Mountain View, CA, – August 27, 2003 – Famed author Ray Bradbury once said “It is part of the
nature of man to start with romance and build to a reality.
” It is only fitting that today when Mars
is closer to Earth than it has been in nearly 60,000 years and that the romance of Mars still strongly
calls to humanity that we re-launch historian and Mars Institute Faculty member David S. F. Portree’s
“Romance to Reality” on the Mars Institute web site.

First launched on August 28, 1996, the popular educational web site now contains more than 300
summaries and descriptions of documents from the history of planning for moon and Mars voyages. The
new site sports a new look, including a logo donated by professional space exploration artist
Pat Rawlings.

Romance to Reality has been my lunatic obsession these past 7 years,” laughs Portree. But Portree
launched the site with a serious purpose in mind: to help get humans to Mars. “I thought that if people
knew the sheer number of ideas that exist for going to Mars, then the goal of humans on Mars would become
more attainable,” Portree explains.

Romance to Reality has led to numerous invitations for its author to write and speak about Mars
exploration. In 2001, for example, NASA published Portree’s book Humans to Mars: Fifty Years of Mission
. “NASA engineers and scientists contact me with questions,” Portree adds, “as do many students
around the world.”

Romance to Reality is a great addition to the Mars Institute,” said Marc Boucher, the Institute’s CEO.
“David’s hard work in building this unique reference site will help researchers as we build towards the
first Humans to Mars mission. We will be seeking additional funding from government and private sources
to expand on David’s work as well as new initiatives.”

You can visit the Romance to Reality web site using this address:

About the Mars Institute

The Mars Institute is a non-profit public benefit corporation registered and incorporated in both the United States
and Canada whose purpose is to further the scientific study, exploration, and public understanding of Mars.
The Institute:

  • Develops, implements and supports high quality peer-reviewed scientific research about the planet Mars, its present nature, and its climatic, geologic and possibly biologic evolution, including through analog studies (investigations of similarities and differences between the Earth, Mars and other planets);
  • Analyzes, develops and implements concepts, technologies and strategies for the exploration of Mars, by robotic systems and humans;
  • Informs the public on the results, progress, and benefits to humankind of Mars exploration through the development and implementation of educational and public outreach activities.

For more information, please contact:

Marc Boucher, CEO (Email)
Mars Institute
Tel.: +1 (604) 669-3725