The International Mars Society recently announced its new Ambassador Program to raise awareness of the importance of planning for human exploration and colonization of Mars.
As the program’s chief ambassador, I work with the company to assemble a team of dedicated volunteers to speak knowledgeably about sending humans to Mars in front of organizations, schools, and service clubs. Ambassadors will assess and educate the public that we are going to Mars, and we are going there soon. Science fiction is no longer fiction. Going to Mars is a reality.
The Mars Society, based in Lakewood, Colorado, was established by nuclear and aerospace engineer Dr. Robert Zubrin in 1998 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and is represented worldwide in more than 40 counties. Members are scientists, engineers, space enthusiasts as well as people from all walks of life who wish to foster a space civilization to make life multiplanetary.
Some of the Mars Society’s initiatives include the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), an analog space facility in Utah that supports earth-based research in pursuit of the technology, operations, and science necessary for human space exploration . Additionally, each year the Mars Society hosts the University Rover Challenge at MDRS near Hanksville, Utah. The goal: to build a rover that can work alongside humans on Mars, and build it better than anyone. The winner of the URC is determined by the quality of their system acceptance document and video submitted months before the competition and their performance in four separate missions to MDRS in May of each year.
In October 2022, the Mars Society will celebrate its 25th anniversary at the International Convention at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
You can help the Mars Society rekindle the spark among people to become more curious and excited about humanity’s future in space, just like we did when we went to the moon more than 50 years ago.
Let me explain why this is so important and how you can get involved. Our time window is short. If we want to settle on Mars, we have to do it now. We have the technology, science, research and development, but what is largely missing is the passion of the people. Why is that?
Simply put, many people are unaware of the incredible real-world missions currently underway to the moon, Mars, and other solar system destinations. Our Mars Society Ambassadors will provide the public with a better understanding of these current plans for us to become a space civilization, a much-needed achievement if the human race is to continue to grow and prosper.
Those interested in serving as a volunteer ambassador can easily apply at: marssociety.org/mars-society-Ambassador-Program.
Newly accepted Ambassadors will receive virtual training by the Ambassador Program Managers.
I’ve written an Ambassador Handbook, where Ambassadors can learn how to create a short, punchy pitch. As the title of the manual, “Extreme Urgency,” suggests, it will become clear why humanity needs to go to Mars and why we need to go now.
As Mars Society Executive Director James Burk of Seattle said when we announced the program, “It’s important that we go out there and tell the story of human beings exploring and settling on Mars, for the benefit of all mankind. It is an inspiring and adventure-filled journey that resonates with people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. Our Mars Society Ambassadors will reach new audiences with the message of creating a permanent human presence on the Red Planet.
James Melton is a former college instructor and airline pilot and a resident of Palm Springs and Yucca Valley for 40 years. He is a columnist for the National Space Society’s magazine, Ad Astra, and holds a doctorate in management science. Email him at [email protected]