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Raumfahrt - H2M-Konferenz in Washington Mai 2013

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H2M ist eine umfassende Marsforschung Konferenz von Explore Mars, Inc. organisiert, welche sich um die großen Herausforderungen befasst, die überwunden werden müssen, um Menschen bis 2030 zum Mars zu senden

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About

 

Explore Mars and the George Washington University Space Policy Institute present the The Humans to Mars (H2M) Summit, 6-8 May 2013 at the Lisner Auditorium of the George Washington University in Washington, DC.

 

What do we need to land humans on Mars by 2030? If you want to know the answer, we invite  you to join us at the Humans to Mars Summit.

 

H2M will be a comprehensive Mars exploration conference to address the major technical, scientific, and policy-related challenges that need to be overcome to send humans to Mars by 2030. This summit will be one of the most authoritative and diverse Mars exploration conferences ever held. With involvement of key players from NASA, industry, the science community, and non-traditional players. Expect to rub shoulders with both established aerospace leaders as well as newer commercial space entity leaders.

 

Topics will include:

 

• robotic and human precursor missions

 

• launch systems

 

• Mars transit challenges

 

• space suit design

 

• human factors

 

• entry, descent and landing

 

• in situ resource utilization

 

• surface power

 

• science goals

 

• and many other topics

 

H2M will discuss space policy as well as ways to stimulate private sector participation in Mars exploration.
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Agenda
Humans to Mars Summit (H2M) – DRAFT Agenda
(Please note that times and exact topics listed in this agenda are likely to change prior to H2M)
 
May 6, 2013
8:00  Registration
 
8:45-9:00  Welcome and Introductions
 
9:00-9:30  Keynote “Why Mars” General Charles Bolden (NASA Administrator)
 
9:30-10:30  Human and Robotic Precursor Missions Panel Moderator Miles O’Brien (PBS News Hour; Frontline)
John Grunsfeld (NASA: Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate)
William Gerstenmaier (NASA: Associate Administrator – Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate)
Dr. Michael Gazarik (NASA: Associate Administrator for Space Technology)
 
10:30-10:45  Break
 
10:45-11:45  Humans to Mars: Science and Engineering 
Moderator Michele Gates (NASA HQ)
Dr. Daniel McCleese (NASA: Chief Scientist Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Dr. Bret Drake (NASA: Human Mars Architecture Lead, Johnson Space Center)
Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund (Research Professor George Washington University)
James Reuther (NASA: Office of the Chief Technologist)
 
11:45- 1:00  Mars Science Missions Update Panel 
Moderator James Garvin (NASA Chief Scientist Goddard Space Flight Center)
Steve Squyres (Cornell University Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy; PI Spirit and Opportunity Rovers)
Bruce Jakosky (Principal Investigator MAVEN; Professor of Geological Sciences Associate Director for Science! Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado)
Paul Mahaffy (NASA: PI Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite, Mars Science Laboratory)
 
1:00-2:00  Lunch
 
2:00-2:45  Human Mars Mission Definition: Requirements & Issues Bret Drake (NASA: Human Mars Architecture Lead, Johnson Space Center)
 
2:50-4:00  Mission Architecture and Transportation Panel 
Moderator Mike Raftery (Boeing: Director, ISS Utilization and Exploration)
Josh Hopkins (Lockheed Martin)
Todd May (NASA: Program Manager Space Launch Systems)
Doug Cooke (Cooke Concepts and Solutions; former NASA associate administrator of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate)
Bernhard Hufenbach (ESA)
 
4:00-4:10  Break
 
4:10-4:30  Phobos Next: Human Exploration of Mars from Martian Orbit - International Space University
Szymon Stuglik (International Space University)
Thomas Wilson (International Space University)
 
4:30-5:15  Explore Mars Vision Statement
 
7:00pm  Reception Embassy of Canada – Co-Hosted by the Embassy of Canada, the Canadian Space Agency, and Explore Mars.
Professor Dominic Man-Kit Lam (Chairman, World Eye Organization)
 
May 7, 2013
8:00  Registration
 
9:00-10:00  Propulsion Options Panel 
Moderator Joe Cassady (Aerojet: Executive Director, Advanced Concepts Engineering)
Christian Carpenter (Aerojet)
Vlad Hruby (President Busek)
Mark Kinnersley (EADS-Astrium) – invited
 
10:00-11:00  Entry, Descent, and Landing Panel 
Moderator Robert Braun (Georgia Tech; former NASA Chief Technologist)
Adam Steltzner (NASA: JPL)
Kendall Brown (NASA: MSFC)
 
11:00-12:00  Living on Mars: Biomedical Challenges 
Moderator Saralyn Mark (Innovative Health Applications, Physician Consultant/Advisor; NASA Chief Health and Medical Office)
Richard S. Williams (NASA: Chief Health and Medical Officer)
Jeffrey R. Davis (NASA JSC: Director, Human Health and Performance)
 
12:00-2:00  Special Lunch City View Room
Vint Cerf (Google Chief Internet Evangelist) SEPARATE ADMISSION details coming soon.
 
2:00-5:00  Breakout sessions
 
Room 1
Topic 1  ISRU/On surface power 
Moderator Laurent Sibille (NASA: Surface Systems Group, Kennedy Space Center)
Kris Zacny (Honeybee Robotics: Vice President & Director of Exploration Technology)
 
Topic 2  Habitation & Life Support/Mobility & Space Suits 
Moderator M. Brett McMickell (Honeywell Defense and Space Technical Manager – Human Space Advanced Development)
Bas Lansdorp (Co-Founder of Mars One)
Greg Gentry (Boeing, Inc.)
Grant Anderson (Chief Engineer, Paragon Space Development Corp.)
 
Room 2
Topic 1 H2M Science Objectives: What, Why, How? 
Moderator Dave Beaty (NASA JPL: Chief Scientist, Mars Exploration Directorate)
James Garvin (NASA: Chief Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center)
Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund (Research Professor George Washington University)
Jennifer Heldmann (NASA Ames)
Joel Levine (William and Mary College: Research Professor, Department of Applied Science)
Penelope Boston (New Mexico Tech.)
 
Topic 2  Mars Agriculture
Moderator Penelope Boston (New Mexico Tech)
David Beaty (NASA JPL: Chief Scientist Mars Exploration Directorate)
Taber MacCallum (Paragon SDC: Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer, Co-founder)
D. Marshall Porterfield (NASA: Division Director, Life and Physical Sciences, HEOMD)
 
Room 3 
Topic 1  Mars Precursor Robotic Missions
John Karcz (NASA Ames) Red Dragon (tentative)
Vlad Hruby (President: Busek) Cubesatsto Mars
John Lanford (CEO Aurora Flight Sciences) – Mars Airplanes
Dr. Luis Sentis (Director of the Human-Centered Robotics Lab Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin) - Next Generation Humanoid Robots
 
Topic 2  Life on Mars Discussion led by Dr. Steve McDaniel (Reactive Surfaces)
 
5:00-6:00 Reception  Lisner Auditorium – lobby and basement space.
 
7:00-7:30  Next Generation Humanoid Robots Dr. Luis Sentis (Director of the Human-Centered Robotics Lab Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin)
 
7:30-9:00  Evening panel: The Art and Entertainment Community and Mars Panel
Moderator Bob Jacobs (NASA, Deputy Associate Administrator for Communications)
June Lockhart (Actress, Lost In Space; Lassie)
 
May 8, 2013
 
8:00  Registration
 
9:00-9:45   Steve Squyres (Cornell University, Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy; PI, Spirit and Opportunity Rovers)
 
9:45-11:00  International Cooperation Panel 
Moderator Meredith M. McKay (NASA: Deputy Director, Human Exploration and Operations Division Office of International and Interagency Relations)
 
11:00-11:15  Break
 
11:15-11:45  Inspiration Mars
Dennis Tito (Executive Director: Inspiration Mars Foundation)
Taber MacCallum (Paragon SDC Chief Executive Officer, Chief Technology Officer & Co-founder)
John Carrico (Applied Defense Solutions: Vice President of Space Systems)
 
11:45-1:00  Congressional Policy Discussion 
Moderator John Logsdon (Space Policy Institute: Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Affairs)
Scott Pace (Space Policy Institute Director)
 
1:00-2:00  Lunch
 
2:00-2:45  Buzz Aldrin (Astronaut; Apollo XI, Gemini XII)
 
2:50-4:00  Public Engagement: Challenges in Communicating the Value of Mars Panel Moderator Richard J. Phillips (President, Phillips and Co.)
Farnaz Ghadaki (Strategic Marketing & Management Consultant; IAF, Administrative Committee on Workforce Development and Young Professionals)
Kathy Nado  (NASA: Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate)
 
4:30-5:15  Closing Keynote
End of formal programming
 
May 9, 2013
8:00  Press Conference
10:00-3:00  Congressional Visits
9:00-3:00  Visits to Washington, DC area schools
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Speakers
  
BUZZ ALDRIN
Since retiring from NASA and the Air Force, Col. Aldrin has remained at the forefront of efforts to ensure America’s continued leadership in human space exploration.  He devised a master plan for missions to Mars – the “Aldrin Mars Cycler” – a spacecraft transportation system with perpetual cycling orbits between Earth and Mars.  
  
CHARLES BOLDEN
Nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., began his duties as the twelfth Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on July 17, 2009. As Administrator, he leads the NASA team and manages its resources to advance the agency’s missions 
VINT CERF
Vint Cerf is vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google. Cerf served as a senior vice president of MCI from 1994-2005. Widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,”, Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He received the U.S. National Medal of Technology 
  
REBECCA KEISER
Rebecca Spyke Keiser was named NASA’s associate deputy administrator for strategy and policy in June 2012, an expansion of her duties and portfolio which began when she was named as the NASA associate deputy administrator for policy integration in August 2010. In this position, Keiser reports directly to Deputy Administrator Lori Garver 
MILES O’BRIEN
Miles O’Brien is a veteran, freelance broadcast and web journalist who focuses on science, technology and aerospace. He is the Science Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, and a regular correspondent for the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE and the National Science Foundation Science Nation series. 
  
STEVE SQUYRES
Steven W. Squyres is a professor of astronomy at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and the principal investigator for the science payload on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers. Squyres has participated in a number of planetary spaceflight missions. From 1978 to 1981 he was an associate of the Voyager imaging science team, participating in analysis of imaging
GRANT ANDERSON
Chief Engineer, Paragon Space Development Corp. More coming soon.
  
DEBORAH BASS
Dr. Deborah Bass is currently the Deputy Project Scientist for the Phoenix Scout Mission, scheduled to launch in 2007. Deborah received her bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Pennsylvania, and her PhD in Planetary Geology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Bass conducts independent research on the Martian water cycle,
DAVID BEATY
David Beaty is currently the Chief Scientist for the Mars Exploration Directorate at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. His PhD research at Caltech involved work on samples returned by Apollos 11 and 12. After leaving Caltech in 1980, Dr. Beaty entered the minerals industry with Noranda Exploration. He worked on commercial mineral exploration projects 
PENELOPE BOSTON
Dr. Penelope Boston is Director of the Cave and Karst Studies Program and Associate Professor in the Earth & Environmental Sciences Dept. at New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology, in Socorro, NM. Boston is also Associate Director for Academics at the National Cave and Karst Research Institute in Carlsbad, NM. 
DOUG COOKE
Doug Cooke is Associate Administrator for the Office of Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate is responsible for managing the development of flight hardware systems for future human exploration beyond low Earth orbit, including the moon, near Earth asteroids, Mars and its moons and other destinations. 
JOHN CARRICO
Applied Defense Solutions: Vice President of Space Systems
  
ROBERT BRAUN
Dr. Robert D. Braun has over 25 years experience performing design and analysis of planetary exploration systems as a member of the technical staff of the NASA Langley Research Center and the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research has focused on systems’ aspects of planetary exploration, where he contributed to the design, development, 
CHRIS CARBERRY
Chris Carberry is the Executive Director and co-founder of Explore Mars, Inc. a nonprofit which was created to advance the goal of sending humans to Mars within the next two decades. The organization also encourages the use of STEM curriculum in the classroom to instill a desire to pursue space exploration for future generations.CHRISTIAN CARPENTER
Aerojet
  
JOE CASSADY
Joe Cassady is a graduate of Purdue University where he majored in Aeronautics and Astronautics. He received a Bachelors Degree in 1981 and a Masters Degree in 1983. His course of study for the Masters Degree emphasized Electric Propulsion and Orbital Mechanics. While pursuing his Master’s Degree, Joe worked as a Researcher at the Air 
  
ANDREW CHAIKIN
Andrew Chaikin is well-known for his entertaining history of the United States Apollo program. Oscar-winning Tom Hanks used Chaikin’s A MAN ON THE MOON as the foundation material for the 1998 Emmy winning Home Box Office documentary series, From the Earth to the Moon. Chaikin now takes us beyond the moon for a delightful journey 
JEFFERY R. DAVIS
Jeffrey R. Davis, MD, MS currently serves as Director, Space Life Sciences, as the Chief Medical Officer for the NASA Johnson Space Center, and as the Director of the NASA Human Health and Performance Center (NHHPC). The Space Life Sciences Directorate (SLSD) provides the research and technology development required for exploration, 
  
BRET DRAKE
Mr. Drake is currently leading the future Mission Planning and Analysis activities for the Exploration Missions and Systems Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. For the past several years Mr. Drake has led the Agency in the design and analysis of human exploration mission approaches beyond low-Earth Orbit including missions to the Moon, Near-Earth Objects,
  
PASCALE EHRENFREUND
Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund is Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs at the Space Policy Institute of George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. During the last decade Dr. Ehrenfreund was Professor at Nijmegen, Leiden and Amsterdam Universities in the Netherlands. She led the Astrobiology Laboratory at Leiden Institute of Chemistry since 2001 
  
JAMES GARVIN
Dr. James B. Garvin is NASA’s Chief Scientist, serving the Agency and the Administrator as the primary advisor for the entire NASA science portfolio. His duties include advising the senior leaders of the Agency on matters that range from how science fits into the Vision for Space Exploration to the basic scientific research and development 
MICHELE GATES
NASA HQ
  
MICHAEL GAZARIK
Dr. Michael Gazarik has over 25 years experience in the design, development, and deployment of spaceflight systems. He has contributed to the development of technology with application to NASA’s Exploration Systems, Space Operations and Science missions. Prior to this appointment, Gazarik served as the deputy chief technologist at NASA Headquarters, focusing on enabling effective implementation 
GREG GENTRY
Boeing, Inc. More coming soon…
  
WILLIAM GERSTENMAIER
William H. Gerstenmaier is the associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. In this position, Gerstenmaier provides strategic direction for all aspects of NASA’s human exploration of space and cross-agency space support functions of space communications and space launch vehicles. He provides programmatic direction for the continued 
JOHN GRUNSFELD
John M. Grunsfeld was named Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in January 2012. He previously served as the Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, managing the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope and the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope. 
JENNIFER HELDMAN
Dr. Jennifer Heldmann completed her undergraduate studies at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Astrogeophysics. She began studying Mars under the direction of Dr. Jim Bell of Cornell University by analyzing the large-scale mineralogical composition of Mars through the use of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data. Heldmann then received her Master’s 
  
JOSH HOPKINS
Lockheed Martin’s principal investigator on asteroid missions and advanced human exploration.
  
VLAD HRUBY
President, Busek
  
BERNHARD HUFENBACH
ESA Directorate of Human Spaceflight
  
BOB JACOBS
An Emmy, Webby and Shorty Award winning strategic communicator, Bob’s career and academic studies include experience in leadership, organizational change, government relations, social media development, and crisis communications. He is a senior NASA spokesperson and is deputy associate administrator for the Office of Communications, responsible for leading and executing many of the agency’s public outreach
BRUCE JAKOSKY
Prof. Jakosky teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in both Earth and planetary geology and extraterrestrial life, including both the science and the societal and philosophical issues relating to the science. His research interests are in the geology of planetary surfaces, the evolution of the martian atmosphere and climate, the potential for life on Mars 
  
JOHN KARCZ
NASA Ames
  
MARK KINNERSLEY
EADS-Astrium
  
DOMINIC MAN-KIT LAM
He was born in Swatow, grew up in Hong Kong. He studied under two Nobel Laureates at Harvard Medical School before joining the Harvard Faculty and subsequently became Professor of Ophthalmology and Chairman of Center for Biotechnology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He is the president of the World Eye Organization.
  
JOHN LANFORD
CEOAurora Flight Sciences
  
BAS LANSDORP
Bas Lansdorp has never been one to let bold ventures intimidate him. A born entrepreneur, he sees potential and opportunity where others shy away. Gifted with an articulate vision and genuine enthusiasm, he moves people with his passion for science and the human mission to Mars. Lansdorp received his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering 
  
JOEL LEVINE
William and Mary College: Research Professor, Department of Applied Science, Penelope Boston New Mexico Tech. 
  
JOHN LOGSDON
Space Policy Institute: Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Affairs, Scott Pace Space Policy Institute Director.
  
JUNE LOCKHART
Born in New York City, June made her professional debut at age eight in a Metropolitan Opera production of “Peter Ibbetson”, playing Mimsey in the dream sequence. In the mid-1930s, the Lockharts relocated to California, where father Gene enjoyed a long career as one of the screen’s great character actors. 
TABER MACCALLUM
Paragon SDC: Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer, Co-founder. 
  
SARALYN MARK
Saralyn Mark, MD, an endocrinologist, geriatrician and women’s health specialist, was the first Senior Medical Advisor to the Office on Women’s Health within the Department of Health and Human Services for 11 years and to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As Senior Medical Advisor, Dr. Mark was responsible for the development and analysis 
PAUL MAHAFFY
NASA: PI Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite, Mars Science Laboratory. 
TODD MAY
Todd May is program manager of the Space Launch System (SLS) Program Office, located at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Named to the post in August 2011, he is responsible for directing SLS program activities, which will lead to a new U.S. heavy-lift launch vehicle for NASA’s next generation of human space 
DAN MCCLEESE
Dr. Dan McCleese is chief scientist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In this role, he is responsible for leadership of the scientific and research community at JPL, and serves as the focal point for interactions with universities and the external research community. He is the principal investigator for the Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA’s 
  
DR. STEVE MCDANIEL
Reactive Surfaces, 
CHRIS MCKAY
Christopher P. McKay is a planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, studying planetary atmospheres, astrobiology, and terraforming. McKay majored in physics at Florida Atlantic University, where he also studied mechanical engineering, and received his PhD in astrogeophysics from the University of Colorado in 1982. McKay has done research on planetary atmospheres, particularly the atmospheres 
  
MEREDITH M. MCKAY
NASA: Deputy Director, Human Exploration and Operations Division Office of International and Interagency Relations
  
BRETT MCMICKELL
Honeywell Defense and Space Technical Manager – Human Space Advanced Development.
  
RICHARD J. PHILLIPS
President: Phillips and Co.
  
MIKE RAFTERY
Michael Raftery is the deputy program manager for Boeing’s International Space Station (ISS) program. In that role, he leads Boeing as prime integrating contractor for NASA’s ISS program to design, test, launch and operate the orbiting laboratory. Previously, Raftery was the capture team leader for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) program. 
JAMES REUTHER
Dr. Reuther currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Space Technology Program in the Office of Chief Technologist of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters. Previously, Dr. Reuther served as the Lead of the Test and Verification (T&V) Office for the Orion spacecraft development. After graduating from the University of California Davis learn more →
  
DR. LUIS SENTIS
Director of the Human-Centered Robotics Lab Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin. 
  
LAURENT SIBILLE
NASA: Surface Systems Group, Kennedy Space Center
  
DENNIS TITO
ARTEMIS WESTENBERG
Artemis Westenberg is President and Director, and co-founder of Explore Mars, Inc. She intends to see humans walk on Mars within the next two decades. Artemis has been a lobbyist for various causes and organisations for 37 years, starting with a successful lobby for her grammar school when 17. Since 2000, 
  
RICHARD S. WILLIAMS
Dr. Williams serves as NASA’s Chief Health and Medical Officer and is responsible for the oversight of all medical aspects of all national and international NASA missions involving humans. He holds an M.D. degree from the Virginia Commonwealth University (Medical College of Virginia), and completed residencies in General Surgery at Wright State University and in Aerospace
  
KRIS ZACNY
Honeybee Robotics Vice President and Director of Exploration Technology
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Press
Mars Generation survey snapshot report, February 11, 2013
POLL FINDS PUBLIC WANTS NASA TO SEND PEOPLE TO MARS, HAVE LARGER BUDGET.
On Feb.12.13
The US News & World Report (2/12, Koebler) reports, “Americans overwhelmingly believe NASA should be working on sending a man to Mars and are optimistic that humans will reach the planet sometime in the next two decades, according to a new poll released Monday.” The poll was funded by Explore Mars and Boeing. Close to 75% believe people will land on Mars by 2033 and should either conduct the mission or at least “play a strong role” helping a commercial company. The article notes that respondents also thought NASA received 2.5% of the US budget and when informed otherwise, “75 percent of poll respondents said that NASA’s funding should be increased to about 1 percent of the total federal budget in order to fund a Mars mission.” Explore Mars executive director Chris Carberry “says the survey results suggest Americans are ready for a renewed dedication to exploring the solar system.”
the above message is from the
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NEW POLL FINDS AMERICANS HOPELESSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT GOING TO MARS

How soon will the Martian robotic explorers be joined by human ones?
HOUSTON, Texas — Last summer a group promoting the exploration of Mars — named, well, Explore Mars — dropped a large red rock in front of Houston’s city hall. Designed to look like a Martian boulder, the fake rock helped build momentum for what ultimately was a successful landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars.
Yet the group’s ultimate aim is not sending robots to Mars, but rather humans. So earlier this month the group conducted a nationwide survey of U.S. citizens that focused on the exploration of Mars.
The group has not released the full results of the survey of 1,001 Americans, but it did issue a summary. And what sticks out to me is the seemingly hopeless optimism of Americans that we’ll put a human on Mars within two decades, by 2033.
Some of the results pertaining to the statement, “I am confident humans will go to Mars by 2033.”
• 71% of Americans are confident that humans will walk on Mars by 2033
• Young people are more confident.
• 73% of Americans ages 18-24 are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033.
This age group of 18-24 has the highest confidence percentage that humans will go to Mars by 2033 and in their lifetime.
• 71% of both white and black Americans are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033.
• 79% of Asian Americans are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033, and 80% of Native Americans are confident of this.
Excerpted from a story in the Houston Chronicle by Science Blogger Eric Berger. Read the full story at Chron.com
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Monday, February 11, 2013
Last summer a group promoting the exploration of Mars — named, well, Explore Mars — dropped a large red rock in front of Houston’s city hall. Designed the look like a Martian boulder, the fake rock helped build momentum for what ultimately was a successful landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars.
Yet the group’s ultimate aim is not sending robots to Mars, but rather humans. So earlier this month the group conducted a nationwide survey of U.S. citizens that focused on the exploration of Mars.
The group has not released the full results of the survey of 1,001 Americans, but it did issue a summary. And what sticks out to me is the seemingly hopeless optimism of Americans that we’ll put a human on Mars within two decades, by 2033.
Some of the results pertaining to the statement, “I am confident humans will go to Mars by 2033.”
71% of Americans are confident that humans will walk on Mars by 2033
Young people are more confident.
73% of Americans ages 18-24 are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033.
This age group of 18-24 has the highest confidence percentage that humans will go to Mars by 2033 and in their lifetime.
71% of both white and black Americans are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033.
79% of Asian Americans are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033, and 80% of Native Americans are confident of this.
I’d love nothing more than to see a human walk on Mars within two decades, but to believe this suspends reality in a couple of ways.
First of all, under the very best of scenarios, ones in which NASA delivers a rocket and space capsule on time and on budget, the space agency will launch humans into an orbit around the moon in 2021.
Alas that’s probably a date that should be taken with a grain of salt.
Officially NASA has a goal of sending humans to Mars by the 2030s, but that’s not actually to the surface, just into orbit around the red planet. In other words, even from an optimistic, eyes-wide-shut to reality point of view, NASA is not planning to send humans to the surface of Mars in the 2030s.
Now there are other possibilities. Elon Musk has talked of sending humans to the surface of Mars within 15 years. And China is a rising space power. Nevertheless the same challenges that face NASA will face them: Mars is 600 times more distant than the moon, there’s space radiation, and there’s much more challenging gravity  to launch from than the surface of the moon. And all of this is darned expensive.
The fact of the matter is that to believe humans will walk on Mars by 2030 is either hopelessly naive, blindly optimistic, or both. I’d love to be wrong.
71% of Americans are confident that humans will walk on Mars by 2033
Young people are more confident.
73% of Americans ages 18-24 are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033.
This age group of 18-24 has the highest confidence percentage that humans will go to Mars by 2033 and in their lifetime.
71% of both white and black Americans are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033.
79% of Asian Americans are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033, and 80% of Native Americans are confident of this.
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