Category Archives: Activism

Mars One and University of Twente join forces

An announcement from the Mars One

Mars One welcomes University of Twente as its
first Science and Education partner

The Mars One Foundation, an organization preparing to send the first human settlers to Mars, has joined forces with University of Twente, Netherlands in a partnership where researchers at the university will help tackle specific mission challenges.

AMERSFOORT, April 4, 2013 – Mars One is very happy to announce University of Twente as its first Science and Education partner.

Engaging young researchers in universities and colleges around the world is crucial for the success of the Mars One mission. By working closely with its Science and Education partners, Mars One will address a broad range of social and technical research questions.

Pool of fresh critical minds
The Mars One mission is designed around existing technology; however the team wishes to prepare a premise not only for the settlers’ journey and survival but also for an expanding, productive Martian community.

Bas Lansdorp, founder of Mars One and alumnus of Twente said: “We hope that researchers from University of Twente will help develop techniques to ensure the settlers’ stay on the planet will be a success story.”

“Future research is needed, for example to find ways for making the settlement less dependent on frequent resupply missions from Earth by making smart use of resources on Mars. This collaboration will engage a pool of fresh critical minds with such challenges,” he said.

Mars spin offs for better Earth
Pleased about the partnership, Professor Ed Brinksma, Rector Magnificus of the University said: “The Mars One mission shows a lot of courage and ambition, and the team clearly dares to think big. As an entrepreneurial university, their enterprising spirit appeals to us a great deal.”

“We hope that from the complexity of an expedition to Mars new research projects will sprout as spinoffs in the fields of solar energy and recycling- solutions for problems we now face on Earth,” he said.

Collaboration in Education and Research
Both partners see many starting points of collaboration in the future. To start with, experts from Mars One will contribute to one of the academic semesters at new ATLAS University College, to be launched in September 2013 within the University of Twente.

In addition to education there are plenty of potential research links. Professor Brinksma offers some examples: “Our Robotics and Mechatronics departments can contribute to the manned and unmanned robotic vehicles that the Mars pioneers will use. Our behavioral scientists can also help astronauts learn coping mechanisms and how to deal with uncertainty.”

“Mars One welcomes partnership from research institutes with a foresight. We want to work very actively with places of higher education around the world. We welcome University of Twente as our first Science and Education partner,” said Bas Lansdorp.


About Mars One:
Mars One is a not-for-profit organization that will establish a human settlement on Mars through the integration of existing, readily available technologies from the private spaceindustry. Mars One will fund this decade-long endeavor by involving the whole world as the audience of a televised broadcast of every aspect of this mission – from the astronaut selections, their eight year training on a Mars-like mock-up on Earth to their arrival on Mars in 2023 and their lives on the Red Planet. The first footprint on Mars will inspire generations and go down in history as the next
giant leap for mankind.
About the University of Twente:
The University of Twente, Netherlands is where talent can best realize its full potential and where students and staff are key. Together, over three thousands cientists and professionals carry out groundbreaking research, bring about socially relevant innovation and provide inspiring teaching for more than nine thousand students. Entrepreneurship is

second nature to us. The campus is home to around hundred businesses, including student-run businesses. The University of Twente has also generated more than seven hundred successful spin-off companies. The University’s business  park – Kennispark Twente encourages and assists entrepreneurs to start new companies

Links to further information
Here’s the Mars One intro video:

British Interplanetary Society plaque to go to space on UK satellite

A plaque to commemorate the British Interplanetary Society‘s 80th anniversary will go to space on a Surrey Satellite Technology spacecraft later this year. Here is a recent press release from Reaction Engines Ltd, which sponsored the making of the plaque:

The British Interplanetary Society Delivers a Plaque to SSTL
for Flight on UK’s TechDemoSat-1

Guildford, Tuesday 5th March 2013

TechDemoSat-1 whose launch arrangements were announced today by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) will be carrying a plaque commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the founding of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS). The Plaque will be mounted on TechDemoSat-1 and then carried into orbit.

Plaque handover; on left Doug Liddle and Luis Gomes of SSTL and on the right Gerry Webb of CST and BISPlaque handover; on left Doug Liddle and Luis Gomes of SSTL
and on the right Gerry Webb of CST and BIS.

The Plaque was handed over to Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) last month in a ceremony conducted by BIS Council Member Gerry Webb, and Luis Gomes of the SSTL TechDemoSat-1 team who are building the satellite.

Gerry Webb is General Director of Commercial Space Technologies Limited who are the brokers for the launch of SSTL TechDemoSat-1 with the Russian Space Agency. Roscosmos. He arranged for the Plaque to be carried with both SSTL and Roscosmos.

The President of the British Interplanetary Society, Alistair Scott said, “This is a fantastic way of celebrating our 80th year and reminding people of the work we have done since the early 1930s to promote spaceflight and the exploration and use of space. We are so grateful to Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and the TechDemoSat-1 Team for allowing us to fly with them”

Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of SSTL commented “I am delighted that SSTL is able to offer this opportunity to BIS, an organisation which has done so much to promote and foster the UK’s interest in space”. TechDemoSat-1 is a truly British spacecraft, designed and manufactured here and flying British payloads, so it is a fitting vehicle for this commemorative plaque.”

The Plaque mounted on TD SatMark Hempsell (REL) hands over the BIS 80th Anniversary
plaques for their journey to the ISS.

The plaque is identical to the two plaques that will be carried to the International Space Station in April 2013. It is a 4cm diameter disk, 3mm deep and made of high grade aluminium alloy. Weighing less than 5g each it is precision machined to depict the Society’s 80th Anniversary Logo. It was sponsored by Reaction Engines Limited, and was made by the company’s precision machining division, Brite Precision.

Results of a citizen scientist survey

A survey of  people participating in the Galaxy Zoo project provides a profile of the average citizen scientist  : What Makes Citizen Scientists Tick? – MIT Technology Review

The results are curious. Unsurprisingly, Galaxy Zoo volunteers are overwhelmingly male with 82.1per cent being men. There is also a particular over-abundance in the 50-60 age group. Overall, the volunteers have an average age of 43 and over 60 per cent come from the US and UK.

What is mildly surprising is their motivation for taking part. The survey asked volunteers to give their primary reason and this turned out not to be things like enjoying looking at pretty pictures of galaxies or the fun of it all. Instead, more than 40 per cent of volunteers say that the desire to contribute to science is their primary motivation.

Int. Space Development Conference (ISDC), May 23-27, San Diego

A message from the National Space Society about their next annual ISDC meeting (May 23-27 in San Diego, California):

ISDC 2013 Will Be The ‘Must-Attend’ Space Event This Year!

NSS members know that the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) is the foremost space conference that brings together all subsets of the space community: the traditional and commercial aerospace industries, NASA and space activists from around the world. And this year, ISDC goes to the west coast to San Diego, California!

The theme of this year’s conference, Global Collaboration in 21st Century Space, relates directly to the NSS vision of globally bringing together “people living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth, and the use of the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity.” Global Collaboration in 21st Century Space reflects our need to strive for renewed emphasis on collaborative efforts that engage global space exploration and development in the post-Shuttle era and help leverage NASA’s efforts due to current budgetary challenges.

While the primary focus of the conference will be looking at advances in space exploration, development and settlement, we will also highlight our global efforts at the Governors Dinner & Gala on Friday evening, at which we will honor the work of India’s former President and a leading aerospace scientist/engineer – Dr. Abdul Kalam – with the National Space Society’s prestigious Von Braun Memorial Award.  Participants can also look forward to meeting science and engineering team members from the successful GRAIL Moon gravity mapping mission, X-37 B space plane, and the inspiring “seven minutes of terror” CURIOUSITY Mars landing team.  Saturday night’s dinner banquet will honor the Women of Space – women engineers and astronauts.

The ISDC 2013 Planning Committee has put together an impressive list of confirmed speakers and presenters and a comprehensive program. Confirmed speakers and VIPs include: Apollo Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, last space shuttle Commander Christopher Ferguson, shuttle astronaut and director of the “100 Year Starship” project Dr. Mae Jemison, Congressman Dana Robrabacher of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Ian O’Neill from Discovery News, Planetary Resources Chris Lewicki, and Deep Space Industries’ Rick Tumlinson.

Programming includes sessions and tracks on everything from current Administration initiatives and outlook on the U.S. space program after the shuttle, to the exciting developments coming from commercial aerospace companies aimed at closing the current manned spaceflight gap; from Mars, Moon, asteroid and exoplanet exploration and development to the latest technological advances that will enable a longer-term and, eventually, permanent human presence in space.

Be sure to visit the official ISDC website for all of the latest information and to register today!

The Space Show this week

The schedule for The Space Show this week:
1. Monday, April 1, 2013: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome DR. ROBERT SACKHEIM commercial space insights, progress & more. See website newsletter for details at

2. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT): No show this evening. See Thursday schedule instead.

3. Thursday, April 4, 2013:, 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5::30 PM CDT). We welcome back ELIZABETH (LIZ)KENNICK for Teachers In Space updates.

4. Friday, April 5, 2013, 9:30-11 AM PDT (12:30-2 PM EDT, 11:30AM-1PM CDT): We welcome back DR. JOAN VERNIKOS to discuss the human factors aspects of the Inspiration Mars flyby mission recently announced.

5. Sunday, April 7, 2013, 12-1:30 PM PDT, 3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT. We welcome back CHRIS CARBERY, Executive Director of Explore Mars to discuss the upcoming Humans 2 Mars Program and their recent next generation Mars survey poll which is on the Explore Mars website,

See also:
/– The Space Show on Vimeo – webinar videos
/– The Space Show’s Blog – summaries of interviews.
/– The Space Show Classroom Blog – tutorial programs

The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.