Volunteers Needed For MDRS Crews: Hard Work, No Pay, Eternal Glory

October 3, 2007 – Call for Volunteers: The Mars Society is requesting volunteers to participate as members of the crew of the Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah during extended simulations of human Mars exploration operations. The upcoming Mars Desert Research Station field season will begin in December 2007 and run through April 2008.

For further information about the Mars Society, visit our website at http://www.marssociety.org/portal.

Volunteers should state clearly what segment of MDRS field season span they are available. Both volunteer investigators who bring with them a proposed program of research of their own compatible with the objectives of the MDRS and those simply wishing to participate as members of the crew supporting the investigations of others will be considered. Research proposals which focus the effort of or require selection as a team of up to the full six-person crew will also be considered.

The Mars Society will be issuing an additional call for volunteers for the summer 2008 field season of the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island later. However those volunteering for MDRS at this time may also volunteer for FMARS 2008, which is anticipated to consist of a single 2-month crew rotation running from mid-June to mid August 2008. FMARS crew selection is highly competitive, and prior experience at MDRS, while not strictly required, is considered to be an important credential for FMARS selection. In 2004, for example, 6 out of 7 FMARS crew members had prior MDRS experience.

Applications will be considered from anyone in good physical condition between 18 and 65 years of age without regard to race, creed, color, gender, or nation. Scientific, engineering, practical mechanical, wilderness, and literary skills are all considered a plus. Dedication to the cause of human Mars exploration is an absolute must, as conditions are likely to be tough and the job will be very trying. Those selected will be required to participate in certain crew training exercises and to act under crew discipline and strict mission protocols during the simulations.

All of those selected will also be required to sign a liability waiver. The Mars Society will pay travel and related expenses from Salt Lake City, Utah during training and simulation, but there will be no salary. Volunteers will need to pay their own travel expenses to Salt Lake City; however college students (undergraduate or graduate) and teachers (any level) are eligible to apply for a flat travel supplement grants of $500. Applications including resume, character references, and a brief letter explaining why you wish to participate should be sent via email to mailto:hrose@pioneerastro.comor by post to Volunteers, Mars Society, 11111 W. 8 th Ave, unit A, Lakewood, CO, 80215. Total length of applications should not exceed 3 pages. Submission deadline for the first round of MDRS selections is October 31, 2007. Applications submitted after that date will be considered for openings as they become available.

MDRS Crew rotations are 2 weeks in duration. Applicants should state which rotations they are available to participate in their applications. If you have a rotation-time preference, state it, but please be as broad as possible in your stated availability, since the fewer rotations you indicate availability for, the harder it will be to include you.

This years MDRS crew rotations will be:

  • Crew 62 Dec 8-23, 2007
  • Crew 63 Dec 22, 2007-Jan 6, 2008
  • Crew 64 Jan 5-20, 2008
  • Crew 65 Jan 19-Feb 3, 2008
  • Crew 66 Feb 2, 2008-Feb 17, 2008
  • Crew 67 Feb 16-Mar 2, 2008
  • Crew 68 Mar 1-Mar 16, 2008
  • Crew 69 Mar 15-30, 2008
  • Crew 70 Mar 29-April 13, 2008
  • Crew 71 April 12, 2008-April 27, 2008

Further information about the MDRS and FMARS programs is available at the Mars Society website at http://www.marssociety.org/portal/groups/AnalogsTF/index_htmland in the book, “Mars on Earth,” by Robert Zubrin (Tarcher Penguin 2003) available at amazon.com .

For further information about the Mars Society, visit our website at http://www.marssociety.org/. Your donations are welcome.

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