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The Australian Mars Exploration Conference


The Mars Society Australia presents the first annual Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC) in Melbourne on the weekend of 12th & 13th May, 2001 as part of National Science Week.

The program includes a range of speakers on the Saturday, with a conference banquet in the evening and a program of workshops on Mars Society technical projects on the Sunday including a question and answer session (by telephone) with Dr Robert Zubrin, author of The Case for Mars.

WHEN: 8.30am Saturday May 12th, 2001.
WHERE: The Fritz Loewe Theatre, Earth Sciences Building, University of Melbourne.

The Program

The Saturday program will feature presentations on topics ranging from Martian geology, robotic exploration and the search for life to the lessons of Antarctica for Mars exploration. Speakers include leading experts on Mars exploration and related science:

This will be followed by a three course conference banquet to be held on campus beginning at 7.30pm. The Sunday program will consist of a series of workshops focussing on the Mars Society Australia's technical program. There will be a question and answer session by telephone hookup with Dr Robert Zubrin, author of The Case for Mars and founder of Pioneer Astronautics.

NOTE: The following timetable may be subject to alteration. The question & answer session with Robert Zubrin may be moved to a different Sunday timeslot, so delegates are advised to attend all the Sunday sessions to be sure of catching this event.

ACTIVITY DATE/TIME              EVENT                                THEME                         
Conference    Saturday 12 May
8.00am Registration Commences
8.30am Conference Opens
8.35am Introduction

Dr Nick Hoffman
'Mars News Update'

Prof Ray Jarvis
'Robotic Applications'
Exploration Technology


Jason Hoogland
'Mars Society Technical Projects'
10.45am Morning Break

Mr Gerard De Valence
'Australians and Exploration'
Learning from Antartica


Dr John Webb
'Antarctica as an Analogue for Mars'
12.30pm Lunch

Prof Malcolm Walter
'Earth analogues for Martian Environments'
Geology & Biology


Dr Philippa Uwins
3.00pm Afternoon Break

Dr Nick Hoffman
'White Mars'
4.00pm Panel Discussion
4.45pm Closing Remarks

Conference Closes

Banquet 7.30pm Banquet Commences

Banquet Finishes

Workshops    Sunday 13 May

Jason Hoogland
Research Projects


Cataloguing Mars Analogue Sites in Australia
10.30am Morning Break

Ben Cairns
'The Mars Analogue Rover Project (HOP)'

(Mars Analogue Suits)

Jason Hoogland
1.00pm Lunch

Question & Answer Session with Dr Robert Zubrin

Jozef Michalek
Computer Graphics for Technical Projects
3.30pm Afternoon Break

Mars Society Outreach Projects
Mars Society Annual General Meeting
5.00pm Close


Registration for the Saturday conference and (optional) banquet is available at the door. Registration fees are as follows:

Full - $60
Concession/Student - $45
Full Mars Society Member - $45
Concession & Mars Society Member - $30
Group of 5 or more - Above rates + $10 discount per delegate.

The optional banquet meal costs an additional $60 per delegate (includes alcohol).

Download a registration form here and either bring it in or send it in to the address shown on the form to secure your seat.

Useful Links

  • Suggested accomodation for country and interstate visitors.
  • Qantas is the AMEC Official Airline, offering discounts for delegates of up to 45%.
  • A map showing the university and inner city.
  • General tourist information about Melbourne.

Parking is available on campus. A fee of $2 is payable into the coin machine at Monash Road off Swanston Street (Gate 4) or at the Grattan Street entry (Gate 10). (A $2 coin is required).

Click here to download a plan of Melb Uni. (The venue is at F14, F15.)

Delegates travelling in by public transport should catch any tram heading north along Swanston Street from Flinders Street or Melbourne Central Station (Trams 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 16, 22, 64, 67, 72). Head past Melbourne Uni until Stop 111 at the corner of Swanston and Elgin Streets. (Earth Sciences is on the south-east corner.) The main entry is at first floor level.

Conference enquiries may be directed to enquiries@marssociety.org.au.

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