Mars Society Press Release

For immediate release

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July 5, 2000. This afternoon, the primary components of the Mars Society’s
Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station were successfully dropped by parachute
of Devon Island. The low-altitude air drop was done by two US Marine Corp
Reserve C-130 Hercules aircraft from Marine Aircraft Group 41 in Fort Worth
Texas. The cargo was prepared for air delivery by Marines from the 4th Air
Delivery Platoon based in San Jose. A tremendous amount of coordination and
work went into the construction, preparation and loading of the cargo, and
the Marines involved did what was necessary to ensure the cargo was ready for
a safe delivery. Operating in fair weather, the Marines achieved their
objective of safely and precisely landing the palettes containing the
components of the Flashline Station on the 150 meter-wide Haynes Ridge
location where the station will be built. The cargo was delivered
successfully. Commenting on the smoothness of the operation, Lt.Col Tom
Duncavage, a Marine reservist and NASA manager who commanded the operation
said; “I could not be more proud of these Marines for their determination,
skill and attention to duty. These loads were difficult and the first of
their kind. Marines like to be first, and we thrive in the environment of
the difficult. Like the science team on station here at Devon, we are all
proud to be part of the Haughton-Mars project.”

Simultaneously with the air drop of materials for the Mars Society, the
Marines also successfully delivered supplies for the NASA-led Haughton-Mars
Project (HMP). The HMP and the Mars Society are working in parallel to
further programs of Mars exploration and operations research on Devon Island.

Devon Island is located 75 degrees north, in Nunavut Territory, Canada. A
polar desert with a 12 miles diameter meteorite impact crater, Devon is
considered one of the leading Mars-analog environments on Earth. The Mars
Society’s Flashline Station will support a program of Mars exploration
operations research, in which geological and other forms of scientific
exploration relevant to Mars will be carried out under many of the
constraints that will be faced by astronauts working in the field on the Red
Planet. The purpose is to develop the strategies and test the tools needed
for successful and highly productive human Mars missions.

Construction of the Flashline Station will now begin. If favored by good
weather, the completed station will be ready for operation by late July. The
Mars Society then plans two-weeks of shakedown operations for the Flashline
Station this summer, in preparation for 8 weeks of operation during the
summer of 2000.

A full report on the construction and initial shakedown operation will be
presented at the Mars Society’s Third International Convention, which will be
held at Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 10-13, 2000. See for details.

Thanks Marines!