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)

“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
Publishingâs “Frontiers” magazine.

For further information on the Mars Society, visit: or contact Bo Maxwell or ring the Mars Society
Media Desk on 01908 520414

For information on Starchaser Inudustries, visit: or contact Adrienne Bennett