Members of the founding Board of Directors of the Mars Institute formally unveiled the new organization today at the World Space Congress.
The Mars Institute is a California-based nonprofit corporation whose stated purpose is to further the scientific study, exploration, and public understanding of Mars. The Institute intends to:
A new century of scientific knowledge and exploration of Mars has begun, with the current planning and prospect of many new missions to be launched to the Red Planet.
The Mars Institute was created to respond to this opportunity and, out of a need strongly felt by its initiators, to establish an independent nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to focus on advancing the scientific study and exploration of Mars, with a central commitment to conducting high quality peer-reviewed research, and on sharing knowledge and experiences of Mars exploration with students and the general public worldwide.
The Mars Institute's founding Board of Directors includes Dr. Pascal Lee of the SETI Institute, Dr. Charles Cockell of the British Antarctic Survey, and Mr. Marc Boucher of SpaceRef Interactive, Inc.
"The exploration of Mars is one of the most exciting combined scientific, technical, and public-inspiring challenges of our time.
It is fitting that an international organization be dedicated to advancing Mars research and the peaceful exploration of our planetary neighbor", said Lee.
The Mars Institute will build in particular on Lee's research experience as Principal Investigator of the NASA Haughton-Mars Project.
"Every time humanity has embarked on a new path of scientific research and exploration, the need for an organization to focus on meeting the new scientific and technical challenges that appear, and on communicating the results of these efforts, has arisen.
Such was the case for the exploration of Earth's oceans, its moon, and other frontiers. Now, with the founding of the Mars Institute, the same can be said for the exploration of Mars", said Boucher.
Today, the Mars Institute also unveiled its inaugural Board of Advisors. Mars Institute Advisors provide independent advice to the Board of Directors on a wide variety of matters concerning the development and implementation of Mars science, exploration, and education and public outreach.
The Mars Institute
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Exploring Mars Beyond 2010
Los Angeles - Sept 27, 2002
In 2001, NASA invited five major aerospace firms to develop designs for sample return missions and estimate their cost. But at nearly a $2 billion a pop the Bush Administration said no way. Meanwhile, the sheer technical difficulty of such missions, and the huge number of completely new and as-yet untested technologies required, 2016 looks the earliest scientists will get to unbox pristine Martian rocks.
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