In Mid-August, an army of Martians plans to invade the front-range region. No doubt these visitors are attracted by the 16th annual Mars Society Conference on August 15th through the 18th at the University Memorial Center on the CU-Boulder campus.
Since its humble beginnings on the CU campus in the mid 1970's, the Mars Underground - now the Mars Society - has tirelessly promoted its vision of humanity as a multi-planet species. The planet Mars possesses all the natural resources to support a technological society except one: people. To get people to the Red Planet, we need a plan... and that's where the Mars Society comes in.
Speakers at the conference will delve into every facet of Mars exploration and settlement missions with high level talks tailored to the public. You don't have to be a nobel-winning scientist or engineer to attend, though don't be surprised if you find yourself sitting next to one.
You also don't have to be wealthy. A one-day pass only costs $60, and a full registration for all four days runs only $260 for a non-member. Even if you buy a 50" flat screen TV on your way home from attending the entire conference, you'll still pay less than half the registration fees of that "other" major front-range conference each year - you know, the big one in Colorado Springs.
Significant full-conference registration discounts are available for Mars Society members, college students, seniors, and K-12 students. In fact, K-12 students can attend the conference FREE if they register here. The Mars Society has even put together a special STEM track for these K-12 students on August 17 and 18 (Saturday and Sunday), complete with special speakers and events.
Mars Society conferences always attract top-notch speakers, and this year is no exception. Several speakers from CU will give insights into their upcoming MAVEN mission, the next Mars-bound spacecraft scheduled to launch this November. Do not miss the banquet on Saturday night where renowned geologist Steve Squires, the Principal Investigator (PI) of the uber-successful Spirit and Opportunity rovers, will share his insights about Mars exploration. Other top speakers include Don Hassler of the Southwest Research Institute, the PI of the RAD instrument on the Curiosity rover.
Outside the main conference tracks and plenary talks, visit the exhibit hall to buy educational books or view exhibits from vendors. Your Denver Space Industry Examiner will probably staff the authors' tables, so please stop by and say hello!