Mars NOW!

Imagine you're living in 1965. You're lying in a wide grassy field on a warm clear night, looking up at the bright full moon. As you gaze in wide wonder you start to imagine what it will be like for the first astronauts to explore the cratered surface of this heavenly sphere that has always seemed so distant, but now is coming closer every day. In your mind the words of John F. Kennedy echo, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win." Whether you are an aerospace engineer, a bus driver, a janitor, or a student, you realize that in your own way you are answering that call to go to the moon, and every night when you look up at the sky you are reminded of your commitment.

We live in a day when many of us need to be reminded of the greatness that we can achieve together. The mission of the Mars NOW! project is to enhance life for humanity by extending mankind’s sphere of influence in the solar system and developing access to abundant non-terrestrial resources. My name is Lee Roberts. I am pursuing this mission by endeavoring to go to Mars, and I invite you to participate in this incredible journey. I am raising funds to participate in learning and training activities that will prepare me to travel to and live on Mars, as described on the Mars NOW! blog . All of the funds that I raise will contribute directly to training events, which will also be chronicled on my blog.

I've been invited by Mars Academy USA   to join two research missions this winter. The first project from January 16- February 2, 2020 will be conducted at the Mars Society 's Mars Desert Research Station  in Hanksville, Utah. This is an analog simulation facility, meaning that it replicates many of the conditions that crews will encounter on Mars. The Mars Academy USA is engaged in researching emerging medical technologies and helping develop best practices and procedures for medical care on Mars. As part of the crew I will be working closely with team members to conduct research on a variety of projects to help pave the way for future missions to Mars!

The second research activity is an expedition to Mt. Everest Basecamp in Nepal, from February 16-March 10, 2020. This is especially exciting because it will challenge us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our team will spend approximately one week hiking to the Everest base camp, located over 17,000 feet above sea level. Once we arrive, we will spend one week in simulation conducting several additional research experiments. These will be particularly relevant because of the high altitudes , low pressures, and extreme temperatures that closely simulate conditions in Mars’ atmosphere. My background in aviation brings real world perspective and experience in dealing with hypoxia (lack of oxygen in the blood) and other altitude related medical concerns. This will be an amazing learning opportunity!

The participation fees for these events are $2500 for the MDRS and $6650 for the Mt. Everest expedition. I will be paying my travel expenses and incidental costs myself, but I am asking for contributions to help defray the participation fees. Mars Academy USA has been very generous in sponsoring me with a scholarship for $1000 for the MDRS mission and $1300 for the Everest mission (these are not reflected in the costs above). Mars Academy USA is kindly donating a digital logo image to each supporter who contributes $10 or more, an MAU sticker to the first ten people who donate $15 or more, and an MAU t-shirt for the first two donations of $45 or more. Mars Academy USA is also donating a FULL MAU scholarship worth $1700 to join a monthly MAU crew training mission held in the Los Angeles area. This will be awarded to the first donor who contributes $500 or more. Thank you for your support and generous contributions!


  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 4 yrs


Lee Roberts
Payson, UT

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