Giant Leap: The Race to Mars and Back

New America

Humans have long been fixated on Mars, first as a metaphor of what lies beyond our reach, and now, increasingly, as a destination – for our probes, and ourselves, and perhaps even for our first base in deep space. Still, fulfilling our Mars yearnings in the next few decades requires enormous technological advancement. Can we now build a spacecraft capable of sustaining prolonged human travel in deep space? What are the remaining logistical hurdles to solve in finally launching our first mission to Mars? Do we know all we need to know about the human body, and its limits, in order to take this next leap into space? Join us to learn about these interplanetary challenges and opportunities, and their surprising implications for the future.

Follow the discussion online using #MarsAndBack and follow us @FutureTenseNow.


12:00 PM: A Day in Deep Space: Technology, Research, and the Human Condition

Kate Greene 
Science and Technology Journalist
Former Crew Writer for NASA-funded HI-SEAS project

Josh Hopkins
Space Exploration Architect, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.

Dr. Tara Ruttley
Associate ISS Program Scientist, NASA's International Space Station


Phil Plait
Writer, Slate's Bad Astronomy Blog
Author, Death from the Skies!

1:00 PM: How will we tax in space?

Adam Chodorow 
Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University 

1:15 PM: Will Entrepreneurs Face Red Tape in Deep Space?

Richard DalBello 
VP Business Development and Government Affairs, Virgin Galactic 

Henry Hertzfeld 
Space Analyst, Space Policy Institute, George Washington University

Jeffrey Manber 
Managing Director, NanoRacks

Patric Verrone 

Writer/Producer, Futurama

Underwritten by Lockheed Martin