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Last chance to register for a trip to Mars

Are you interested in Martian Science? MARSBalloon is an exciting project for school students and budding space scientists to carry out experiments equivalent to visiting the surface of our closest planetary neighbour – all without pulling on a spacesuit. 

The MARSBalloon will carry over 150 experiments to an altitude of 30km, more than twice the height of commercial airliners, where they will be above 99 per cent of Earth’s atmosphere. Along the way they will experience conditions very similar to those on Mars, including temperatures of -50°C and pressures 1/100th of sea level.

This allows students to test the response of electronics, materials, plants and even food, to the conditions outside of a future Mars base, helping explorers prepare for this strange and hostile environment. 

After approximately one hour, the balloon will burst and the experiments will return to Earth via parachute. The experiments are then returned to participants to analyse the results. 

There is still time to register your interest and reserve a space on the flight, with entries closing on 31 March. You’ll then have until late May to design and deliver your experiment, with the launch taking place in early June. 

Commenting on the latest iteration of the MARSBalloon launch, Andrew Stanniland, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in the UK said:

Ever since the MARSBalloon project launched, I have constantly been astounded by the quality of the experiments, as well as the fabulously imaginative designs.

“I can’t wait to see what the 2023 participants come up with, and I’m certain this experience will excite them about space and open their eyes to the many opportunities that exist within STEM subjects!"

“I would encourage all schools who might be interested to register their interest before the shuttle doors close at the end of the month.” 

Some of the experiments from previous years include testing how medical products would survive on Mars, the temperature and pressure effects on building materials and how radiation impacts electronics.

Entry is available to any school or youth group nationally, and aims to give students a practical experience of designing objects to go into space, as well as considering careers in the UK space and other tech industries. 

Free to register and participate, with schools and groups only needing to cover the cost of their experiments, entrances are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. Visit to sign up.

Jackie Lucas
+44 (0) 7799 337 329
Jill Hutchinson, Head of Communications and Government Affairs