BOSTON, Mass. (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — We are pleased to announce the formation of Explore Mars, Inc. ( Explore Mars is a project oriented group that was created to promote science and technology innovation and education with a use for Mars Exploration. Through a series of technology innovation awards, scientific symposiums and workshops, Mars analog work, technology demonstrations, and other programs, we provide a platform for scientists and “citizen scientists” to engage in meaningful space exploration research and development in the private sector.

In the first half of 2010, Explore Mars will launch a series of technology development challenges relating to Mars exploration, with prizes ranging from $10,000 – $100,000. There has been a common misconception that any sort of Mars prize would require billions of dollars to launch. In reality, there are an enormous number of technologies and processes that need to be developed before we send humans to Mars. Many of these technologies can be developed now and for less than $100,000. Teaming with Aerojet Corporation and others, the first of these challenges will focus on in situ resource utilization – technologies that will allows us to “live off the land” on other planets.

The new focus on private sector investment in space creates a unique opportunity for Explore Mars. “Not only do we plan to promote the humans to Mars cause,” said Explore Mars Executive Director, Chris Carberry, “but with the right mix of prizes, programming, and projects, we can make a significant contribution in advancing the cause of sending humans to Mars.”

In addition, collaborating with Aerojet and NASA’s Spaceward Bound, we will be creating the Mars Education Challenge that will challenge educators to design new and innovative Mars curriculum. We hope this curricula will inspire more students to become interested in space exploration.

According to Explore Mars President, Artemis Westenberg, “Inspiring young people is a wonderful way of creating your own best future. Teaching them about all space exploration has to offer them will bring about innovation useful to Earth and Mars.”

Explore Mars will also be running a series of scientific and engineering workshops and symposiums, with a Mars agriculture workshop tentatively scheduled to take place in the spring of 2011.

Explore Mars plans to announce details of at least two prizes in the first half of 2010. The Explore Mars team includes individuals such as Apollo 11 Astronaut, Buzz Aldrin; NASA Planetary scientist, Dr. Chris McKay; Space historian, Andy Chaikin; former Biosphere 2 director of science and research, Bruno D.V. Marino; and many others. Explore Mars will provide additional details on these programs in the near future as it ambitiously starts moving ahead on these exciting new endeavors.

For more information regarding the Explore Mars organization, please visit: .

News Source: Explore Mars, Inc.

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