Mars Society Special Bulletin #28

Press Release From: Mars Society
Posted: Sunday, February 6, 2000

Mars Society Special Bulletin #28
Feb. 4, 2000
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In this issue:


The Mars Society announced on January 26 that, the premier software component marketplace, has elected to sponsor the $1.3 million Mars Arctic Research Station (M.A.R.S.), the world's first simulated Mars base. This innovative sponsorship by allows the company to become more involved in humankind's historic reach into space, an effort in which technological quality plays such a critical role. Flashline will donate $175,000 to the society. In return for this generosity the Mars Society has decided to name the habitat the Mars Society Flashline Arctic Research Station. The habitat, to be located at Haughton Crater on Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada, began construction in the United States in December 1999 and is expected to be operational on Devon in July of 2000. For more details on the station, visit the Flashline Station website at

Although the high tech community has widely adopted the notion of naming rights in North American professional sports, The Mars Society Flashline Arctic Research Station marks the first agreement of its kind in the aerospace industry.

The Mars Society is one of the fastest growing space advocacy groups around and is committed to furthering the human exploration and settlement of Mars. The Flashline Arctic Research Station is the Society's first major project and underscores its commitment to science and exploration. As a contributing part of NASA's Haughton Mars Project, the station will enable scientists, engineers and eventually astronauts to develop the tools, technologies, strategies and human factors experience needed to prepare for the human exploration of Mars.

Dr. Robert Zubrin, president of The Mars Society said, "This agreement demonstrates's vision. The securing of naming rights is just the first step for private companies as they see more opportunities in space exploration."

"The computer industry and the space program have always been intertwined in a historic synergy that has fueled advancements in both Earth-bound and space-related technology," said Charles M. Stack, president and CEO of "My hope is that The Mars Society's projects will re-energize public and private efforts to explore space. We are extremely honored to participate in this project."

About Flashline.Com is a privately held company pioneering the development of the world's first true software component marketplace. It is a leading resource to research, buy and sell reusable JavaBeans, Enterprise JavaBeans, COM, and CORBA software components. This award-winning site is fourth in a family of successful Internet companies created by Charles Stack, who is well known for creating the first Internet retail store. Information on can be obtained at their website at

A complete report on the building and first shakedown operations of the Mars Society Flashline Station will be presented at the Third International Mars Society convention, to be held at Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, August 10-13, 2000. Further information on the Flashline Station and the convention can be found at the project and Mars Society websites at and respectively.


New renderings of Flashline Station have been posted at the Station's website at These renderings accurately depict the design currently under construction by Infrastructure Composites International at the Mesa Fiberglass fabrication facility in Commerce City, Colorado.

The design effort was led by Kurt Micheels, M.A.R.S. Project Manager and Architect, with the input and assistance of many Mars Society members. The nearly two-year effort saw a total of 19 design iterations. Early versions of the station (August '98 - March '99) envisioned a three-deck structure sporting five entry hatches. Extensive review of Mars habitat design combined with the need to be compatible with the environment on Devon Island lead to the current two deck/three hatch configuration.

The most prominent hatch visible in the renderings is the primary EVA hatch (ExtraVehicular Activity, the term refers to going outside of a spacecraft). It connects to an airlock and EVA preparation area (mud room). The second hatch to the right of the EVA hatch provides access to the sample processing area of the lab compartment on the first deck. The crane depicted between both hatches would be used for manipulating rock boxes or other heavy objects. A third hatch opposite the EVA hatch will provide connection to a future peripheral structure, most likely a greenhouse. The first deck will also house a toilet room, a medical facility and dry storage, for now all contained within a storm shelter located at the center of the deck. In addition, the deck will also contain large mechanical compartment, containing water storage, hot water heater, waste storage, electrical conduits, plumbing and HVAC ducting.

The second deck contains all crew living quarters, a galley, wardroom, toilet and shower. Work areas for observation and control of EVA activities will be provided by two 1.0-meter diameter windows. The domed ceiling above the second deck will allow opportunities for locating planters and indirect lighting. At the present time, the contractor is assembling all materials necessary to begin fabrication of the individual hab panels and components. This work is scheduled to be completed by February 16. Given the current pace of work, a test assembly of the hab may begin as early as April 15.


During the New Hampshire primary, Mars Society members made it their business to talk with every presidential candidate about a human mission to Mars. Most candidates were approached more than once, and, for the most part, we received positive responses. George W. Bush was approached by Rich Robbins in Washington D.C., and by Chris Carberry and Alan Rubin in New Hampshire. In all of these meetings, Bush was cautiously supportive of the concept of a human mission to Mars. He mentioned to Robbins that he shared his father's dream of sending humans to Mars. In all cases, Bush said he needed to study the concept more and wanted to know how much it cost. Carberry and Rubin were able to hand him materials that addressed these concerns, along with copies of the first 14,000 names on the Mars petition . In a later conversation with Carberry, Bush did mention his concern with NASA. As a result of the recent failures, Bush stated that he couldn't support any of this until "NASA got its act together."

At the Nashua, New Hampshire Veteran's Day Parade, Chris Carberry was able to query Senator McCain about Mars. When Carberry introduced himself as being a member of the Mars Society, McCain playfully asked Carberry whether he supported metric or English units. McCain then asked Carberry if he had every heard of Space Islands (McCain had spoken in support of Space Island Corp. a few weeks earlier). Carberry and McCain spoke on that subject for about a minute and then shifted back to Mars. McCain seemed interested in meeting with the Mars Society (particularly Society president Robert Zubrin). McCain also asked what the Mars Society's opinion on Space Islands is (few days later, Zubrin responded to this question). The Carberry-McCain exchange lasted about five minutes and was played on C-Span. Overall, McCain seemed very enthusiastic about space related issues.

When Carberry met Bill Bradley, the Democratic contender seemed cool to the idea of a human mission to Mars. He was impressed with the Mars Society however, commenting "Boy, you guys have an active organization." He mentioned that someone had handed him copies of Zubrin's books (although he admitted that he had not read them) and that others had queried him on Mars. He seemed quite surprised that he was being asked this question so frequently. Carberry was able to hand Al Gore a folder containing descriptions of Mars Direct and the NASA reference mission along with copies of the Mars Petition signatures. Carberry did see Gore briefly look through this material. Unfortunately, he did not have an opportunity to query the Vice-President on Mars exploration.

Carberry also spoke to Steve Forbes. Although Forbes at first did not show overwhelming interest in a humans to Mars mission, he said he did like the idea, because it would inspire the frontier spirit. Forbes stated that he does not like the way NASA is run, but he did like the idea of a mission partially or fully-funded by private means. Carberry mentioned that there were some private initiatives being developed including ThinkMars at MIT. The conversation lasted about five minutes. In a recent SpaceViews article (you can read it at, Forbes said that he would support continued funding for Mars exploration despite the recent Mars mission failures, noting "Oh, we're going to have a very aggressive space program." The Republican candidate added, "We want to go out to the stars. We want to go out to space. We are a curious people, and that's not going to stop." Forbes once again mentioned his desire to get the private sector more involved.

When Carberry questioned Republican contenders Alan Keyes and Gary Baeur, they both said they could support a human mission to Mars. Keyes said "It should be a role of the U.S. government to support exploration". Bauer, while not as enthusiastic as Keyes, said he would like to see the United States go to Mars, although he had some concerns with NASA management. Carberry was also able to approach possible VP candidate Elizabeth Dole. She said that she is a supporter of NASA and that she could support a mission to Mars, but would have to be convinced that it could be done safely and at a reasonable cost. Carberry told her that he would send her some materials that addressed these concerns.

The campaign now moves to the rest of the country. The next primaries are in South Carolina and Arizona followed by "Super Tuesday," which includes California. We need to continue bringing our message directly to the candidates in as many states as possible. We have already had an impact on this campaign. All of the candidates know that we exist and that they need to be ready to respond to Mars questions. It is now up to us to show the candidates that Mars exploration is a worthwhile venture and that there is public support for it. Operation President will post as accurate scheduling information as we can get. If you see or hear of a candidate event coming up, please let us know, and we will post it and try to get some Mars Society members at that event. To make this effort work, we cannot be shy. It is time for all of us to seek out the candidates and tell them that we support a human mission to Mars and that such a mission is in the best interests of the United States and of humanity as a whole. On to Mars.


With close to a hundred chapters and task forces around the world, the Mars Society has an army of Mars enthusiasts working to promote Mars exploration and education. Some recent notable activities:

The Mars Youth Group has just released its first Mars Youth Newsletter -- "The Martian Chronicles." Features include: Meet the Scientist: Dr. Pascal Lee ~ Water on Mars ~ Does Mars have the Right Stuff for Life? ~ Puzzle of the Week ~ A Future History ~ Artificial Gravity on a Mars Mission. Check out the first issue at

The Outreach Task Force has launched the "Mars Goes Hollywood" program, organizing chapters to set up tables at theaters planning to show any of the upcoming Mars movies. In addition, the Outreach group is establishing a program to establish a Mars Society presence at airshows across the United States. For information on either program, swing by their website

The Society's Oregon chapter, in collaboration with the Oregon Public Education Network, (OPEN) and the Oregon L5 Society is developing a comprehensive, state-wide Mars Millennium Project proposal focusing on a Lava Tube Colony. Several Social Science lessons dealing with history are currently in place, as is an Art section on constructing a Martian lava tube model. Take a peek at

Numerous U.S. chapters report having presented public talks on Mars exploration recently -- among them chapters in New York, Ohio, California, Washington state, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Mars Society members are also waving the Martian flag (as it were) internationally, with the Mars Society Polska reporting that a public presentation at the University of Warsaw was well received. Likewise, the British chapter (Mars Society UK Ltd.) recently hosted an "Afternoon on Mars" with the Challenger Learning Centre in Leicester. More intriguing, UK members report that they have re-initiated monthly London "Spacepub" meetings that bring together space advocates, aerospace professionals and journalists.

The Red Planet Satellite Report offers a full listing of recent chapter and task force activities. You can find it in the members section of the Mars Society website at


Presidential-hopeful John McCain's, in answer to the question: "Should the U.S. pursue a manned mission to Mars?" published the following answer on his website.

"A manned mission to Mars appears to be technologically possible over the next few years, but it would be a very costly undertaking. With the high costs of the International Space Station, NASA doesn't have enough funding to undertake another major mission. However, if the cost of a manned mission to Mars could be drastically reduced, I believe we should pursue this important space exploration project."

Editors' note: It seems like Mr. McCain needs to hear more about the new low-cost Mars mission architectures, such as the CalTech mission, Mars Direct and NASA JSC's Design Reference Mission.


In order to facilitate broad attendance at the Mars Society Convention, to be held in Toronto August 10-13, 2000, Ryerson University has made available to the Mars Society a block of 150 dormitory rooms that can be rented by convention attendees at a rate of $22 (US) per night for students with ID, or $33 (US) per night for others. These rates are much lower than the cost of hotel rooms in Toronto, so if you wish to take advantage of this money-saving offer, we suggest you reserve your room immediately.

Located approximately a one-minute walk from convention facilities, the private rooms are dorm-style, with own telephone, TV, fridge and microwave on every floor, and access to swimming pool and exercise room.

To reserve your room call Ryerson Residence Tel: (416) 979-5296


Valentine's Day is coming, and, guys, this year the good news is that you can show her your love, while helping get humans to Mars at the same time. That's right, romance her for Mars! The way to do it is to send her flowers from 1-800-Flowers at the Mars Society Mall. It's easy ů just go to the Mars Society website at, click on 'Shop Now,' go to 1-800-Flowers and make your purchase. Five percent of whatever you spend will go to the Mars Society to help build the Mars Society Flashline Arctic Research Station, and other projects designed to help get humans to Mars.

Of course, if you really want to show her you care, offers fine jewelry for the serious romantic. But that's not all that's available at the Mall. Books, clothing, art -- it's all for sale at the Mars Society Mall. And ladies, don't be left out! Guys like to get presents too. Everything a man can possibly want (almost) can be gotten at the Mars Society mall.

The Mars Society Mall: If we don't have it, you don't need it.

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