A new international group called MarsPolar seeks to overtake Mars One and put a base on Mars by 2029: New Project Aims to Establish a Human Colony on Mars – Science 2.0.

The name comes from the goal of establishing a  colony in a polar area of the Red Planet where there is sub-surface water ice available.

The group’s plans depend on SpaceX lowering the cost of space travel: Mission Description – MarsPolar.

The funding plan involves “donations, investments and future business income opportunities”.

Meanwhile, Mars One marches on despite lots of criticism and funding shortfalls. Here is the latest update: Mars One Newsletter May 2015. Topics include:

  • The Science of Screening Astronauts
  • Food for Mars
  • Brand Engagement
  • Candidate Interviews
  • Support our Mars Mission

To answer some of the critics, the group has initiated a series of articles they call Inside 360Introducing Inside 360: looking behind the scenes of Mars One’s mission processes – Mars One

Mars One is proud to introduce Inside 360; a series of in-depth articles that present an inside look into the details and feasibility of the Mars One mission. The first article can be found on Mars Exchange. Subsequent articles will be added periodically.

Mars One has taken the first crucial steps in the process of establishing the first human settlement on Mars. In order to address the questions and concerns that have been raised, Inside 360 will foremost provide an in-depth explanation of the individual phases of the mission. Mars One is continuously improving their mission plans based on advice from advisers and suppliers, and Inside 360 will offer the rationale behind decisions made. The ongoing series will additionally feature interviews with Mars One team members and external experts about the different aspects of the mission.

In the first entry in the series, Norbert Kraft, an expert on the effects of long-duration spaceflight, describes the process used to select candidates for Mars expeditions: The Science of Screening Astronauts – Blog/Mars One Community Platform,

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The Mars Society will hold its annual conference this year at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Aug. 13-16, 2015.

Some recent announcements about the meeting:

Here’s the full Speaker List.