"It is time that we commit to a human space program that is going somewhere! After decades of literally going around in circles in low Earth orbit, it is time to launch a program that will land humans on Mars by 2030. This is a VERY achievable goal. However, we can't just assume this will happen without constant pressure... The private sector can do REAL work to advance technology, science, and overall goal of sending humans to Mars. This is why Explore Mars, Inc. was created.
Explore Mars is a project-oriented non-profit group that was created to promote science and technology innovation and education related to 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.
We launched the Mars Education Challenge and will soon launch the In Situ Resource Utilization Challenge, as well as some other exciting projects. We will also announce details about a series of panels about Mars and International Space Station (ISS) Symposium, as well as the Mars Agriculture Workshop within in the next couple of months."
- Explore Mars, Inc.
Explore Mars was co-founded by Chris Carberry who is also the Executive Director. My dear friend Artemis Westenberg is President and Director. Artemis was the Mission Director for the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) during my mission to the MDRS as part of Crew 88 (Janury 2010), and most recently I served as an engineer on Crew 95 (June 2010) where Artemi personally led a MDRS engineering refit and repair mission. More information about their biographies can be found here. In addition to these two great individuals, Explore Mars has assembled a very distinguished team of advisors: Astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Dr. Penelope Boston of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, award winning film maker and writer Sam Burbank, award winning journalist and spaceflight historian Andrew Chaiken, NASA planetary scientist Dr. Chris McKay, and journalist and broadcast veteran Miles O'Brien.
Here is a video of Chris Carberry's talk (GoogleTech Talks) on the Mars Exploration Prizes.