Mars Research Station in Canadian Arctic and Astronauts to be Featured

Contact: Nick Welke, telephone: (416) 307-4579, e-mail:

TORONTO, Canada The exploration and settlement of Mars will be the
subjects when more than 1,000 aerospace experts and enthusiasts, ranging
from educators to NASA scientists, gather at the Third International Mars
Society Convention at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto August

The Toronto convention will showcase the Society’s first major project, the
Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS). The station is a field
research laboratory and simulated Mars habitat which was recently
constructed in the Canadian high arctic in a polar desert environment
adjacent to the Haughton impact crater on Devon Island. A subsequent
shakedown simulation with a crew of six people was conducted in this
analogous Martian environment.

A press conference will feature members of this year’s FMARS team,
including Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin, Darlene Lim, Dr. Carol
Stoker, Marc Boucher, and Dr. Pascal Lee. The press conference, which will
follow the plenary sessions about FMARS in Ryerson Theatre, will begin at
12:00 p.m. on Friday, August 11, in room L72 of the Library Building at 350
Victoria Street.

The convention will also feature exciting panel discussions and talks given
by those on the forefront of Mars research and exploration. The convention
attendees, from more than 40 countries, will discuss various technical,
scientific, and social aspects of exploring and establishing human
settlements on Mars. Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin, Apollo 11
astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin, and Space Shuttle astronauts Col. Scott Horowitz
and Dr. John Grunsfield will deliver some of the plenary talks. The
convention speakers will also be available for one-on-one media interviews,
upon request.

Another convention highlight will be the panel discussion entitled “Finding
the Way to Mars.” This free session on Thursday, August 10, at 8:00 p.m. in
the Ryerson Theatre will be open to the public.

Convention admission is free to the media. Media representatives are
encouraged to pick up their press badges and press kits from the media
table in the registration area in Pitman Hall on Wednesday evening or in
the North Hub of Jorgenson Hall during the Convention. Further information,
including the schedule of events, is posted on the Mars Society website

Founded in August 1998, the Mars Society is a non-profit organization with
over 3,000 members representing about 40 countries. Its purpose is to
further the goal of the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet via
both public and political outreach, and private research.