Proceedings of the 2nd Australian Mars Exploration Conference

Exploring the Red Planet

JULY 13th - 14th 2002

Faculty of Engineering, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


The 2nd Australian Mars Exploration Conference, AMEC 2002 was held at the University of Sydney, in July 2002. Organised by Mars Society Australia and hosted by the Faculty of Engineering, AMEC 2002 brought together scientists, engineers and members of the research community from Australia and overseas as well as the general public in a series of presentations, panels and workshops related to "Exploring the Red Planet".

Mars Society Australia is a non-profit organization, which has been set up to promote international and Australian participation in the great human endeavour of sending people to the Red Planet. This is done by conducting outreach programs, supporting government and privately sponsored exploration and conducting our own research programs.

The purpose behind AMEC 2002 was threefold. It gave the general public the opportunity to find out about some of the latest Mars-related research being undertaken locally and internationally. Secondly, it provided an important forum for members of the research community to meet, network, and exchange ideas. Thirdly, it is the principal annual gathering for the geographically dispersed membership of Mars Society Australia.

We were extremely privileged to have the 2002 conference opened by geologist and Apollo 17 astronaut and moonwalker, Dr. Harrison Schmitt. A number of other distinguished international visitors and eminent Australian speakers made presentations, such as Dr Everett Gibson from the Johnson Space Center, Houston TX, and Professor Stuart Ross Taylor and Professor David Green from the Australian National University in Canberra. Together, this represented some of the cream of the world’s Mars researchers and visionaries at one event. The diversity of conference papers in these Proceedings reflects the multi-disciplinary nature of Mars research, and includes experts on geology, biology, physics, engineering, robotics, human factors, psychology, medical science, economics and the arts. All papers in these Proceedings have been fully refereed.

It is our hope that the AMEC 2002 Conference Proceedings will provide you with a window on a constantly changing and developing body of research, which will have important implications for individual disciplines, as well as the human race.

Finally, thanks are due to the other members of the local organizing committee – Ms Christina Berry and Mr Adrian Kriening – for their assistance and dedication to the task, to the board of Mars Society Australia for their continued support and to the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sydney for their generous financial support, without which the Conference would not have been possible.


Jennifer H. Laing

Co-convenor, AMEC 2002


Michael D. West

Editor, Co-convenor, AMEC 2002