Will Collaboration or Competition Propel Humans to Mars and Beyond?

When

March 8, 2017

12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Where

New America

740 15th St NW #900

Washington, D.C. 20005

Between the close of the Cold War and the more recent retirement of the U.S. shuttle fleet, we’ve long since left the first space age behind. But now it seems there’s a new space race brewing—one that may take humans out of our planet’s orbit.

At the height of the Cold War, the first space age was a geopolitical race between superpowers eager to outreach each other. Today's space race is a more complex interplay of networked nations and private players alternatively competing against, and collaborating with, each other. Once the exclusive provenance of old power nations, space exploration has increasingly opened to new global players with India, China, Nigeria, Japan, the EU, and the UAE getting in the race. Private enterprises are also playing an increasingly prominent role in our interplanetary yearnings, as evidenced by the ventures backed by Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson. 

NASA is still very much in the game but without a moonshot-like commitment for Mars, their projected 2040 manned mission seems far off. A start-up company, or an upstart country, may beat us there—or perhaps help us all get there together as partners. 

Join us for an event on Wednesday, March 8, in Washington, D.C., to consider whether it will be competition or cooperation that finally gets us to Mars and beyond. 

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University

Lunch will be served.

Agenda:

12:00 – 12:05 pm Introduction 

Andrés Martinez 
Editorial Director, Future Tense 
@andresDCmtz 

12:05 – 12:30 pm How Much for a Round-Trip Ticket to Mars? 

George Whitesides 
CEO, Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company 

@gtwhitesides 

Anne-Marie Slaughter 
President and CEO, New America 
@SlaughterAM 

12:30 – 12:40 pm The Need for a Tangible Goal (Mine's Mars) 

Lindy Elkins-Tanton 
Director, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University 
@ltelkins 

12:40 – 1:20 pm The New Age of Competitive Exploration

Lindy Elkins-Tanton 
Director, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University 
@ltelkins 

Scott Pace 
Director, Space Policy Institute, Elliott School of International Affairs 
Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, George Washington University 

Eric Stallmer 
President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation 
@EricStallmer 

Ellen Stofan 
Former Chief Scientist, NASA 
@EllenStofan 

Moderator: 
Konstantin Kakaes 
Fellow, New America 
Author, The Pioneer Detectives 
@kkakaes 

​1:20 pm – 1:35 pm Why the UAE is Bound for Space 

Talal M. Al Kaissi 
Senior Advisor Commercial Affairs and Special Projects; Director of U.S./U.A.E. Space Affairs, UAE Embassy Trade & Commercial Office 

1:35 – 2:15 pm From Hypercapitalist Asteroid Mines to Militarized Lunar Bases to Terraformed Mars Communes, How Will We All Get Along in Space? 

Rob Chambers 
Orion Production Strategy Lead, Lockheed Martin Space Systems 
@marsbasecamp_rc 

Thomas Cremins 
Associate Administrator for Strategy and Plans, NASA 

Véronique Dockendorf 
Deputy Chief of Mission, Luxembourg Embassy 
@VeroDockendorf 

Moderator: 
Konstantin Kakaes 
Fellow, New America 
Author, The Pioneer Detectives 
@kkakaes 

2:15 – 2:45 pm Will Imagination Propel Humans to Mars and Beyond? 

Deji Bryce Olukotun 
Author, Nigerians in Space and After the Flare (forthcoming, 2017) 
Senior Global Advocacy Manager, Access Now 
@dejiridoo 

Karl Schroeder 
Science Fiction Writer and Futurist 
@KarlSchroeder 

Moderator: 
Konstantin Kakaes 
Fellow, New America 
Author, The Pioneer Detectives 
@kkakaes