Author Archives: rmms

Design the Mars Society Annual Teleconvention Poster

First, did you know this year The Mars Society will be holding its first ever teleconvention? That means even more people can attend and from the comfort of their own home! More information is available at the MS website.

Also, The Mars Society is holding a contest to design the poster for this historic event. Check out the details below. The deadline is June 1.

Help Promote the 2020 Mars Society Teleconvention by Designing a Poster

The 2020 Mars Society Poster Contest begins today!

Members, friends and space enthusiasts are all invited to submit a creative poster for consideration, with the winning design to be used as the primary promotional tool for the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled to be held around the world via the Internet on October 15-18.

Those artists intending to design a poster for this first-time virtual global event are asked to incorporate the theme of this year’s convention – “Rising Together” – into their planned layout.

“While nations and politicians continue to squabble, the world’s scientific community has come together as never before to defend humanity from the coronavirus epidemic. Through science and solidarity, we will defeat this threat together. And it is through science and solidarity that we will rise together beyond this darkness to create a brilliant space-faring future. We will rise together above the hates and fears that divide us. We will rise together to realize the potential of our higher natures. We will rise together to meet the challenge of the future. We will rise together to Mars,” declared Dr. Robert Zubrin, President of the Mars Society.

The official deadline for submitting a poster design is Monday, June 1st, 5:00 pm MT.

Technical requirements for the contest are as follows: 1) The poster size should be 11″ x 17″, 2) There are no restrictions with regard to use of color, 3) If your poster is selected, the designer will need to submit a full color poster as well as a gray-scale copy, and 4) Poster designs can be submitted in Photoshop or as a .pdf file (the former is preferred).

All artwork submissions should be sent via email to: Please also use this email address for any questions related to the contest and/or the submission process. The winning poster design will be announced during the week of Monday, June 15th.

Thank you for your involvement and good luck!

Use of Image: Artist gives permission to The Mars Society to use digital images(s) of art work in online and print media. Poster Contest Disclaimer: The Poster Contest Artist, by submitting an application, agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless The Mars Society from and against any and all claims, demands or expenses (including attorney’s fees) for libel, slander, invasion of privacy, infringement of copyright, personal injury, damages, or any other claims, demand or expenses resulting from performance in connection with this agreement.

Vote for the Mars 2020 Rover Name

The poll for the name of the new Mars 2020 rover is available on the NASA website! Vote today and until Jan 29.

The finalists are:

  • Endurance, K-4, Oliver Jacobs of Virginia
  • Tenacity, K-4, Eamon Reilly of Pennsylvania
  • Promise, K-4, Amira Shanshiry of Massachusetts
  • Perseverance, 5-8, Alexander Mather of Virginia
  • Vision, 5-8, Hadley Green of Mississippi
  • Clarity, 5-8, Nora Benitez of California
  • Ingenuity, 9-12, Vaneeza Rupani of Alabama
  • Fortitude, 9-12, Anthony Yoon of Oklahoma
  • Courage, 9-12, Tori Gray of Louisiana

The Geology of Mars

Here is a beautiful artistic rendition of the geologic map of Mars.

For more information, visit the Tabletop Whale website. Here is an excerpt about this map:

This week’s map is an artistic rendition of the geologic map of Mars designed by the USGS. I used the same geology data as the original map, but I added more topographic and label data, redesigned the visual style, and also edited the key for a more general audience.

One of the most difficult parts of making this map was translating the key into plain English. The original USGS map was designed for geologists, so I had to look up almost all of the vocabulary. For example, my abbreviated definition for a caldera rim was “The rim of an empty magma chamber left behind after a volcanic eruption.” The original description was “Ovoid scarp, outlines single or multiple coalesced partial to fully enclosed depression(s); volcanic collapse, related to effusive and possibly explosive eruptions.”

In many cases my translated labels were approximate or less informative than the original, so I decided to also include the original acronyms for each type of geologic unit. These labels can be cross-referenced to the original data to learn more about each type of geologic formation in scientific terms.

Mars Colony Prize Competition

Alan Mole, an RMMS member, donated prizes for the Mars Society to hold a contest for the best proposal for a Mars colony of a thousand people. Here is his summary:

It was very successful. The Mars Society received 101 papers, almost all being twenty pages. I was tapped to judge the first twenty, and many had original and pertinent ideas. One group noted the required structural thickness of a pressure vessel is proportional to the pressure contained, so for minimum weight the habitats and greenhouses should hold the minimum pressure that humans can breathe indefinitely. They researched this, and found that with enhanced oxygen this was 0.27 atm (96% oxygen and 4% nitrogen). Thus we can save almost 3/4 of the mass of the habitats and greenhouses we must bring from Earth. There were other good ideas in the twenty papers I read, and there must be many in the other eighty one submissions. For the amount of the prizes ($17,500 in total) this was a great bargain.

I plan to do it again next year, perhaps for colony of a million. The larger lesson is that prizes work.

Our chapter was well represented in the contest – 5 of the 10 judges are RMMS members.

The Mars Society published the list of finalists earlier in July, and the winners will be determined at the next Mars Society convention after additional presentations and judging.

Congratulations to the finalists and a huge thank you to Alan for his prize contributions!