet there is a commonality that supports the idea that the Mars globe is flat. But it was only a logo or slogan which remained limited. And thus far there is not an organization that adopts the idea. For a simple reason because Mars is visible from the earth and we can little examine this red planet by simple optical means as glass or telescope and it is quite round.
Chapters of the Mars Society
There are chapters of the Mars Society all throughout the world. Many sections undertake scientific, technical, and political endeavors to promote the Mars Society’s objectives. Some achievements of the Mars Society chapters are listed below:
European Sections of the Mars Society
Austria : ASF (Österreichisches Weltraum Forum, OeWF)
The ASF (ÖWF) is a nationwide network of space fans and aerospace enthusiasts, as well as the Austrian section of the Mars Society. Thus, the “Forum” has become a communication platform between the space industry and the public and is anchored in a worldwide network of experts from the space industry, research, and policy. Therefore, the OeWF facilitates strengthening of the domestic space sector through greater public visibility of space activities, workshops, engineering conferences, and projects related to the Forum.
Netherlands : Stichting Mars Society Nederlan
The Dutch part of the Mars Company (Mars Society Dutch) began with its website in 1999. MS PB is registered in the Netherlands as a non-profit (“stichting”) organization. Registered members pay an annual membership fee. The activities of MS PB focus on public awareness through national and European conferences, exhibitions, events and media campaigns.
Germany : Mars Society Deutschland
The Mars Society (Mars Society Deutschland – MSD) German Branch was established in 2001. The MSD is registered in Germany as a not-for-profit organization. Registered members pay an annual membership fee. The MSD’s operations focus on the technical side of scientific projects, particularly that of the Martian ARCHIMEDES balloon.
The most important means of contacting members and the general public is its website with information on the ARCHIMEDES project, publications on Mars and other space topics, news, which may be commented by visitors to the site, and the Space Forum.
France : Association Planète Mars
The French affiliate of the Mars Society was established in 1999 as the “Planet Mars Association.” It is a not-for-profit organization (law 1901) with its headquarters in Paris. Founder of the Mars Society Founding Congress, Richard Heidmann is a Space Propelled Engineer and a member of the Mars Society Steering Committee. He was its chairman for more than ten years until giving up his position with Alain Souchier, also a space propulsion engineer.
Italian Mars Society
The Italian division of the Mars Society was founded in 2005. Its headquarters are located in Curno (Bergamo) close to Milan, and its president is Antonio Del Mastro, contractor and owner of an Engineering Advisory Company.
Mars Society Belgium
The Mars Society Belgium represents both the Belgian and Luxembourgish organizations. The story begins in 2002 when Pierre-Emmanuel Paulis was first selected for a famous simulation of life on Mars in the USA as a space conquest enthusiast (Utah).
This simulation is being organized by the “Mother House” Mars Society. A few months later, Pierre-Emmanuel, bitten by the Red Planet, went to a demonstration on Mars in Antwerp where he met other enthusiasts. Going to drink a drink with them, they choose to create the Belgian antenna of the Mars Society. The birth of the MSB comes from Pierre-Emmanuel and one of his Dutch-speaking colleagues.
Mars Society Polska (MSP)
Mars Society Polska (MSP) is actively involved in the establishment of the Polish space industry. As this sector is still in development, it wants to take advantage of the opportunity to develop a strong Martian component.
Poland was the last EU Member State to sign the cooperation agreement with ESA. Most of the projects focus on satellite technology. MSP is the main organization promoting human space exploration and flights. In addition to private sponsors, it is also based on the resources acquired by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and municipal authorities (qui proposent des projets plus accessibles au grand public).
United Kingdom: Mars Society UK
The Mars Society United Kingdom is the oldest part of the Mars Society outside of the United States. She held her first public meeting in London on 4 July 1998. The primary speaker was Professor Colin Pillinger, project manager of Beagle 2. This was the first time that Beagle 2 was shown to the general public in the United Kingdom.
From 1998 until 2003, Mars Society United Kingdom (MSUK) continued supporting Beagle 2, holding several public events during which members of the Beagle 2 team spoke.
Mars Society Espana
The Mars Society (TMS) was founded in Colorado (USA) in 1998 by 700 scientists and engineers of NASA and other space organizations, as well as other well-known non-scientists and personalities, all concerned with the planetary Mars exploration.
Mars Society Switzerland
The Mars Society Switzerland (MSS) was founded in February 2010 by Pierre Brisson, a founding member of the Mars Society and member of the board of the Planet Mars Association (France). It covers all of Switzerland’s French- and German-language areas. It maintains close connections with the Planet Mars Association.
American Sections of the Mars Society
Mars Society United States
In United States there are four sections of the mars society in three different states:
- California: Northern California Chapter of the Mars Society and The San Diego Chapter of the Mars Society
- Texas: Dallas Chapter of the Mars Society
- Washington: Mars Society Seattle
Mars Society Canada
Mars Canada Corporation (MCC) is a registered, not-for-profit federal corporation managed and maintained by a core voluntary team. Those experts and advocates devote their time to the pursuit of our purpose; promote a future of space exploration for humanity and advocate for a human presence on Mars. It works with the Canadian public, academia, industry, and government to promote space exploration research and innovation in Canada. Its educational, outreach, advocacy, and research operations are fully funded via donations and membership fees.
Oceania Chapters of the Mars Society
Mars Society Australia
Australia is the capital city of Australia (ACT), New Southern Wales (NSW), the territories of North, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. There are several branches in Australia. The Mars Society’s major objectives are to promote government-funded Mars exploration initiatives and to reach out to the general public about Mars and the relevance of studying planetary science and engineering.
Mars Society New Zealand
The Society of the NZ Mars has the same target list as Australia. In order to assist bring people to Mars, its members are planning to test surface exploration tactics and technology in Mars-like areas. Mars Desert Research Station in Utah is one of several Mars analog places.
Mars Society South Asia (MSSA)
Sagar Dhaka and Harshit Sharma and their companions from the several South Asian Mars rover teams (MSSA) were created on 2 September 2019. Mars Society South Asia (MSSA) The ignition point was Sagar as event manager for the success of Indian Rover Challenge 2019. Both Sagar and Harshit were active members of the ‘Mars Rover Manipal’ student rover team during their college at the Manipal Institute of Technology.
Mars Society India
Dhruv Joshi, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, launched the chapter on Mars Society India (MSI) in January 2012. After he visited a Mars company Chapter of Suisse; during his vacation to Switzerland, Dhruv Joshi was motivated to setup the chapter in India. In conjunction with Nehru center (Planetarium) and Indian Institute of Technology – Mumbai students, MSI started on 2 March, 2012. (IIT-B). MSI is trying to provide a platform to lead Indian students to a huge talent pool to achieve the ambitious space tasks of the country.
Mars Society Bangladesh
In 2016 the chapter was founded by the Mars Society in Bangladesh. In 2016, the University Rover Challenge (URC 2016) led by the Mars Society, held in Utah, USA in June 2016, was attended by a group of 40 students and three teams from Bangladesh.