The Occupy Mars Learning Adventure

Training Jr. Astronauts, Scientists & Engineers

Mars Society Convention Coming to California in September

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One Month until 2017 International Mars Society Convention
Great Line-Up of Scientists, Aerospace Industry Reps & Academics to Discuss Mars Exploration

In one month, the Mars Society, the world’s largest and most influential Mars advocacy organization, will be marking its twentieth annual international convention dedicated to the study of and planning for human Mars exploration. This year’s conference will take place September 7-10 on the picturesque campus of the University of California Irvine.

Leading scientists, engineers, aerospace industry representatives, government officials, members of academia and the media will gather to discuss the latest scientific discoveries, technological advances and political and economic developments that could help pave the way for a human mission to the Red Planet.

Some of the key speakers scheduled to participate in the four-day convention include:

  • Anousheh Ansari, First Female Private Space Explorer (banquet speaker)
  • Mike Elsperman, Director, Space Science & Advanced Space Utilization, Boeing
  • Dr. John Grotzinger, Former Project Scientist, Curiosity Rover Mission, NASA
  • Dr. Scott Moreland, Member, Mars 2020 Rover Development Team, JPL
  • Dr. Mohamed Nasser Al-Ahbabi, Director-General, UAE Space Agency
  • Dr. Dava Newman, Former Deputy Administrator, NASA
  • Dr. Robert Pappalardo, Project Scientist, Europa Clipper Mission, JPL
  • George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic
  • Dr. Robert Zubrin, President & Founder, The Mars Society

In addition, the Mars Society is organizing a series of public debates and panel discussions on issues likely to impact the planning of future human and robotic space exploration across our solar system. These include: an open debate on NASA’s planned Deep Space Gateway project, a panel of leading science fiction writers examining humanity’s future in space and a discussion about the ongoing search for life in the universe.

For more details about the 2017 Mars Society Convention, including the confirmed speaker list and the full convention schedule (due out later this month), please visit our web site ( Also registration for the four-day convention and Saturday evening banquet is available online.


Author: Kids Talk Radio

Bob Barboza is an educator, STEM journalist, software designer and founder of The Occupy Mars Learning Adventures and the Barboza Design and Space Centers. He leads a team of scientists, engineers and STEAM++ educators. They are training students to become Jr. astronauts, scientists and engineers. His team provides internships and workshops in STEAM++ and the integration of Common Core State Standards and Next Generations Science Standards. Contact information:

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