Featured Perk: 'Firefly Camp' by Anie Miles
We are students with big ideas for Mars!
We are a diverse team of graduates, undergraduates, and faculty advisers at Arizona State University. We want to see humans explore and colonize Mars in our lifetimes! To achieve this goal, we began adapting an open source vehicle to aid the construction of a habitat for humans on Mars.
Todd and the team builds a wood 1/3 scale model of MarsTrac.
"Why does it look like an Erector set?" Our concept is to reuse a small set of standardized parts to build our vehicle and support systems. This makes our design incredibly redundant without extra complexity, because you only have to retain a smaller set of replacement parts and a simpler maintenance setup.
(Lucas Blog, Open Source Ecology)
In the future, other machines can be built using the same pieces. We can construct an entire industrial ecology for colonists on Mars! Even using current methods and research, NASA and it's partners have shown you can separate martian soil into metals, and separate the gasses in the martian atmosphere into fuels such as methane. (See: Sabatier reaction andISRU)
Together, we will turn these basic components into more complex machines, not just tractors and lathes, backhoes, and CNC machines; but entire support industries for our hypothetical colonists. Learn more on our website.
Navigate our Campaign
Who is our team?
- Where did this idea come from?
- What we need!
- Amazing Perks from Space!
- What if we don't make our goal?
- Why is this so important to us?
- Other ways you can help!
- Sponsors and Partners
Who is our team?
- Todd Gilbert, USN Veteran and Geologist, Project Director
- Jekan Thanga, Ph.D. in Robotics, Project Advisor
- Anand Biradar, MS in Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Lead
- Joshua Gigantino, MS in Design, Human Factors
- Miekkal Clarkson, Administrative Lead
- Michael Mein, BS in Astrophysics
- Brandon Keeber, Solidworks
- Amanda Aubry, MDRS Team Astronomer
- Sean Goertz, Fundraising
- Leah Pettis, BS in Geology, Photographer
Open Source Ecology's Life Trac 6
The above video is the Life Trac 6, the original design for earth-based agriculture developed by Open Source Ecology, a project to redesign the 50 machines all modern society is founded upon. It was our inspiration, and our goal is to adapt and expand this amazing project to the exploration and development of the Red Planet.
By helping fund our student lead team, you will be helping to push humanity beyond Earth and into being a multi-planet species!
We need to raise $16,000 to build the vehicle and do initial testing to improve it. Here is the breakdown:
- $5000 for the steel frame and hardware. (Hollow rounded square 4x4 steel tubes, bolts and nuts.)
- $4000 for our modified "power cubes" (Frame, engines, hydraulic pumps, batteries, sockets, switches.)
- $3000 for our Hydraulic/Electric system (Tubing, cylinders, connectors, wiring, motors)
- $2000 for our Remote Control system ( Control panel, electronic actuators.)
- $2000 for the transport and support fees for the Mars Desert Research Station.
Mars Desert Research Station in Utah
- Signed Books and Comics!
- Signed Artwork and Posters!
- Analog Mars Dirt!
- MarsTrac T-Shirts!
- Custom Wood and Steel Thank You Plaques!
- 3-D Theater Shows in Tempe, Arizona!
- Name the Vehicle or Place your Logo!
So many amazing Authors and Artists have donated signed copies of books to our effort to design vehicle and equipment for Mars, including:
Paige Braddock, P.J. Haarsma, Gary Hodges, Steve B. Howell, Jason McNamarra, Brandon Peterson, Kim Stanley Robinson, Stuart Sayger, David Lee Summers, and Matthew Alan Thyer!
Artwork and Posters have been donated to our campaign by:
John Eaves, Matt Goodall, Andy Kuhn, Leo Leibelman, Ant Lucia, Anabel Martinez, Billy Martinez, Anie Miles, Jason Pederson, and Jeff Pina.
"The Send Off' and 'Upper Shuttle Bay' by the inspiring John Eaves of Star Trek's Ship of the Line Calendar. Each print is 11" by 17" and is signed, "Thanks for supporting space hardware!" Only one of each is available for $50 and comes with a MarsTarc sticker.
'Molly' and 'Spacegirl in Plaid Portrait' by Matt Goodall each for $25 and is packaged with a MarsTrac sticker.
'The 10th Doctor' by Andy Kuhn. Matte print at 13" x 19" signed for $50, and comes with a MarsTrac Sticker.
'Darth Vader', by the incredible Leo Leibelman. Print is glossy, marked at $40, and is packaged with a MarsTrac sticker.
'From Venus with Love' by Ant Lucia. Semi-gloss print, sized 16" by 20" and is signed by the artist, "Thanks for supporting space hardware!" This print is only $50 and is packaged with a MarsTrac sticker.
The amazing Mass Effect artwork of Anabel Martinez. Each is 11" by 17" and is signed by Anabel, "Thank you for your support of space hardware!" Each print is $50 and is packaged with a MarsTrac sticker.
The incredible Anie Miles has hand signed each of these 12" by "18" prints, "Thank your for supporting open hardware on Mars!" Each print is $50 and comes with a Mars Trac sticker!
If that wasn't cool enough, we have collector postcards for every fandom! Each signed, "Thank you for supporting Open Hardware on Mars!" Each is $20 and comes with a Mars Trac sticker!
'Space Goddess' by Billy Martinez. This premium print is $50 and is packaged with a MarsTrac sticker.
'Great Migration: Blue Whale' by Jason Pederson. This landscape print is $50 and is packaged with a MarsTrac sticker.
'Curiosity and Opportunity' and Test Subjects poster signed by the audacious Jeff Pina and crew! $25 each! Limited Availability!
Mars Dirt for $35! Developed by NASA from Viking Lander Data!
Custom labeled test tubes filled with actual JSC MARS-1A regolith stimulant, identical to the stuff used by NASA to simulate the martian environment.
MarsTrac Honorary Team Member T-Shirts for $25
Show off your pride. Tell the world that you believe in Humans to Mars. Wear a symbol of Open Source Hardware that lets everyone know you contributed to the betterment of human knowledge and exploration!
Exclusive MarsTrac campaign patches and stickers!
3-D Theater Astronomy Shows in Tempe, Arizona!
Are you local or visiting Tempe? We have added tickets to a 3-D Astronomy Show at the Marston Exploration Theater @ ASU's ISTB 4 to several of our packages. Just look for the word Local to save money on shipping and get a free perk add-on!
Unique Wood and Metal Thank You Plaques
At the $125 level you begin racking up a ton of perks, including your name on a custom designed and laser etched wood plate. Just like the ones we used to build our 1/3rd scale model!
At $500 your plate will be made out of machine steel and your name will be engraved into the surface, and we will record a thank you video to show how much our team appreciates your amazing generosity!
- Be a Honorary Engineer with a engraved steel wrench!
- You can have your name engraved on the rover or name the rover itself.
We are confident we can reach our goal, but if we don't, the collected funds will go towards creating a smaller, remotely operated rover with the same mission.
Some of the MarsTrac team at Phoenix Comic Con.
This is just a prototype, yes. We’re working with a computer simulation, a 1/3 scale model, and a bunch of good ol’ dreaming. But your contribution can change that. If we reach our fundraising goal, we can build a full scale prototype that can be driven, tested, and troubleshot. As soon as we build this, we’re taking it out to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) and putting it through its paces.
Humans to Mars. (NASA)
MarsTrac itself is a representation of something more, of an ecology of machinery that can be used in the harsh environment of the Martian surface, and be the support infrastructure that future astronauts will absolutely need to be successful in their missions to the red planet. The goal of MarsTrac is simplicity, something that can be taken apart and put back together with the fewest pieces and directions, that can become interchangeable with the entire collection of technology, and that can be easily produced in the environment without reliance on material from Earth.
Arizona State University has a fantastic record of building competition and commercial rovers, vehicles and robotics. We are well represented at NASA's Luna robotics competition, and our members have even flown experiments in Zero-Gravity.
If you find yourself unable to contribute financially, don’t sweat it. Every little bit helps, and every click of our share button more so. The more people who hear about our project, the more people can finance our dream, and the faster we can reach our goal. Word of mouth is the currency of the internet, and in that aspect, everyone is rich. So get out there, slap us onto your Facebook wall, tweet our link, blog, share, and post to get more eyes on this page.
Thanks for your support!