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Mars Society UK Announces Initial Donation for European Mars Arctic Research Station

Press Release From: Mars Society UK
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2001

The Mars Society UK today announced the securing of the first donation towards the operation of the Society's new European Mars Arctic Research Station (E-MARS).

The donation of £10,000 ($14,100) from Starchaser Industries will enable the Society to undertake important research and study into locating the best site for the latest in the Society's Mars Analogue Research Station (MARS) project.

"This generous donation by Starchaser Industries will enable the UK - on behalf of the Mars Society in general - to move the Euro-MARS project significantly forward," Bo Maxwell, President of the Mars Society UK commented. "Like the Mars Society, Starchaser Industries is pioneering the exploration of space. Their sub-orbital range of rockets have already proven to be innovative and highly successful, and we have little doubt that the company will achieve its goal of launching a man-rated liquid-fuelled booster in the very near future," he went on to say, "and we are pleased to be associated with such a venture."

"The MARS programme has been initiated by the Mars Society and made possible entirely through private donation and sponsorship - much like our own rocket programme," Steve Bennett of Starchaser Industries stated. "We are very pleased to be able to help the Society carry forward very worthwhile research with this donation, and look forward to flying the Society's logo on our rockets in the near future. "

The Mars Society, founded in 1998, is promoting the human exploration of Mars around the world. The Mars Analogue Research Station project is an initiative by the Society to establish a series of realistic "Mars Stations" around the globe in environments that mimic the surface of Mars. Using these stations, the Society is generating a wealth of valuable data that will enable astronauts to work and live safely and in comfort when the time comes to send humans to Mars. The European Research Station will be the third such facility to be established by the Society and is planned to go live in 2002. The first two such facilities were established in the Canadian Arctic in 2000, and the American South West in 2001.

"Starchaser Industries and the Mars Society UK are motivated by the same desire," Peter Loftus, Resources Director for the Society continued. "We are both raising public interest in, and understanding of, space exploration. We share a common goal. I hope that by co-operating we can persuade other space groups to work together to promote understanding and develop the hardware we need to reach out into space." Starchaser Industries began life as an experimental rocket test programme set up by Steve Bennett in 1992. The goal had been to develop an inexpensive means of delivering small scientific payloads to high altitudes. Eleven out of twelve launches have been successful, with Starchaser (incorporated in 1998) becoming recognised internationally as a leader in its field. The team officially entered the X-Prize competition in 1997 to build and launch a privately funded vehicle capable of lifting a crew of 3 to 100 kilometres altitude and returning them safely to the Earth. Currently Starchaser Industries is ranked at joint first seed in the competition by Future Publishing‚s "Frontiers" magazine.

For further information on the Mars Society, visit: http://www.marssociety.org.uk or contact Bo Maxwell or ring the Mars Society Media Desk on 01908 520414

For information on Starchaser Inudustries, visit: http://www.starchaser.co.uk or contact Adrienne Bennett

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