Mars Societies in Europe - Dedication to to exploration of Mars

Purpose of this website

The Mars Society is an international organisation with national branches in many countries all over the world.

With this website the European branches of the international Mars Society organisation wish to achieve a variety of goals:

Mars Society Origin and Goals

Origin of the Mars Society

The Mars Society has been founded in 1998 by Dr. Robert Zubrin, an experienced and longterm space engineer, with the goal to revive public awareness of the importance and perspectives of Mars exploration and manned missions to Mars in particular, and to gain public and political support for this goal. Subsequenly branches of the Mars Society, called “chapters”, were founded in rapid sequence all over the world, sharing these objectives.

With this in mind, the Mars Society branches participating to this common European Webportal wish to provide, through this webportal, the public the information needed to understand the objectives, background and scope of manned and unmanned Mars exploration.

The Mars Society is convinced, that a manned Mars mission is politically and economically only possible when planned and performed in a relatively short timeframe at affordable cost. In 1996 Dr. Zubrin published such a manned Mars mission concept in his well known book The Case for Mars. He advertised a so-called Mars Direct concept which, in contrast to the NASA Plans at this time, would allow at affordable cost reaching Mars within 10 to 12 years using to a large extent available technologies and operations concepts and thus avoiding the development of completely new technologies and operations scenarios, as foressen in the NASA concept. Wernher von Braun and his team had already demonstrated in the 60s with the APOLLO program, that the development of a complex system and a first manned mission to the moon in is possible within 10 years.

Why Mars ?

Why Manned Missions to Mars?

Automatic unmanned Mars probes orbiting Mars or landing on Mars provide many data allowing to understand the geological composition and status of Mars. However, so far it was not possible to collect sufficient data to be able to draw conclusions on past, present or future life on Mars

Colonisation of Mars?

Maybe man may even colonize Mars one day

History of Mars exploration

The APOLLO Program demonstrated that missions to other planets are feasible from scratch within a 10 years period. The emphasis of Mars exploration was afterwards directed towards unmanned Mars probes, which provided already a very good understanding of the Mars geology and atmosphere. Manned missions were limited to the near earth orbit with space stations circulating Earth. The abandoning of manned interplanetary missions, as was the APOLLO mission, was mainly based on political decisions and not on consideration of technical feasibility.

Manned Mars mission scenarios were furtheron conceived and defined but came to a near complete standstill in 1995 following the rejection of a NASA proposal by the US congress for a first manned Mars mission, mainly for its exorbitant cost for a long-term development program with completely new technologies and operations concepts, disregarding proven APOLLO experience and technologies.

Mars Society Undertakings

Each national branch of the Mars Society defines its own specific areas of activity, amongst them

Mars Society Organization

The Mars Society is not a single organization but an association of independent national branches, operated as non-profit organizations of volunteers according to national laws.

In Europe each country organizes and operates its own specific Mars Society chapter and defines its own specific focus and projects in accordance with the common Mars Society goals.

The different countries with Mars Society branches are represented in a so-called Mars Society Steering Committee, which convenes normally once a year for discussing common matters and eventually agreeing on common goals and undertakings, as appropriate.

The Mars Society organises each year conferences in the US and Europe, which attract a wide variety of scientists and Mars enthusiasts.

Mars Society Membership

The Mars Society is a non-profit organisation. For achieving its goal, The Mars Society depends fully on membership fees and contributions from sponsors. Your membership to your national Mars Society chapter or even several different national Mars Society chapters may provide you -depending from the Mars Society chapter concerned- membership advantages such as the receipt of regular news, access to certain services and many more.
Contact your national Mars Society or any other chapter for information on membership.

Interesting links


A Look back to the EMC12

The EMC12 ended on Sunday the 14th of October at 15:30 as planned and was considered quite a success when listening to comments from attendees of the convention. This needs also to be attributed to the strong and effective support from our host, the University of the Armed Forces of Germany.
The next years EMC13 will most probably be held in France, for 2014 the Austrians are volunteering.

As in the past years did scientists, Mars enthusiasts and all those involved or interested in manned and unmanned Mars exploration meet in order to learn more about Mars and exchange experience, information and views.

The EMC 12 followed the annual Munich “Oktoberfest”, which ends on 8 October. Those who like to make the experience of this worldwide reknown “beer event” and eventually enjoy the beautiful city of Munich and the nearby numerous opportunities for visits and hiking and the cultural events in Munich arrived earlier in Munich or stayed longer.

Neubiberg, where the EMC12 took place, is located in the south of Munich adjacent to Ottobrunn. Ottobrunn is the largest German agglomeration for space development and test with the Test Centre IABG (refer to “Events“) and the space company ASTRIUM. ASTRIUM in Ottobrunn, now a part of the European Aerospace Enterprise EADS, was originally founded under the name of MBB (Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm) after the second world war by Ludwig Bölkow and the father of the first jet aircraft ME262, Willi Messerschmitt. MBB was longtime the largest German aerospace development centre with programs such as

Following its merger with EADS, ASTRIUM Ottobrunn is specialised on propulsion and solar generators within the ASTRIUM consortium. Other branches of ASTRIUM are located in Germany in Bremen and Friedrichshafen and in France in Toulouse and Les Mureaux.

You can download the EMC 12 poster here: EMC 12 Poster

For all questions concerning the EMC12 contact us by Email to

Final Program and Presentation Download

The Program of the EMC12 comprised presentations to the a variety of topics with Mars relevance

Here is the complete list of the EMC12 presentations, which finally took place.

Download the papers by clicking on the presentation title.

Introduction to the EMC12 Jürgen Herholz
President of the Pleine Lune Society Germany
Manned Space
The Way to Mars Robert Zubrin
Mars Society USA
COLUMBUS operations as long-term manned spaceflight experience Thomas Uhlig
DLR Oberpfaffenhofen (COLUMBUS Operations)
Mars One – Let’s finally get humans to Mars! A Mars Colony by 2023 Bertram Barthel
Reusability as an Option for future European Launch Services-What does that mean for Mars Missions?
Uwe Apel
Hochschule Bremen (University of Applied Sciences)
Smallness and redundancy for a robust mission to Mars Jean-Marc Salotti
Mars Society France
Mars and Science Fiction Reinhold Glasl
Mars Society Deutschland
Mars Promotion
Mars: Explorations through Education Mark Gargano
Mars Society Australia
Mars Science
Oceanus Borealis? Pierre Brisson
Mars Society Switzerland
The Kepler Mission: Searching for a Twin of the Earth Tobias Gutmann
University Ludwig Maximilian Munich
Approach and Challenges to Science and Mission Planning for the European Orbiter Mars Express Erhard Rabenau; Michel Denis; Nicolas Altobelli
European Space Agency
Data communication and Mars missions Stephan Gerard
Mars Society France
Mars Simulation
Aouda.X & long-range Mars (analog) exploration challenges Gernot Groemer
ÖWF/MSD Austria
Cliffbot tests during the ÖWF Mars ice cave exploration simulation in Dachstein Alain Souchier
Mars Society France
The MIRIAM Flight Testing Concept: Dress Rehearsal for ARCHIMEDES Hannes Griebel
Mars Society Deutschland
DLR’s Mobile Rocket Base overview and the MIRIAM 2 launch vehicle Andreas Stamminger; Frank Scheuerpflug
DLR-Moraba (Mobile Rocket Basis) Germany
How Could the Archimedes-Mission Expand our Knowledge about the Magnetic Field of Mars and why Bother? Daniel Heyner; Hans-Ulrich Auster
University Braunschweig
COMPARE: Reference Instrumentation for Future TPS Systems Georg Herdrich; Arianit Preci; Stefanos Fasoulas
University of Stuttgart
MIRIAM-B Instrumentation, Seam Technology and Manufacturing of the MIRIAM-2 Ballute and the Instrument Pod of MIRIAM-B Klaus Bayler
Mars Society Deutschland
Improved thermochemical modelling for Martian atmospheric entry of the balloon Archimedes Christian Mundt; Martin Starkloff
University of the Armed Forces Germany
MIRIAM-2 Dynamic Analysis of the Ballute-Body Matzies; Zillmer; Rapp
University of the Armed Forces Germany
MIRIAM-2 Mission Analysis Roger Förstner; D.Sauseng
University of the Armed Forces Germany
Design of the MIRIAM-2 Ballute Inflation and Cold Gas System Alexandra Wander; Wolfgang Mai; David Fischer; Mathias Fölsch; Roger Förstner; Kostas Constantinides
University of the Armed Forces Germany
The MIRIAM-2 Service Spacecraft – System Architecture and Concept of Operation Alexandra Wander; Andreas Winhard; Christopher Krüger; Roger Förstner
University of the Armed Forces Germany
MIRIAM-2 Design and Configuration of the Service Spacecraft F.Zaumseil; M.Wolter; Kristin Paetzold
University of the Armed Forces Germany
Analyis of Separation and Attitude Florian Möller; Roger Förstner
University of the Armed Forces Germany

Look back on the Events

Reception and Dinner
On Friday 12 October a reception followed by a gourmet dinner was served by very friendly personnel in the very nice “Officers Casino” of the University. The dinner -composed of “Mango Salad with Prawns”, an “Elder Sorbet”, “Grilled Veal Steak with Weissbier Sauce and Baked Potato” and “Seasonal Vegetables” and accompanied by white and red wine was topped by a dessert consiting of a “Variation of 3 Pancakes” and “Brittle Ice Cream” and finished with an Espresso- took place in a very friendly and congenial atmosphere.


The Visit to the German Space Test Centre IABG took place on Friday afternoon
A bus transported the visitors to IABG at 17:00 hrs and returned to the EMC12 location in time for the receptionn and dinner.

The 18 participants of the visit to the IABG space test center enjoyed a professionally commented 2 1/2 hours tour through the space test facilities of IABG, one of the largest test centres in Europe and member of the “European Coordinated Test Facilities” organisation testing all of the European space hardware of ESA. IABG is privately run and performs tests not only on space hardware but also on aircraft components up to complete wings. For this purpose test facilities for environmental tests, dynamic loads, static load, thermal vacuum, magnetic and environmental cleanliness are available up to sizes allowing for example the test of complete satellites. The magnetic test facility is the most advanced in Europe allowing the test of satellites and equipment requiring the highest standard of magnetic cleanliness. The magnetometer of the MIRIAM-2 spacecraft was just under test there and presented by Daniel Heyner from the University of Braunschweig, which can be considered as one of the leading centers in the world for the development of magnetic measurement sensors flying on scientific satellites.

Amongst other facilities the large 6-m thermal vacuum chamber could be seen, where next year the complete MIRIAM vehicle with its 4-m balloon will be tested. The balloon will be inflated in the test chamber under free space conditions as during the mission.

Recall: EMC12 Location, Attractions and Access

Munich is the capital of the German State of Bavaria and the third largest German city after Berlin and Hamburg. Munich is situated in the south of Germany near the Alps, surrounded by a beautiful landscape with many lakes. Munich is, with its large centrally located park (Englischer Garten), its vivid cultural life and its beautiful city centre and beer gardens the “dream city” for many Germans to live in. Munich attracts also millions of visitors each year. Inspite this attractiveness Munich has maintained its original “Bavarian Charm”.

Munich is only one hours drive on the motorway away from Austria and Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart.

The Munich Airport is the second largest airport in Germany with many international connections. A city train transports passengers in 40 minutes from the airport to Main Station (Hauptbahnhof), situated in the centre of Munich.

The EMC12 took place at the University of the Armed Forces (UniBw) in Neubiberg at the southern limit of Munich. The UniBw is the main partner of the Mars Society Germany in the design and development of MIRIAM 2, a flight test spacecraft supposed to simulate an ARCHIMEDES mission in a sounding rocket mission in October 2014. MIRIAM 2 is presently under development at the UniBw.

Attractions in and around Neubiberg and Munich

Ottobrunn, located adjacent to Neubiberg, is one important “birthplace” of German space activities, which began in the 60′s. Ottobrunn is still today the homestead of both ASTRIUM Space and the German Test Centre IABG . More about IABG under Events and on Astrium under EMC 12 Introduction and Overview.

Munich offers a variety of cultural and other attractions, making it highly recommendable to stay in Munich at least for a couple of days.:

The Deutsche Museum (German Museum) not far from the city centre ist the largest exhibit of technical inventions from the early industrial era to today in Germany, and probably one of the largest in the world.
The “Alte Pinakothek” and “Pinakothek der Moderne” are two of the most reknown museums in Germany for classical and modern paintings
The recently inaugurated “Museum Brandhorst” is to a large extent dedicated to the American painter Cy Twombly
The Bayrische Staatsoper is a widely recognised opera house
The “Münchner Philharmoniker” and the “Symphonie Orchester des Bayrischen Rundfunks” are worldwide reknown orchestras attracting regularly the most famous conductors
Last, but not least, is Munich worldwide reknown for its famous Beer Gardens and Taverns, which can be found all over the city.

The yearly Münchner Oktoberfest takes place in 2012 from 21 September to 8 October, just before the start of the EMC 12. Participants of the EMC 12 wishing to join this event should book early their hotel during this period.

The location, where the EMC12 took place and its access, are shown below. Except the visit to IABG all EMC12 lectures and events took place within the facilities of the university.



Association Planète Mars (APM) is a non-profit French organization, established in 1999 in the wake of the 1998 Mars Society founding convention, to which Richard Heidmann, the APM founding chairman, participated.

APM constitutes the French chapter of The Mars Society. It shares the views and supports the actions of this organization, nevertheless taking into consideration, if necessary, their adaptation to the national and European cultural and political context. It keeps close relationship with the other European chapters, as well as with the French and the European Space Agencies.


The specific goals of APM, as appearing in its statutes, are to promote

a robust, comprehensive and balanced exploration of Mars, both robotic and manned, to the benefit of the many involved scientific domains, as well as in preparation of the future settlement of the planet;
the arrival of man to this world, perceived as a new field for humanity activities development;
the pursuit of theses goals through international cooperation, as such an endeavour constitutes a political instrument of choice for a harmonious development of nations and could not be conceived outside of the scope of humanity as a whole;
a major involvement of France and Europe in this endeavour.
Learn more about the activities of the Association Planète Mars by clicking here:

Public outreach

APM intends to act essentially in the following directions:

promotion of its ideas towards the general public (conferences, exhibits, appearances in the Medias);
lobbying towards the political personnel and the involved deciders.
APM believes particularly in the value of conferences and exhibits. Its speakers and main representatives are well prepared to intervene in such public events. It utilizes a vast series of exhibit materials (posters, globes, mock-ups…).

APM is anxious to cooperate with organizations which work in related fields, in order to open its audience, particularly with the youth.


Our website:


About us

Vision. Research. Technology. Policy. Outreach.

The Austrian Space Forum (Österreichisches Weltraum Forum, OeWF) is a national network for aerospace specialists and space enthusiasts and represents also the Austrian chapter of the Mars Society. The OeWF serves as a communication platform between the space sector and the public; it is embedded in a global network of specialists from the space industry, research and policy.


The Austrian Space Forum OEWF covers a broad range of activities from professionally organised and conducted Mars simultations and analog research programmes, parabolic flight experiments, lectures & presentations and technical seminars to school and youth competitions. It also cooperates with Yuri’s Night to award the Polar Star Prize to people, who arouse enthusiasm for space.

Between 27.April – 01.May 2012 the Austrian Space Forum together with international research partners carried out a five day Mars analogue field test at the Mammoth cave and the Giant Ice caves at the Dachstein region in Austria.

Suit tester Daniel Schildhammer at the Dachstein giant ice cave
Copyright: © OEWF (Katja Zanella-Kux)

Articles about the Mars Analog Field Test “Dachstein 2012″:

Public outreach

Public outreach

Space activities is fascinating, useful and an integral part of our world. We spread that message: through school and youth competitions, Yuris Night events, presentations and lecturing activities, as well as high-profile activities such as nationwide large public outreach events.


Mars Direct Scenarios

Wernher van Braun designed a complete manned Mars mission in 1969 landing a crew of six on Mars. The study was based on previous NASA studies with Boeing at much lower cost

Dr. Robert Zubrin, Mars Society president, is fighting since the early 90′s for his project of a “Mars Direct” manned mission, using mostly existing space technology and avoiding expensive and time consuming assembly of hardware elements in low earth orbit. Here are is main proposals for such missions between 1991 and 2011:

Zubrin with SpaceX to Mars_May 2011

ATHENA Mission_low cost to Mars_Zubrin_1996

Near Term Mars Mission Options_Zubrin_1993

Mars Direct Scenario_Zubrin_1991[1]

A overview on Mars exploration studies from JPL including document download capability can be found here

All about Human Missions to Mars

A complete and detailed introduction to all aspects concerning human missions to Mars and the colonization of Mars has been published 2010 in the Journal of Cosmology in association with the Mars Society.

Download the Table of Contents with Links to the detailed content here: Human Missions to Mars


Nasa Design Reference Mission_May 2011
NASA Design Reference Mission_July 2009
NASA from Moon to Mars_Jan 2007
NASA Orion Concept_2006
NASA 2005 Reference Mission_Table of Contents
This is a 758 pages extensive proposal for the “Return to the Moon” program initiated by George W.Bush in 2005, with an outlook to subsequent manned Mars missions.
The document contains the following chapters:

Spaceplane Overview

Here you find an overview of all spaceplanes in alphabetical order in a WORD document allowing to obtain more detailed information from the Astronautics website by cliccking on ……MORE. The list has been taken from the website of Astronautics


The Falcon launcher series and the Dragon cargo transport capsule are being developed on a commercial basis by the US private space enterprise SpaceX. They received a financial support from NASA, searching for a resupply alternative for the ISS after retirement of the Shuttle. The Falcon 9 launcher is capable of launching 10,5 tons of cargo or a capsule called Dragon carrying a payload of 8 tons to the ISS. Dragon shall lateron be capable to carry a manned return capsule to the International Space Station.

SpaceX aims at a cost per launch of around 60 Million Dollars. SpaceX claims to reach a high reliability of the Falcon 9, enabling manned transportation, by using a conventional proven design.

A successful demonstration of a Dragon capsule launch and return to earth onboard a Falcon 9 took place in 2010. A first test mission to the ISS with an unmanned cargo version of the Dragon capsule is planned for early 2012. A comparison of the Shuttle and the Falcon 9 demonstrates the basic difference between the two space transportation systems. Although neither the Falcon 9 nor the Dragon capsule are not reusable, and the Shuttle can transport nearly three times the payload to the ISS in a single mission, will the total cost per Kg transported to the ISS be largely inferior for the Falcon 9, provided the cost estimates of SpaceX will hold.