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How to Watch the Humans to Mars Summit This Week

Posted by Casey Dreier

05-05-2015 24:36 CDT

Topics: Space Policy, Future Mission Concepts, human spaceflight, Mars, Phobos, Deimos

Though I'm not in D.C. this week, I'll be watching various talks at the Humans to Mars Summit, happening this week on Tuesday and Wednesday at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Below is the full schedule for the conference (all times are in EDT). I'm particularly interested in the keynote by Planetary Society Board Member (and our Humans Orbiting Mars workshop Chair) Scott Hubbard (Tuesday, 10:00am EDT) and the first public presentation of the orbit-first mission concept developed by a small team at JPL (Wednesday, 8:30am EDT).

May 5, 2015 | Lisner Auditorium

8:45-9:00 | Welcome/Acknowledgements/etc.

  • Artemis Westenberg (Explore Mars) and Chris Carberry (Explore Mars)

9:00-9:30 | Opening Plenary

  • Charles Bolden (NASA Administrator)

9:30-10:00 | The Year in Review: A Window of Opportunity

  • Scott Hubbard (Stanford University; former Director of NASA Mars Exploration Program)

10:00-10:55 | Leadership Panel

  • Moderator – Kent Rominger (Orbital ATK; VP, Strategy and Business Development: Astronaut)
  • William Gerstenmaier (NASA Assoc. Administrator, Administrator, Human Exploration and Mission Directorate)
  • John Grunsfeld (NASA Assoc. Administrator, Science Mission Directorate)
  • Steve Jurczyk (NASA Assoc. Administrator, Space Technology Mission Directorate)

10:55-11:15 | Break

11:15-12:00 | The Extraordinary Science of Mars

  • Moderator – James Garvin (NASA Chief Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center)
  • Pamela Conrad (NASA GSFC, Deputy PI on MSL/Curiosity SAM investigation)
  • Jennifer Eigenbrode (NASA GSFC, Astrobiologist)
  • Danny Glavin (NASA GSFC, Astrochemist)

12:00-12:30 | The Martian

  • Interviewer Marc Kaufman (Author, Mars Up Close; National Geographic)
  • Andrew Weir (Author of The Martian) – via Skype

12:30-2:00 | Lunch

2:00-2:20 | The ‘AWE’ of Mars – Inspiring the Future

2:20-2:50 | How will we go to Mars?

  • Bret Drake (NASA JSC)

2:50-3:20 | Why Mars?

  • James Green (NASA Director, Planetary Sciences)

3:20-3:35 | ExoLance: Search for Life Below the Martian Surface

  • Joe Cassady (Aerojet Rocketdyne Executive Director, Space, Washington, D.C. Office)

3:35-3:55 | Break

3:55-4:15 | Time Capsule to Mars

  • Emily Briere (Time Capsule to Mars; Student)

4:15-4:45 | The Technology of Mars

  • James Reuther (NASA: Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs, STMD)

4:45-5:05 | Protecting Mars and Earth

  • Cassie Conley (NASA: Planetary Protection Officer)

5:05-5:25 | Senator Bill Nelson, Florida

May 6, 2015 | Betts Auditorium

8:30-9:30 | Morning Keynote: Affordable Human Missions to Mars

  • Firouz Naderi (Director, Solar System Exploration Directorate, JPL)

9:30-10:30 | Affordability and Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Moderator – Jason Crusan (Director, Advanced Exploration Systems Division, HEMOD, NASA HQ)
  • Olivier de Weck (Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, MIT)
  • Brand Griffin (Senior Aerospace Engineer, NASA MSFC)
  • Kandyce Goodliff (Senior Aerospace Engineer, NASA LaRC)

10:30-10:40 | Break

10:40-12:00 | Mars Science: The 2020s and Enabled by Astronauts in the 2030s

  • Moderator – Jim Watzin (NASA Director, Mars Exploration Program, NASA HQ)
  • Charles Whetsel (Manager, Formulation Office, Mars Exploration Directorate, JPL)
  • Melissa Trainer (Research Planetary Scientist, NASA GSFC)
  • Michael Hecht (Assistant Director, Haystack Observatory, MIT)
  • Ben Bussey (Chief Exploration Scientist, NASA HQ HEOMD)

May 7, 2015 | Betts Auditorium

9:00-10:00 | From Sci-Fi to Reality

  • Moderator – Catherine Asaro (Science Fiction Author; Sigma Member)
  • Geoffrey Landis (NASA; Science Fiction Author; Sigma Member)
  • Charles Gannon (Science Fiction Author; Sigma Member)
  • Bud Sparhawk (Science Fiction Author; Sigma Member)
  • Tom Ligon (Science Fiction Author; Sigma Member)

10:00-11:00 | Inspiring Support – Public Engagement

  • Moderator – Janet Ivey (Janet’s Planet)
  • Susan Poulton (President, Door 44 Digital; former VP, National Geographic)
  • Larissa Schelkin (Global STEM Initiative)
  • Don Thomas (Astronaut STS-70; Author)
  • Jancy McPhee (NASA, Humans in Space Arts Program & Youth Arts Competition)
  • Stephen Pakbaz (Orbital ATK; Mars Lego Engineer)

11:00-11:20 | Break

11:20-12:20 | Political Roundtable – Building Political Sustainability

  • Moderator – Ann Zulkosky (Director, NASA Programs, Washington Operations, LMCO; former Senate staffer)
  • Ben Roberts (Senior Policy Advisor for Space, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy)
  • Tom Cremins (Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Strategy and Policy Implementation, NASA)
  • N. Wayne Hale, Jr. (Director of Human Spaceflight, Special Aerospace Services, LLC)
  • Lynda L. Weatherman (President & CEO, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast)

12:20-1:00 | Where Do We Go From Here?

See other posts from May 2015


Or read more blog entries about: Space Policy, Future Mission Concepts, human spaceflight, Mars, Phobos, Deimos


Arbitrary: 05/05/2015 04:48 CDT

Great! Hopefully they'll be talking about going to Mars, not around Mars.

Casey Dreier (The Planetary Society): 05/05/2015 11:07 CDT

Arbitrary: You might be disappointed by Dr. Naderi's presentation on Wednesday morning, then.

Arbitrary: 05/06/2015 11:37 CDT

Yes I saw it and I was disappointed! Orbiting humans around Mars without landing won't happen for several reasons, it's a waste of advocacy - It is politically impossible. The first person to walk on Mars will become the most famous person in world history, in competition with Gagarin and Armstrong and a maybe some later space pioneers. Anyone who just "orbited" Mars will be completely forgotten. A politician generally wants to become a historic figure, supporting a Mars orbiting mission doesn't do that. - It does not motivate the public. The myth about Mars today is that it is, has been, or could become Earth like. That's something almost everyone can relate to. Astronauts moving strangely in the very low gravity field of Phobos would be too strange to inspire general public support, I'm afraid. - It doesn't motivate the risk to human lives, nor the cost. A landed mission would be so much more valuable that it easily motivates the extra cost and delay. Landing on Mars has some safety benefits too, interrupting the microgravity and giving much better radiation shielding. - It makes Mars exploration so much more expensive and delayed. The money wasted on orbiting Mars, and also on a proposed short stay on Mars (a few weeks), should instead be added to the first real ˜1½ Mars surface mission to make it happen safer, sooner and better. - And okay, if a half-time stepping stone to Mars is needed for political reasons, then build an Aldrin type cycler in LEO and SEP-tug it to its Earth/Mars orbit. That would create sustainable interplanetary infrastructure that could be resupplied and upgraded during many decades to come. It would be as close to an "interplanetary railroad" I can imagine. It should be doable with maybe 4-5 SLS launches or so. And it would function as a space station to replace the ISS. A crewed space station that flies by Mars. A few cycles later, cargo could have been pre-deployed on Mars and a lander/ascent vehicle developed to land humans there.

Arbitrary: 05/06/2015 11:56 CDT

Two problems with Mars cyclers are often raised, but I think they can be solved pretty simply. One is that the cyclers pass by Earth and Mars at high velocity, requiring alot of delta-v to transport crew to and from it, four times on one trip. But the transit could be a matter of hours so the crewed vehicle could be made minimal in mass, as crowded as the Soyuz, allowing for it to reach high speed. A minimal vehicle also facilitates landing through Mars' atmosphere, relying on pre-deployed assets. Another problem is the crucial precision needed for the crew to reach the cycler. But a generous fuel tank with a rocket engine following in the same orbit as the large habitable cycler, could give a crew with a problem a second chance by picking them up and bringing them to the cycler, even if they are a bit off on their own power. Yes it is expensive, but another couple of years of budget spending fixes it, without cheating Mars. There's alot of talk about sustainability and reusability, but it seems hard for many in the Mars community to draw the obvious conclusions about the basic design that does precisely that. One doesn't have to be a rocket science to figure connect the dots. Or, well, that was an intentional pun :-p. I just add up the good pieces of what I hear knowledgeable people say. Unfortunately, each Mars plan I know of seems to have at least one very serious flaw.

Antonio: 05/07/2015 03:29 CDT

I think the first people to land on Mars will be Chinese people. NASA has no interest at all in landing people anywhere, even less so for ESA, and Roscosmos has no money. So probably it will be CNSA. Space is for the brave.

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