The Mars Society announced today that it will build an astronomical observatory at its Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah. Funding to establish the observatory was provided by a major donation by a Mars Society member who wishes to remain anonymous. The other prime sponsor of the observatory is Celestron, which has donated a high quality computerized eleven inch Schmidt Cassegrain Nexstar11GPS telescope for initial operations. Celestron has begun production of its new fourteen inch Schmidt Cassegrain system which includes a newly designed heavy-duty computerized German equatorial mount. This system, known as the CGE 1400, will be the finest instrument ever produced for the advanced amateur and university astronomy market. The Mars Society is in discussions with Celestron to obtain one of these systems for the Mars Society Desert Observatory as soon as one becomes available.