MarsU Partnering with Mars Desert Research Station to cohost five-week Summer Program in July 2021

Dec 8, 2020. By Kolemann Lutz


Surrounded by close to nothing but a Utah desert resembling Martian dunes, 36 leading international young professionals, researchers, and students will congregate for five weeks to engage in immersive classes oriented around everything that will enable life to become multi-planetary.


During the last Information Session on Saturday, November 28, Bruce Mackenzie, Cofounder at MarsU, announced that Mars University will be hosting the first annual Summer Program at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), a Mars analog owned and operated by the Mars Society since 2001 located outside of Hanksville, Utah.


“We are very excited to share our campus with the students of the first MarsU Summer Program. It’s going to be exciting to hold the program in such an inspiring environment”, said Dr. Shannon Rupert, Director of MDRS and Faculty Lead at Mars University. “I was so happy we could make it happen.”


The MDRS campus consists of a two-story 8-meter diameter habitat that houses living quarters for 7 crew members, a 27 square meter GreenHab for crop production and research, an engineering lab for research and a dome building that houses a science lab. Also on campus is a Robotic Observatory where students can observe detailed views of the cosmos with the 8 and 14 inch telescopes, a solar observatory and the ATV/rovers and spacesuits that allow researchers to conduct rigorous simulations of human missions to Mars. During the field season, crews come from all over the world to stay at the station and conduct their own research.


Students will learn about the science, technologies, engineering, math, and other fields that will improve humankind’s ability to create self-sustaining settlements on the red planet.


Classrooms, workshops, lectures, and seminars during the five-week Mars Summer Program will largely take place in an air-conditioned white tent with all of the resources necessary to enable an immersive learning experience just outside the door at MDRS. Students will be able to test their ideas about how to live and work on Mars with the inspiration of what it would be like as their classroom. Students can also embark on field exploration and geological and biological studies similar to what the first crews on Mars will conduct. Enjoy mornings and lunches amidst a reddish-orange canyon in the middle of the Utah desert and falling asleep above a starry sky in local housing facilities.


The Summer Program will support current COVID-19 precautions to ensure the safety and health of students, faculty, staff, and the local community.


Interested students are encouraged to apply by January 15 to participate in the first Mars Summer Program as a student alongside faculty focused on one common goal: enabling life to become a multi-planetary, space-faring civilization.