Reproduce or Pass on As Desired

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In This Issue:







The Mars Society is initiating a project to develop one or more analog
pressurized rovers to use in field research in Mars analog environments
around the world.

Pressurized rovers, which could allow week-long field trips by Mars
explorers in a shirt-sleeve environment, have been the subject of
considerable discussion, but little real engineering, architectural, or
operational research, for some time. The Mars Societyís analog pressurized
rovers will allow one or more concepts for such vehicles to be put to the
test of supporting actual field work. In the process the Mars Society
intends to help produce the knowledge base necessary to develop strategies
that maximize the effectiveness of pressurized rovers in combined operations
with other mission assets, including robots, pedestrian astronauts,
astronauts using unpressurized light vehicles, Mars base habitat personnel,
mission control, and the terrestrial scientific community.

The Pressurized Rover Project will be conducted on a basis that allows
maximum opportunity for Mars Society Chapter participation. Chapters or
others who wish to participate should form design groups to develop their
concept and then present their proposed concept to a special session on
analog pressurized rovers that will be held at the Third International Mars
Society Convention in Toronto in August (see for
convention details.) One or more concepts determined to be the most
promising will then be selected by the Mars Society for support. The group
selected would then be responsible for building the rover, with funds for
parts coming from Mars Society HQ. The program thus follows the model of the
highly successful solar car races, in which university based teams have
developed many innovative solar-powered cars with limited sponsorship
support from automobile companies or others. Once developed, the rovers will
be used to conduct research operations by Mars Society members in Mars
analog environments in North America, Eurasia, Australia, the polar regions,
or elsewhere.


The Mars analog pressurized rover represents an Operational, rather than an
Engineering test-bed for an actual Mars rover. Therefore, it need not be
actually pressurized and the use of a conventional internal combustion
engine and drive train for propulsion is acceptable. However, the rover

1. Contain complete living accommodations for a crew of at least 2 for a
week-long excursion.

2. Be capable of off-road mobility over difficult terrain ñ the rougher the

3. Be capable of at least 20 mph over easy terrain.

4. Have a one-way range of at least 200 miles.

5. Have a mass of 1500 kg or less, the less the better.

6. Be transportable in a C-130 aircraft, with lighter aircraft (DC-3)


Analog rovers need not contain airlocks. However the crew of those that do
not will have to operate accordingly (i.e. suit up before any hatch can be
opened.). While there is no specific defined requirement, it is desired that
the vehicle have as minimal an environmental footprint as possible.

It is clear that the requirements/desirements listed above are in some
degree of internal conflict. The lightest and most nimble rovers will tend
to offer the most cramped and uncomfortable accommodations. Concepts will be
selected for support based upon achieving the best compromise combination of
the required attributes, the quality of the team proposing to build the
rover, and the amount of funds required from Mars Society HQ for their
construction. Those requiring further guidance as to the desired qualities
for the Mars Societyís analog rovers should contact Kurt Micheels

So start designing! And may the best rover win!


The Mars Society Steering Committee will meet in Denver April 21-22. The
meeting will be begin Friday April 21 at 1 PM at a hotel near the Denver
airport. Deliberations will be interrupted in the late afternoon for a tour
of the Mesa Fiberglass factory, where the Flashline Arctic Research Station
is now under construction. After viewing the Flashline Station, attendees
will be transported to Boulder, where there will be an evening public event
at the University of Colorado featuring Chris McKay, Pascal Lee, Robert
Zubrin, and other members of the Steering Committee on a panel entitled
ìThe Way to Mars.î Then, on Saturday, the Steering Committee will continue
to meet all day at a room at the University of Colorado. Details on all
locations will be announced on the Mars Society web site well before the

The tentative agenda for the Steering Committee meeting includes the

1. Current Status of the Flashline Arctic Research Station project.

2. Plans for Flashline Station operations in 2000 and 2001.

3. The Pressurized Rover Project.

4. Operation President and other Political work.

5. Chapter Activities (both US and International)

6. Educational Initiatives

7. Plans for the Toronto convention

Those requesting that additional items be added to this agenda should send
e-mail to Maggie Zubrin (


Operation President is on a roll. Over the March 4-6 weekend Mars Society
members made contact with candidates coast to coast. The most successful
efforts were achieved by the Caltech chapter, led by chapter President Derek
Shannon. They were able to approach Al Gore, John McCain, and George W.
Bush (they also met with Bill Bradley on February 8th). While at the Gore
event, Derek Shannon was told by Congresswoman Maxine Waters “If anyone was
going to do that [send humans to Mars], it would be Gore.” (see reports of
these meetings at When Shannon asked Bush about
humans to Mars, Bush replied “maybe”. Derek Shannon was also able to speak
to Congressman Rohrabacher and Congressman Rogan at the Bush event. On the
other coast, a dozen members of the New England chapter were in attendance
with ON TO MARS! signs at a McCain rally in Boston. Although they were
unable to speak to the candidate, they were shown on several television
stations (and probably recorded by C-Span), interviewed by a local
newspaper, and recruited several people. In Michigan, Julie Edwards was
able to hand Tipper Gore a copy of “The Case for Mars”

As the field of candidates thins, we still intend to continue our efforts
all over the country, by speaking to candidates, their staff, and by
increasing our phone, fax, and mailing efforts to the candidates. In
addition, Operation President hopes to have a presence at both the
Democratic and Republican national conventions, as well as the presidential
debates in October. We have already had an impact on this campaign, but we
need to continue our momentum all over the country. In order to achieve
this goal we need more people to approach the candidates and declare their
support for a human mission to Mars by 2010. We will post as accurate
scheduling information as we can at
If you have any questions or information to share with us, please contact
Chris Carberry at


The second issue of The Martian Chronicles, the journal of the Youth Chapter
of the Mars Society, is now out! Check it out at the Mars Youth website:

In this issue:

NASA’s Valentine ~ Mars Polar Lander & Mars Climate Orbiter ~ Doing a Mars
Society Presentation ~ Meet the Scientist – Dr. Robert Zubrin ~ Human
Powered Ornithopter ~ The Recluse (Mars fiction) ~ Mars and Education ~Mars

If you have trouble viewing the newsletter on-line, or would like to
distribute the newsletter to schools or other institutions in your area,
please let Margarita Marinova ( know.

Thanks to all who submitted the great articles! The deadline for submissions
for the third issue of The Martian Chronicles is March 25


In order to stimulate useful, meritorious, and vitally important activity
among young people, the Mars Society will again award the “Hakluyt Prize”
for the best letter or group of letters written by a student to world
political leaders making the case for initiating a humans-to-Mars program.

To be eligible, contestants must be students or cadets in secondary school
or college between the ages of 12 and 22. All letters to be considered must
be sent either via stamped mail and/or e-mail to relevant world leaders,
such as Presidents, Prime Ministers, Science Ministers, Space Agency
Administrators, and elected representatives. The more leaders reached by a
given contestant, the better. Copies of the letter with a list of the
addresses to which it was sent should be forwarded to,
or via stamped mail to Hakluyt Prize, Mars Society, Box 273, Indian Hills,
CO 80454 USA. An English translation should be provided for letters written
in a language other than English.

The winner of the contest will receive a Bushnell telescope and an
all-expenses-paid trip to the Third International Mars Society Convention in
Toronto this August. To be considered for this year’s Hakluyt Prize, entries
must be received by May 31, 2000. Entries received after June 1 will be
considered for next year’s Hakluyt Prize.

The Hakluyt Prize is named after Richard Hakluyt, the brilliant pamphleteer,
whose writings, addressed to Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir
Humphrey Gilbert, Sir Francis Walsingham, and other influentials in Tudor
England convinced that country’s power elite to make the policy decisions
that led to the establishment of the first British colonies in North
America. If not for Richard Hakluyt, the United States probably would not
exist. If there is to be a human civilization on Mars in the future, there
needs to be another Hakluyt today. Maybe that person is someone you know.
Maybe that person is you. Start writing! The future is counting on you.

For Further information see our website at or contact


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