South Australia

For more information contact -

South Australian Branch Coordinator
Mars Society of Australia



Branch Coordinator: 
0481 093 877
Event Information: 

WHAT:  Are you interested in space exploration? Dream of a future amongst the stars? Our first step is Mars. 

Exploration, research and development, the latest discoveries, issues and philosophy which may impact on exploration of Mars.

A warm welcome is extended to everyone interested in Mars or space exploration.  Feel free to join us after the presentation.

For those who would like to join in, some people purchase meals, e.g. share pizzas.

WHERE: Nova Systems, 27-31 London Road, Mile End South  SA  5031 

WHEN:   Sunday 6:00PM - 8:00PM

If you require further information, contact Marcia 0481 093 877

Monday September 11th 2017 public lecture is being held in conjunction with the State Library of SA at the Library. 

Booking is essential. 

What: Mars: the exciting history of our smaller sister planet with Associate Professor Victor Gostin 

When: Monday September 11th 6:30-8:00pm

Where: State Library of SA, Hetzel Lecture Theatre, Institute Building, Cnr Kintore Ave & North Tce, Adelaide, SA 5000

To Book:

Mars has intrigued our imagination for centuries. Would you like to learn more? Join us for this fascinating lecture by Associate Professor Victor Gostin, University of Adelaide.
NASA's rovers plus orbiting satellites have revealed many, often unexpected features. Not only was there a Martian ocean with tsunamis, but large impacts created warm moist conditions suitable for life. As well letting you handle a real meteorite from Mars, this talk will present a few of the many exciting features of our sister planet that have just been published.
Bio: Victor Gostin is a retired Associate Professor in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Adelaide. Victor lectured in earth sciences at Adelaide University from 1970 to 2001. His scientific interests include the origins and evolution of the solar system and of life, meteorite impacts, and environmental geoscience. Victor is keen to popularise earth and planetary sciences to the community through lectures and radio. Asteroid 3640GOSTIN [see GOOGLE] has honoured his scientific discoveries.

SPECIAL EVENT FOR NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK  Science Alive! at the Adelaide Showgrounds  05/08/2017 - 06/08/2017 Visit our booth while you're there!

This is a fantastic way to entertain the kids and get them enthusiastic about science. All booths have fun hands on activities. Very cool.

Opening Times: 9am to 5pm Saturday & Sunday

Entry Cost: FREE for all Under 18 Adults $15 online plus booking fee Concession $10 online plus booking fee

                  Adult $20 at the door, Concession $15 at the door

Pavilion: Goyder & Jubilee Entry gates: Rose Terrace & Goodwood Road


Sunday 2nd July Free Presentation - Dr Alicia Tucker - LIVE VIA SKYPE - Life on ‘Mars,’ the Challenges of Human Spaceflight

We may be starting to get the technology perfected to send people to the Red Planet. As humans, are we really ready?

Alicia is an Emergency Physician based in Hobart, Tasmania.  As well as being a Fellow of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, Alicia is a Fellow in Wilderness Medicine and has worked with the Royal Flying Doctors Service in Outback Australia and as a Ship's Physician to the Antarctic Peninsula.  Learning more about the challenges of human spaceflight seemed like a natural progression after working in these austere environments.  Alicia spent 10 days at the Mars Desert Research Station in April 2017 as part of Crew 179 being schooled on aerospace medicine by a NASA Flight Surgeon as well as exploring the human factors associated with living on 'Mars'.  Alicia is married with 2 young boys and is excited her boys may be part of a generation that will call Mars home.


Sunday 4th June 2017 Free Presentation - Mr James Gilmour of Gilmour Space Technologies - LIVE VIA SKYPE including Q&A - James will talk about their Space Flight Academy, and their new propulsion program. 


Sunday 7th May 2017 Free Public Lecture - Dr Patrick Neumann, Chief Scientist, Neumann Space Pty Ltd “Mars and Back on a Tank of Fuel: Pulsed Cathodic Arc Thruster Missions to Mars”

Abstract: Missions to return samples from Mars and its moons have been discussed for many years, with increasing interest coming as part of NASA’s Mars mission plans. Robotic missions to return Martian material would serve as testbeds for technologies needed in future manned missions, and
thus reduce the risks faced by astronauts in their journeys.  A large part of the technical challenge involved in such a mission is the propulsion system; the sheer quantity of fuel needed for such a mission is staggering if one uses chemical fuels.  Recent developments in electric propulsion could alter the equation, making this type of mission more technically feasible.  This talk will discuss the challenges inherent in this type of mission, before describing the performance benefits available when choosing various electric propulsion technologies over chemical thrusters.

Bio: Paddy studied aerospace engineering and physics as an undergraduate, gaining bachelor’s degrees in both from the University of Sydney, which is where he first started working with electric propulsion systems. During his honours, masters and doctoral work he has refined the system he inherited, from a system optimised for the study of thin film deposition to one that serves as a testbed for thruster prototypes.

Event dates for 2017: February 5th, March 5th, April 2nd, May 7th, June 4th, July 2nd, August 5-6th (Science Alive! at the Adelaide Showgrounds), September 11th (joint withe the State Library of SA), October 8th (a week later due to Labour Day), November 5th, December 3rd

Our last events were:

Sunday 4th December 2016 Free Public Lecture (Optional BBQ Cost $7 see details below) - Thomas Callum "Gemini Direct, The Australian entry to the Gemini Mars Mission Design Competition"

The Gemini Mars Mission Competition was an international university challenge set up by the Mars Society this year to develop mission concepts to fly two astronauts past Mars and return them by 2024. Of the 19 teams that applied, 10 were selected to present at the annual Mars Society conference in Washington DC. One of these 10 teams that presented was the Gemini Direct mission plan that was developed by Thomas Cullum of the University of Adelaide as a team of one. Thomas will be representing and extending the Gemini Mars mission presentation that he gave at Washington earlier this year.  

      BBQ is optional

o   BYO drinks plus a plate- salad or dessert or treat

o    Cost: $7 to cover meat (please let us know if you have special dietary requirements, vegan or vegetarian)

o   RSVP booking would be appreciated to assist with numbers

To book or for further information contact Marcia on 0481 093 877 or email


Sunday 6thNovember 2016 Free Presentation – Savannah McGuirk LIVE VIA SKYPE including Q&A "A Martian Landscape on Earth"

It might be a long way to Mars, but there are places to study Mars on Earth. With a cold, dry, alpine environment and very little vegetation, the Indian Himalayas are a pretty close fit. In August 2016, an expedition to Ladakh for a Spaceward Bound expedition incorporated scientists, professionals and teachers from all over the world, all of whom were engaged in space research, projects or education. While some were searching for microbes in the hot springs, others took samples and examined the grain size in sand dunes and patterned ground. Savannah will discuss the geomorphologyof Ladakh as a Mars analogue on Earth.

Sunday 9th October 2016 Free Public Lecture – Dr Eriita Jones “How can we find water on Mars (and why are we looking?)”

Any liquid water on present-day Mars is hidden from view within the Martian regolith, but we can still find clues to where it is, and where it existed in the past.  Come along to this talk to discover why there is so much interest in finding past and present liquid water environments on Mars, whether Mars could really support life, and how learning about Mars can teach us about Earth.

Booking :


September 11th 2016 Free Public Lecture - Associate Professor Victor Gostin “Was there water and life on Mars?” 

Exciting discoveries are continually being made on our sister planet, Mars. NASA's rovers plus orbiting satellites have revealed many, often unexpected features. Having discovered water-ice in the subsoil in many places, the search for life [fossil/modern] continues, as detailed plans are made regarding the next landing site. This talk will present a few of the many exciting features of planet Mars that have just been published. Booking:

August 14th 2016 Free Public Lecture - Dr Graziella Caprarelli “Looking for Ice in Unlikely Places”The present day Martian surface is cold and hyper-arid. Currently water ice is present at polar and sub-polar latitudes, and various models show that an ice ground-table is globally stable at variable depths. Geological, geomorphological and astronomical evidence however, indicate that ice was likely much more ubiquitous on Mars. In this presentation Graziella will highlight the physical conditions for ice and water stability on the surface of Mars and at depth, illustrate the astronomical and geological processes responsible for the existence of ice on the surface of the planet during different periods of its geological history, and present new insights into the likelihood and distribution of cold and wet microenvironments of astrobiological potential. Booking: 

Meeting dates for 2016

February 7th, March 6th, April 3rd, May 1st, June 5th, July 3rd,  August 14th, September 11th, October 9th, November 6th, December 4th