Owing to the global pandemic, on April 1, 2021, the organizing committee of ACM MobiSys 2021 decided to hold the event on a planet with no known cases of COVID-19. After bids, and interests from various sites, the organizing committee picked the planet Mars, in our solar system, as the hosting site for the conference.
The red planet, Mars – the fourth planet from the Sun in our solar system –- is a dusty, cold, desert world with a very thin atmosphere. Mars is also a dynamic planet with seasons, polar ice caps, canyons, extinct volcanoes, and evidence that it was even more active in the past.
Mars is one of the most explored bodies in our solar system, and it is the only planet where humans have sent rovers to roam the alien landscape. An international fleet of orbiters is also studying the Red Planet from above.
About the Venue
The precise venue on planet Mars is the Jezero Crater, the landing site for the recently launched Perseverance rover. Scientists believe the area was once flooded with water and was home to an ancient river delta.
(Images courtesy of NASA)
Travel to Mars can be challenging. The distance between Earth and Mars can vary between 54 to 400 million kilometers based on the relative position of the two planets in their orbits. The total journey time from Earth to Mars takes between 150-300 days depending on the speed of the launch, the alignment of Earth and Mars, and the length of the journey the spacecraft takes to reach its target. An important parameter that determines travel time is the amount of fuel the spacecraft is willing to burn in its journey.
So travel to Mars is expensive, time consuming, and risky. Therefore, the organizers will make it easy for participants to attend the conference virtually through virtual tools. Details for these will be posted here.
The organizing committee recognizes that travel to Mars can be challenging to most participants. So the conference does not require in-person attendance at all. Further, if a participant is able to get to the venue, there is no guarantee on the number of other participants they will be able to meet in-person. Each such traveller assumes all risks and associated concerns for their trip, and the MobiSys 2021 organizing committee will not be responsible for any aspects of travel arrangements, costs, insurance, and related requirements. We hope to see each of you, either in person or virtually!
(Contents of this page derived from NASA and Universe Today)