Mars Institute - To further the scientific study, exploration, and public understanding of Mars.

March 9, 2009

Free Public Lecture at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

Join Dr. Pascal Lee, Director of the Haughton-Mars Project, Mars Institute for this free lecture at the H.R. MacMillan Space Center in Vancouver. Dr. Lee's talk is titled: From the Earth to Mars - Steps Towards a First Human Mission to the Red Planet.

The first human mission to Mars will likely be humanity's greatest undertaking in space exploration in the 21st century. As with all expeditions, its success will depend critically on planning. The First steps towards a human journey to the Red Planet are already being taken, as we continue to explore extreme environments on Earth and prepare for our return to the Moon. Human journeys to near-Earth asteroids and to the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, will also help pave the way.

Dr. Pascal Lee will discuss progress being made in the Canadian Arctic and around the world to achieve these milestones, and most importantly, he will explain why we should.

In addition to the lecture theme Dr. Lee will be available to discuss exciting news the Mars Institute is releasing earlier in the day.

Date & Time: Friday, March 13th, 8:15 PM PT
Location & Free Registration: H.R.MacMillan Space Center

December 15, 2008

The Haughton Crater as a Lunar Analog

Also available in high definition.

October 15, 2008

The Mars Institute Supports Lunar Rover Tests in Arizona

The Mars Institute was invited to participate in the annual Desert RATS, or Research and Technology Studies field test being held in Arizona in late October. Dr. Pascal Lee and Nicholas Wilkinson will be joining the NASA Desert RATS team providing support with the Mars Institute's traverse management system software. As well Dr. Lee will be one of the geologists along with an astronaut who will conduct one-day and three-day drives of the Small Pressurized Rover (SPR) with and without a pressurized cabin.

NASA Small Pressurized Rover

Monday, July 7, 2008

HMP Research Station

The HMP Research Station is Fully Operational for the 2008 Field Season

The Mars Institute advanced teams arrived in Resolute Bay on June 26th and have since opened up the HMP Research Station for this years longer field season. Researchers are already performing their work and today Internet communications were established.

Over 80 participants from over 15 institutions and two space agencies will make their way to Haughton Crater to conduct an exciting science and exploration research program. This years field season is expected to run through to mid-August, our longest deployment to date and will include the total solar eclipse on August 1st.

This year we plan to keep you even better informed on a daily basis using a variety of online social networking tools including:

As well we're planning webcasts of various events which may include the eclipse itself. Stay tuned for me details on the webcast schedule. And of course when full communications have been setup we'll turn on our live webcams.

Friday, February 22, 2008

HMP Research Station

2008 Field Season Plans Shaping up for the HMP Research Station

The Mars Institute has concluded its yearly goodwill visit to Inuit communities in the Canadian high arctic and has made them aware of our tentative plans for this summers deployment to the HMP Research Station on Devon Island.

We're planning another exciting field campaign with researchers from several institutions as well the Canadian Space Agency. We're also hoping to have other space agencies collaborating as well. And we have a bonus this year, on August the 1st there will be a total solar eclipse and the HMP Research Station is directly in the path of totality so we should have an excellent viewing and research opportunity, weather permitting of course.

  • Mars on Earth - HMP Research Station
  • NASA - Solar Eclipse Site

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    First International Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos

    Conference to Discuss Exploration of the two Moons of Mars

    The Mars Institute is co-convening this week a unique scientific meeting titled "First International Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos: The Science, Robotic Reconnaissance, and Human Exploration of the Two Moons of Mars." The conference is being held at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

    The meeting is bringing together scientists, engineers, space exploration professionals, and students from around the world to discuss over three intense days (5-7 Nov 2007) the exploration of Mars's two mysterious satellites and how their exploration relates to that of the Moon, Mars, small bodies, and the solar system beyond.

  • Complete Press Release
  • Final Announcement

    Conference Sponsors

    Mars Institute
    Lunar and Planetary Institute
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    NASA's Mars Exploration Program
    Canadian Space Agency
    European Space Agency
    Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
    Planetary Science Institute
    SETI Institute
    The Planetary Society
    International Association of Astronomical Artists

    Corporate Sponsors

    The Boeing Company
    Firestar Engineering
    Hamilton Sundstrand
    Optech Incorporated

    Friday, July 13, 2007

    HMP Research Station Live Webcams

    Haughton-Mars Project 2007 Field Season in Progress

    We are now into week two of a six week field season with new participants arriving at the HMP Research Station on Devon Island. Weekly features including video and research spotlights are now available as our live webcams.

  • Haughton-Mars Project Web Site

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    First International Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos

    First International Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos

    The First International Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos: The Science, Robotic Reconnaissance, and Human Exploration of the Two Moons of Mars, to be held November 5-8, 2007, will be the first international meeting focused specifically on Phobos and Deimos, and on how their exploration relates to that of Mars and the solar system. The conference will be an open international forum that gathers scientists, engineers, space exploration professionals, and students interested in discussing the status and advancement of the exploration of Mars' satellites, and the exploration of Mars itself through them.

    Along with Mars Institute sponsors of this conference include National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA Mars Program Office, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Canadian Space Agency, European Space Agency, Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Planetary Science Institute, SETI Institute and The Planetary Society

  • Press Release

    Thursday, May 3, 2007

    Canadian Mission Concept to Mysterious Mars moon Phobos to Feature Unique Rock-Dock Maneuver

    Canada Studies Mission to Mysterious Mars Moon

    The science team has tentatively selected a feature on the surface of Phobos as the landing site. Known as the "Phobos Monolith", it is a building-sized object. The mission intends to use a new maneuver coined rock-dock, to dock with Phobos.

  • Press Release

    Thursday, May 3, 2007

    HMP Research Station April 24, 2007

    Mars Institute HMP Research Station Photo Report now Available

    A pre-field season visit to the Mars Institute's Haughton-Mars Project Research Station on Devon Island was conducted on April 24, 2007. The field team included: Matt Bamsey (Canadian Space Agency), Samson Simonie and Paul Amagoalik, Mars Institute contractors.

  • Complete Report

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Mars Institute HMP Research Station Photo Report now Available

    In February the Mars Institute undertook its annual trip to the high arctic for talks with local communities and had the opportunity for an aerial survey of the HMP Research Station. Some of those photographs are now online.

  • HMP Research Station Photo Report - February 20, 2007

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Mars Institute Joins the NASA Research Park at the Ames Research Center

    On February 1 the Mars Institue became the latest tenant at the NASA Research Park at the Ames Research Center.

    We're excited at the opportunity to work in such an innovative environment. Our new address is:

    Mars Institute
    Mail Stop 19
    Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000

  • About the NASA Research Park
  • NASA Research Park leasing and outreach are successful, NASA Press Release

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    MIT models interplanetary supply chain

    In the summer of 2005 Dr. Olivier L. de Weck and his team at MIT had the opportunity to visit the Mars Institute's HMP Research Station on Devon Island to conduct research funded by NASA on space logistics. This month his team has released SpaceNet 1.3, a software tool for modeling interplanetary supply chains.

  • MIT Space Logistics Center Web Site
  • MIT Press Release

    Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    Mars Institute Expands Research Division

    The Mars Institute has added a new Operations Branch to our Research Division. Within the Operations Branch we've created the Medical Operations Laboratory which is now lead by Dr. Azhar Rafiq.

    Dr. Rafiq is an Associate Professor in Department of Surgery and is the Chief Scientific Officer for the NASA Research Partnership within the Center Medical Informatics and Technology Applications Consortium (MITAC) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

  • About the Mars Institute Research Division
  • Mars Institute Research Faculty
  • Biography of Dr. Azhar Rafiq

    Monday, November 27, 2006

    Phobos Reconnaissance & International Mars Exploration

    PRIME: Phobos Reconnaissance and International Mars Exploration

    The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has recently selected the PRIME (Phobos Reconnaissance and International Mars Exploration) Mars mission concepts study for funding. The acronym PRIME conveys a) the inherent top science and exploration value presented by missions to Mars's inner moon Phobos, and b) the preparatory role that such missions could play as early steps before more complex Mars and other small bodies exploration are undertaken. Initial PRIME mission concepts were developed in a joint partnership between the Mars Institute and Optech Inc..

    Optech now serves as overall lead and industrial prime for the CSA-supported concepts study. Mars Institute serves as lead institution for science. MDA Space Missions and Simon Fraser University in Canada, and Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab (APL) in the USA, are industrial partners. The PRIME Science Team is international and includes participants from Canada, USA, Europe, Russia, and Japan. PRIME Principal Investigator is Dr. Pascal Lee (Mars Institute). PRIME Deputy Principal Investigator is Dr. Alan Hildebrand (University of Calgary). Dr. Robert Richards (Optech) is PRIME Mission Concepts Study Lead and Project Manager.

  • Download PDF Poster of Mission Concept

    Monday, November 27, 2006

    Phobos Reconnaissance & International Mars Exploration

    HMP Research Station 2007 Field Season Planning Underway

    Planning is currently underway for the HMP Research Station 2007 field season. This will be the 11th year of the Haughton-Mars Project and the third where we provide field research support services for planetary analogue science & exploration studies on Devon Island for the Canadian Space Agency.

  • HMP Research Station

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Visit the HMP Research Station Weblog

    HMP Research Station Weblog Launched

    With the HMP Research Staion field season underway we've launched a new weblog designed to provide updates as are needed in an easy to navigate format. We do hope you'll visit the weblog often.

    The HMP Research Station field season will run from the end of June until the first week of August.

  • HMP Research Station Weblog

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    MARS-1 Humvve Rover.

    Arctic Field Support Engineers Needed - Simon Fraser University

    The Simon Fraser University PolyLAB in Vancouver, a unit of the Telematics Research Laboratory, is expecting to hire one or two support engineers, for a short period, to support exciting Canadian national activities in planetary exploration science, in which researchers develop scientific, engineering, and methodological techniques for furthering planetary exploration. The focus will be on understanding planetary surface exploration, especially the human exploration of the Moon and Mars, through supported field activities at planetary analogue field locations and laboratories. The selected person will support systems in this area in a field deployment in an Arctic field camp.

    The requirement is to hire personnel who can support SFU’s engineering support and management of exploration systems at the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station (HMPRS), on Devon Island, in the Canadian High Arctic. The hiring will be for roughly one month, starting in mid to late June, journeying to the Arctic at the beginning of July, and returning in early August.

  • Click here for position details.

    Monday, February 6, 2006

    Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse

    Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse Update

    The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse is currently dormant as we are in the dark period for another 9 days. However, weather permitting, we have been receiving basic environment data throughout the dark period. This is exciting for researchers as this was one of the goals we had set out to achieve. Once the dark period is over and the sun begins to shine again we should be back to regular updates including, we hope, new images from our webcams.

    During the fall there was some unusual activity in and around the greenhouse and the report listed below describes what we know to date. Another update to this report will follow when we know more.

  • 2005 Preliminary Fall Report (PDF format, 1.2 MB Download)
  • Mars Institute HMP Web site

    Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    NASA's Exploration Systems Architecture Study Final Report Released

    NASA today released the Exploration Systems Architecture Study final report which defines how NASA will implement the President's vision for space exploration.

  • Download the report.

    Monday, October 17, 2005

    Mars Institute Job Posting: Project Manager - Canada, Haughton-Mars Project

    We would like to thank all those people who applied for the position, Project Manager - Canada, Haughton-Mars Project. We are no longer accepting applications.

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    Mars-1 Humvee Rover

    Mars Institute Provides Logistic Support for the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP)

    In an expanding role the Mars Institute is once again providing logistic support to participants for the Haughton-Mars Project. The Haughton-Mars Project is an international planetary analogue field research and education project located on Devon Island, Canadian High Arctic, with principal governmental support from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the U.S. National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA).

    Last week the first participants traveled to Resolute Bay on Cornwallis Island in the high Arctic in preparation to be deployed to Devon Island. Yesterday four Twin Otter flights from Resolute Bay delivered the first 15 HMP participants and their equipment to the base camp on Devon Island. At this time initial camp opening is underway. Later this week and throughout the month additional participants will make their way to Devon Island to participate in the ongoing research activities. The field season is expected to run through August 11th.

    For updates please visit the Haughton-Mars Project web site.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2005

    The Mars Institute Logo

    An Institute Brief Update

    The Mars Intistute has been busy these past several months responding to NASA's Vision for Space Exploration as well as responding to a timely Canadian Space Agency request for proposals to provide support for analog research studies in Canada.

    We also participated in the successful Canadian Space Agency exploration workshop in Montreal. And as listed below we are preparing to participate in other Canadian events in the coming months.

    And the Arctic field season is almost upon us and we are busy preparing for what should be another successful research campaign.

    Lastly, Romance to Reality has added a frequently asked questions section.

    Monday, March 7, 2005

    Whistler Workshop on Planetary Science

    Whistler Workshop on Planetary Science

    The University of British Columbia will be hosting a workshop on Planetary Science at Whistler, British Columbia between June 5-10 sponsored in part by the Canadian Space Agency. This is a 5-day intensive introduction to modern comparative planetary science, designed for advanced undergraduate, beginning graduate students and professionals. The Mars Institute's Dr. Pascal Lee will be one of the five mini-course lecturers.

  • More information, registration and logistics.

    UBC Public Lecture

    University of British Columbia Public Lecture

    The University of British Columbia is hosting a Planetary Sciences Exploratory workshop between June 2-4 which will feature a public lecture in the evening on Saturday, June 4th. The Mars Institute's Dr. Pascal Lee will be speaking about Moon and Mars exploration.

  • More information.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    NASA Robotic & Human Exploration of Mars Roadmap Committee January 2005 Presentations

    Presentations from the NASA Robotic & Human Exploration of Mars Roadmap Committee Meeting

    On January 4th and 5th NASA's Robotic & Human Exploration of Mars Roadmap Committee met for the first time since being established. The presentations and related documents are now available in our documents archive section.

  • Access the meeting documents.

    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    OIAC 2004 Presentation

    International Astronautical Congress Presentation Online

    At this years 55th International Astronautical Congress held in Vancouver, Canada, Pascal Lee and co-author Marc Boucher presented the following talk: "Analog Research on Earth and Moon for Mars Science and Exploration" for the Human and Robotic Partnerships - New Systems and Technologies to Pursue the Exploration of Mars and the Search of Life session (IAA.3.7.2). The paper that accompanies the talk will be available at a later date.

  • Download Analog Research on Earth and Moon for Mars Science and Exploration (PDF)

    Wednesday, September 29, 2004

    NASA 2009 Mars Science Laboratory

    Mars Institute Participates in NASA Broad Agency Announcement and 2009 Mars Science Laboratory Call for Proposals

    As fall takes hold the Mars Institute has been busy these past few months working on several projects including participating in four proposals for NASA's recent Broad Agency Announcement in the first phase of implementing the President's new vision for the space exploration program. As well the institute participated in the recent call for proposals for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory scheduled to launch in 2009. At this time we are waiting with our partners to hear the outcome of the selection process later this year.

  • NASA Exploration Systems Directorate Acquisition Portals

    Wednesday, September 29, 2004

    Romance to Reality

    From the Moon to Mars, Romance to Reality Continues to Grow

    Mars Institute historian David Portree continues to grow Romance to Reality. And with the help of graphic artists like Jeff Bateman, annotations comes to life including Jeff's latest illustrations for the Direct Flight Apollo Study (1962) annotation. Below are the latest annotations.

  • Romance to Reality Web Site
  • Mars Sample Return Mission - Version 0.7, 1998
  • Mars Orbit Rendezvous vs. Direct Return - System Implication Overview, 1978
  • Mars Sample Return: Site Selection and Sample Acquisition Study, 1980

    Wednesday, July 14, 2004

    Mars-1 Humvee Rover

    NASA Haughton-Mars Project 2004 Field Season Underway

    For the 8th consecutive year the NASA Haughton-Mars Project is back on Devon Island in Canada's High Arctic. And for the second year the Mars Institute is providing logistic support for the project, in particular under contract to the Canadian Space Agency. As well the Mars Institute's Mars-1 Humvee Rover will be used extensively by various research groups. Reports will be made available as they come in.

  • NASA Haughton-Mars Project Web Site
  • The Mars Institute Mars-1 Humvee Rover
  • HMP Personal Equipment List (121 KB PDF)

    Wednesday, June 16, 2004

    Moon to Mars Commission Report

    President's Moon to Mars Commission Report Released

    Today the President's Commission on Moon, Mars and Beyond released its report. The report is titled "A Journey to Inspire, Innovate and Discover" and is made available here as it will have a significant bearing on the current space program.

  • Commission Report (2.17 MB PDF)

    Wednesday, May 5, 2004

    Mars Science Laboratory

    NASA Mars Science Laboratory Announcement of Opportunity

    NASA recently issued an Announcement of Opportunity for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The Mars Science Laboratory is rover capable of surface operations of 1 year on Mars, nearly two Earth years. The purpose of this mission is to explore and quantitatively assess Mars as a potential habitat for life, past or present.

  • MSL Web Site

    Wednesday, March 30, 2004

    Mars Express

    ESA's Mars Express confirms methane in the Martian atmosphere

    "During recent observations from the ESA Mars Express spacecraft in orbit around Mars, methane was detected in its atmosphere.

    Whilst it is too early to draw any conclusions on its origin, exciting as they may be, scientists are thinking about the next steps to take in order to understand more."

  • ESA Press Release

    Tuesday, March 23, 2004


    Mars Rover Opportunity Landed in What Was Once a Salty Sea

    NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity has provided new evidence that it landed on a shoreline of what was once a salty sea. The Opportunity rover will now travel to a newly named crater called Endurance to look for further evidence of water.

  • NASA Press Release
  • Beachcombing On the Shores of Barsoom, Mars Today

    Tuesday, March 2, 2004


    NASA Mars Opportunity Rover Finds Evidence of Past Liquid Water

    Scientists have concluded the part of Mars NASA's Opportunity rover is exploring was soaking wet in the past.

    Evidence the rover found in a rock outcrop led scientists to the conclusion. Clues from the rocks' composition, such as the presence of sulfates, and the rocks' physical appearance, such as niches where crystals grew, helped make the case for a watery history.

  • NASA Press Release

    Thursday, February 19, 2004

    The Mars Institute Logo

    Mars Institute Updates its Research Division and Posts its Organizational Structure

    The institute has updated and reorganized its Research Division. The Research Division is the research wing of the Mars Institute. It hosts and directly supports, coordinates, and manages, all research activities at the Mars Institute. The Research Division is divided into 3 branches: Science, Engineering, and Humanities and Social Sciences. The institute has also updated its organizational structure.

  • Research Division
  • Organizational Structure

    Wednesday, February 11, 2004

    Back to the Moon and then on to Mars!

    Mars Institute Statement in Response to President George W. Bush's Announcement on "New Vision for the Space Exploration Program"

    President Bush has outlined a new vision for the space exploration program that will have humans returning to the Moon as early as 2015 and no later than 2020, and prepare the way for human missions to Mars and beyond.

    The Mars Institute strongly supports the human exploration of Mars and considers returning to the Moon beforehand a viable option that could help achieve safer and more productive human operations on Mars.

  • Full Press Release

    Saturday, January 31, 2004

    MER PanCam

    NASA Mars Opportunity Rover Shows Proof of Hematite on Mars

    This spectrum captured by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's mini-thermal emission spectrometer shows the presence of grey hematite in the martian soil at Meridiani Planum, Mars. On Earth, hematite forms in the presence of water, at the bottom of lakes, springs and other bodies of standing water. But it can also arise without water in volcanic regions.

  • Full Status Report

    Thursday, January 29, 2004

    MER PanCam

    Dr. Michael Sims MER Journal: Sol 24 (January 27, 2003)

    Dr. Michael Sims is a researcher at the NASA Ames Research Center, a member of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Team and an Institute advisor. Michael has kindly allowed us to post his MER journal on the Mars Institute web site. This is his second entry.

  • MER Journal: Sol 24

    Thursday, January 29, 2004

    Mars Institute Online Store

    Mars Institute Launches its new Online Store

    Today the Mars Institute is launching its new online store. Here you'll find official Mars Institute merchandise for sale. Profits from the sale of these items go towards supporting the institute and its research and education programs.

  • Visit our new online store.

    Monday, January 26, 2004

    Mars Opportunity Lands

    NASA's Rover Opportunity Lands on Mars and Sends Back Stunning Images

    On Saturday evening at 9:05 PM PST NASA's Rover Opportunity landed on Mars and within hours was sending images of landscape we've never seen before. As exciting as Spirit's landing was three weeks ago, Opportunity did everything it could to rival its twin.

  • Full Story
  • First Images
  • First Color Image
  • First Stereoscopic Image
  • NASA Rover Web Site

    Friday, January 23, 2004

    Mars Express Data

    Mars Express sees its first water

    Mars Express, ESA's first mission to Mars, will reach its final orbit on 28 January. It has already been producing stunning results since its first instrument was switched on, on 5 January. The significance of the first data was emphasised by the scientists at a European press conference today at ESA's Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany.

  • Full Story and Photo's
  • Mars Express Background Information
  • ESA Mars Express Web Site

    Thursday, January 22, 2004

    Tour Poster

    Mars Institute Asia-Pacific Tour Successfully Concludes

    The Mars Institute's Chairman Dr. Pascal Lee and CEO Marc Boucher spent the first few weeks of 2004 touring the Asia-Pacific region. Stops included Hong Kong, Sydney, Canberra, Tokyo and Yokohama. Dr. Pascal Lee gave nine public and technical lectures in front a variety of audiences. The Institute was warmly received wherever they went.

    Dr. Lee discussed ongoing progress in Mars science and exploration, from the latest advances in the robotic exploration of Mars to current renewed prospects for human missions to the Red Planet, in particular via analog research conducted here on Earth, in low Earth orbit, and perhaps soon again on the Moon.

  • Full Story and Photo's
  • Tour Schedule and Abstracts

    Wednesday, January 21, 2004

    NASA Spirit Emtpy Nest

    NASA Spirit Empty Nest Photo

    This image mosaic taken by the panoramic camera onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rover's landing site, the Columbia Memorial Station, at Gusev Crater, Mars. This spectacular view may encapsulate Spirit's entire journey, from lander to its possible final destination toward the east hills.

  • Medium Image
  • Press Release

    Monday, January 19, 2004

    Mars Express First Image

    Mars Express Sends Back First Stunning Image

    Although the seven scientific instruments on board Mars Express are still undergoing a thorough calibration phase, they have already started collecting amazing results. The first high-resolution images and spectra of Mars have already been acquired.

  • Press Release
  • Mars Express Information

    Monday, January 19, 2004

    Adirondack - They of the Great Rocks

    Adirondack - "They of the Great Rocks"

    This true color image taken by the panoramic camera onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows "Adirondack," the rover's first target rock. Spirit traversed the sandy martian terrain at Gusev Crater to arrive in front of the football-sized rock on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2004, just two days after it successfully rolled off the lander.

  • Mars Exploration Rover Mission Home
  • Adirondack Larger Image

    Wednesday, January 14, 2004

    President Bush

    President Bush Announces New Vision for Space Exploration Program

    Today, the President committed the United States to a long-term human and robotic program to explore the solar system, starting with a return to the Moon that will ultimately enable future exploration of Mars and other destinations.

  • Text of President Bush's Speech and Background facts

    Monday, January 12, 2004

    New Mars Panorama

    Spirit Sends Back new Color Panorama

    The first 360-degree color view from NASA's Spirit Mars Exploration Rover presents a range of tempting targets from nearby rocks to hills on the horizon.

  • Mars Panorama
  • QuickTime Color VR Panorama

    Monday, January 12, 2004

    Dr. Michael Sims MER Journal: Sol 5 (Roughly January 7, 2003)

    Dr. Michael Sims is a researcher at the NASA Ames Research Center, a member of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Team and an Institute advisor. Michael has kindly allowed us to post his MER journal on the Mars Institute web site.

  • MER Journal: Sol 5

    Saturday, January 10, 2004

    Carbonates on Mars?

    NASA Spirit Rover Finds Possible Evidence of Carbonate in Gusev Crater

    Less than a week after landing on Mars, NASA's Spirit rover has found possible evidence that water once flowed on the now-barren planet, the goal of the mission. The scientists are cautious about their interpretation.

  • Press Release

    Saturday, January 10, 2004

    The Sydney Observatory

    Mars Institute Asia-Pacific Lecture Tour Continues

    After completing a successful stay in Hong Kong, the Mars Institute's Dr. Pascal Lee and Marc Boucher are now in Australia. Last evening Dr. Lee spoke in front of a sold-out audience at the famous Sydney Observatory. The tour continues today in Canberra followed by a brief stay in Japan starting Monday.

  • Tour Schedule and Abstracts

    Minites from Spirit on Mars

    Friday, January 9, 2004

    Mars Through Infrared Eyes of Spirit

    This image shows the martian terrain through the eyes of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's mini-thermal emission spectrometer, an instrument that detects the infrared light, or heat, emitted by objects. The different colored circles show a spectrum of soil and rock temperatures, with red representing warmer regions and blue, cooler. Clusters of cool rocks stand out to the left, and a warm, dusty depression similar to the one dubbed Sleepy Hollow can be seen to the upper right. Scientists and engineers will use this data to pinpoint features of interest, and to plot a safe course for the rover free of loose dust. The mini-thermal emission spectrometer data are superimposed on an image taken by the rover's panoramic camera.
    Source: NASA

  • Large Version

    Mars Horizon

    Saturday, January 10, 2004

    Hazy Martian Skies

    This image mosaic taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's panoramic camera shows the hills southeast of Spirit's landing site. Like a smoggy day in Los Angeles, dusty martian skies limit how much detail can be seen. This lack in visibility is demonstrated by comparing hills on the left to those on the right, located nearly two times farther away. The left panel of this image was captured in the late morning martian hours, looking toward the Sun. The right image was taken in the early afternoon, when the Sun was higher and the skies appeared darker.
    Source: NASA

  • Large Version

    Tuesday, January 6, 2004

    What Time is it on Mars?

    What Time is it on Mars?

    NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies has recently released an updated version of Mars24. "Mars24 is a cross-platform Java application and applet which displays a Mars "sunclock", a graphical representation of Mars showing the current sun- and nightsides of Mars, along with a numerical readout of the time in 24-hour format."

  • NASA "Time on Mars" Web Site

    Sunday, January 4, 2004

    MER Gusev Panorama

    First NASA Spirit Rover Quicktime VR

    The first Quicktime VR has been created by David Palermo of The stunning Quicktime VR Panorama from NASA's Spirit first images.

  • View Quicktime on Mars.TV

    Sunday, January 4, 2004

    MER Gusev Panorama

    Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Lands Successfully and Sends Back Spectacular Panorama

    The first of NASA's twin rovers, Spirit, successfully landed on Mars today and has sent back this first panorama.

  • Mars Panorama

    Saturday, January 3, 2004

    National Geographic Asia Exhibit Opening

    Mars Institute Chairman and CEO Launch National Geographic Asia's "Mission Mars" Exhibit in Hong Kong

    Mars Institute's Chairman Pascal Lee and Chief Executive Officer Marc Boucher along with the National Geographic's Pauline Goh opened the "Mission Mars" exhibit in Hong Kong today. The exhibit is part of a global effort by the National Geographic Society to feature Mars and their upcoming "Mission Mars" documentary. The documentary focuses on the efforts made by NASA and in particular the team that worked on the Mars Exploration Rover mission. The exhibit features a 1/2 scale model of the Mars Exploration Rover and an educational interactive experience.

  • National Geographic Asia "Mission Mars" Web Site
  • Exhibit Opening Image

    Saturday, January 3, 2004

    MER PanCam

    Follow the Mars Exploration Rovers as they Journey the Red Planet with NASA's Maestro Software

    The Maestro team at NASA JPL has created a public version of the primary software tool used to operate the twin mars rovers. You can download a scaled-down version of the program yourself. All major operating systems are supported.

  • Maestro Web Site
  • Full Story

    Monday, December 22, 2003

    Tour Poster

    Mars Institute Begins Global Explore Mars Lecture Tour in Asia-Pacific

    The Mars Institute is launching its first global Explore Mars Lecture Tour, a series of science talks and public lectures on Mars science and exploration, past, present and future, offered in support of Mars research worldwide and the continuation of the Mars Institute's research and education programs. The 2004 Tour will consist of four regional tours, beginning with a tour of the Asia-Pacific region in January, 2004.

  • Full Press Release
  • Tour Schedule and Abstracts
  • Tour Poster (PDF File)

    Thursday, December 4, 2003

    Romance to Reality Logo

    New Annotations Added to Romance to Reality

    Romance to Reality contains more than 300 detailed annotations (that is, summaries and descriptions) of classic, seminal, and illustrative moon and Mars exploration and settlement studies dating from 1950 to present. New annotations are added on a regular basis. Listed here are two of the latest annotations. You can always find out what's been added to the web site by viewing our What's New page.

  • MESUR-BASED Mars Sample Return, Final Report - July 16, 1993, Martin Marietta
  • A Mars 1984 Mission, NASA TM-78419, Mars Science Working Group, July 1977
  • Romance to Reality Web Site

    Wednesday, October 29, 2003

    Mars Institute Board of Directors, from left to right, Charles Cockell, Marc Boucher, Pascal Lee, David Jankowski.

    Mars Institute Holds Its First Annual General Meeting

    On Saturday, October 25, the Mars Institute held its first annual general meeting in Los Angeles. Topics on the full agenda included an overview of our first year of operations, the 2004 Business Plan, the addition of two new students to the Board of Advisors, an addition to our Research Division, a discussion on restructuring the Research Division, a new organizational chart, trademark licensing strategy, intellectual property and patent issues, and the Strategic Plan for the 2003-2008 period.

    The Institute is pleased to announce that Greg Mungas has joined the Research Division as an Associate Researcher. Mr. Mungas is a well respected engineer who co-founded Firestar Engineering and currently works at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

    The Institute is also pleased to announce that it has selected two new student advisors for the Board of Advisors. They are, Keith A. Milam a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee and Matt Bamsey an undergraduate student at Carleton University.

  • Board of Advisors
  • Larger image of Board of Directors

    Wednesday, August 27, 2003

    New Romance to Reality Logo

    "Romance to Reality" Comes to the Mars Institute

    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.

  • Full Press Release
  • Romance to Reality Web Site

    Monday, August 25, 2003

    Mars Institute Signs its First Contract

    The Mars Institute was recently awarded its first research grant. The contract with the Canadian Space Agency was awarded for "Geologic Investigations of Intra-crater Sedimentary Deposits at the Haughton Impact Structure, Devon Island, High Arctic, viewed as a possible Terrestrial Analogue for Intra-crater Deposits on Mars". The principal investigator is Gordon Osinski, a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Mars Institute. Co-Investigators inlcude Dr. Pascal Lee, Mars Institute and Dr. Richard Grieve, Natural Resources Canada.

    Monday, August 4, 2003

    Phoenix Mars Scout.

    Phoenix Mars Scout Proposal Selected for 2007 Mission

    On Monday NASA selected the Phoenix Mars Scout proposal for the 2007 launch opportunity. The Principal Investigator is Peter Smith, a member of the Mars Institute Board of Advisors. The Mars Institute congratulates Peter and his team for putting together a great mission.

  • University of Arizona Press Release
  • Phoenix Mars Scout Web Site

    Monday, August 4, 2003

    MARS-1 Humvve Rover.

    MARS-1 Humvee Rover Completes Initial Trials in High Arctic

    The Mars Institute's MARS-1 Humvee Rover has successfully completed its initial field trials in the Canadian High Arctic on Devon Island. A report on this summers activities will be available in the near future.

  • MARS-1 Humvee Rover
  • NASA Haughton-Mars Project

    Tuesday, June 10, 2003

    Brent Sherwood of the Boeing Company Joins Mars Institute Board of Advisors

    The Mars Institute is happy to announce today that Brent Sherwood, Director of Business Development for the Exploration and Development of Space at Boeing has joined the Mars Institute's Board of Advisors.

  • Board of Advisors

    Friday, May 16, 2003

    The Mars Institute Unveils its Logo
    Demonstrating a Bold Blend of Technical and Artistic Creativity

    The Mars Institute Logo

    The Mars Institute proudly announces the introduction of its new logo today as part of its ongoing strategy to position the institute as a leader in the effort to further the scientific study, exploration, and public understanding of Mars.

  • Full Press Release

    Tuesday, April 22, 2003

    Mars Exploration Historian and Science Writer David Portree Joins Mars Institute Research Faculty

    David Portree

    The Mars Institute today announced that David S. F. Portree has joined the Mars Institute's Research Faculty as an Associate Researcher.

    Mr. Portree is a recognized historian of space exploration and an award-winning independent science writer based in Flagsaff, Arizona. He was formerly Senior Technical Writer and Historian at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He holds a M.S. (1987) in History from Illinois State University and is an educator at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.

  • Full Press Release

    Tuesday, April 22, 2003

    Dr. Yoji Ishikawa Joins Mars Institute Board of Advisors

    Distinguished research engineer Dr. Yoji Ishikawa of the Obayashi Corporation in Japan has joined the Mars Institute's Board of Advisors.

  • Board of Advisors

  • NASA Rover Spirit
    Status: Operational
    Landed January 3

    NASA Rover Opportunity
    Status: Operational
    Landed January 24

    Mars Express Orbital Insertion
    Orbital Insertion: Completed
    12/24/03, 7:00 pm PST

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