Exciting Program Itinerary for 2020 Virtual Mars Society Convention Now Online

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that its tentative program itinerary for the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, being held via the Internet Thursday-Sunday, October 15-18, has been released on its web site.

With 3,500 people currently scheduled to attend the virtual conference, along with 150 speakers, the Mars Society invites you to join this important event next month to learn about current Mars exploration, plans for a human mission to the Red Planet in the near future and other space-related missions.

The Mars Society’s four-day global event will bring together key scientists, government policymakers, commercial space executives, science journalists and space advocates to discuss the latest scientific and technological developments and challenges related to the human and robotic exploration of Mars and the eventual human settlement of the Red Planet.

Some of the conference highlights include:

  • An address by Dr. Michael D. Griffin, former NASA Administrator, about creating a destination driven space program.
  • A presentation about the Breakthrough Starshot project by its Executive Director and former NASA Ames Research Center Director Dr. S. Pete Worden.
  • A talk about NASA’s Perseverance rover mission with its Lead Science Systems Engineer Dr. Sarah Milkovich.
  • The final round of the Mars Society’s Mars City State Design Competition involving 20 team participants from around the world.
  • An address by NASA’s leading astrobiologist, Dr. Chris McKay, on the search for life in our solar system.
  • An update about the operations of NASA’s Curiosity rover by Dr. Abigail Fraeman, the mission’s Deputy Project Scientist.
  • A presentation about the 30th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope by former astronaut and NASA Associate Administrator Dr. John Grunsfeld.
  • A live performance of “Halfway to Mars” by celebrated opera singer Oscar Castellino.
  • An analysis of China’s plans for space exploration by Dean Chang, Senior Fellow of the Heritage Foundation.
  • A discussion by Dr. Shannon Rupert, Director of the Mars Desert Research Station, about crew analog demographics.
  • A presentation about NASA’s Mars Ingenuity helicopter, currently en route to the Red Planet, by the mission’s Chief Engineer, Dr. J. Bob Balaram.
  • An update about NASA’s Mars InSight lander mission by Project Scientist Dr. Mark Panning.
  • A panel discussion about Mars and space communications with leading space journalists and advocates.
  • A talk about the SpaceIL mission to the Moon by the project’s Co-Founder Yonatan Winetraub.
  • An address on NASA’s New Horizons mission that explored Pluto and is currently navigating the Kuiper Belt by Dr. Alan Stern, the mission’s Principal Investigator.
  • An update about Virgin Galactic by the company’s Chief Space Officer George T. Whitesides.
  • A panel discussion with leading experts on the search for life on the Red Planet.
  • An address by Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin about planning for a human mission to Mars.

Through the use of unique technology, it will be possible to not only hold presentations, panel discussions and debates during the convention, but also to allow people from around the world to participate, posing questions and interacting with one another, creating a virtual global convention of a type never seen before.

Online registration for the upcoming International Mars Society Convention is free of charge, but attendees are kindly asked to consider supporting the organization and its programs by making a $50 contribution.

For more details about the global Mars Society conference, including how to register, please visit our web site at: www.marssociety.org. We look forward to welcoming you to our virtual event next month!