MDRS Crew 87Interested in going to “Mars”? Ben Corbin (MIT SEDS) and Joshua Nelson (DSS SEDS) are looking for SEDS members interested in joining an expedition to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS). The MDRS is a Mars analog station in the desert near Hanksville, Utah. Crews of six student or professional researchers spend between 2-4 weeks in Martian simulation, conducting research in multiple disciplines.

Ideally, the first all-SEDS MDRS expedition would serve either a two or four week rotation at MDRS in January 2011.

Requirements to join the crew:

  • You must be a member of a SEDS chapter (in any country)
  • You must conduct a research project at the station which is of publishable quality
  • You must be able to fundraise or cover your travel to Grand Junction CO (closest airport to MDRS) and at least part of your room/board at the station (room/board is $1,000 per two weeks)
  • The MDRS is a ‘remote’ research station. During simulation your communications with the outside world will be limited to email. You must be willing to go the entire length of the simulation without phone, skype, IM, or any real-time communications with the outside world.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Preference given to students who have not been to MDRS before
  • Preference to students who can plan, build, and conduct their own research projects
  • Preference to self motivated students who can secure their portion of the mission expenses.

The MDRS is a great location for research in a variety of fields, not just engineering. Past research projects have included: biology, hydrology, green technology, psychology, art, project management, geology, navigation, human-robotic exploration, and more!

Participants will be responsible for fundraising their room/board at the station ($1000 per two weeks) and their airfare to/from Grand Junction, CO. There may be some potential for funding as a group, but for now assume none.

Interested students should email the following to

  • Full Name
  • SEDS chapter
  • Major
  • Description of any research projects you’d like to bring to MDRS
  • Other qualifications? (First Aid? CPR? Good cook? Prior experiences?)
  • Will you be able to cover your participation fee? If so, what potential sponsors/sources will you use?

For more information on the Mars Desert Research Station, please visit

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