Mars Desert Research Station Mars Party, August 29 through 31, 2003. Imagine observing Mars this summer from a place that looks like the Red Planet – complete with a fully functional Mars Habitat and Observatory. You are cordially invited to attend a Mars Party held at the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah. The site was chosen for it’s Martian landscape and is a research facility used by the Mars Society to make studies for the human exploration of Mars. With its 6.7 magnitude skies it is an ideal location for observing the wonders of the universe. This is a free event sponsored by the Mars Society and Celestron.