The Occupy Mars Learning Adventure

Training Jr. Astronauts, Scientists & Engineers

Explore Mars: Humans to Mars 2030

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Explore Mars, Inc.
Committed to Human Exploration of Mars by the 2030s

Register for the Largest Human Exploration of Mars Event on this Planet!

Congratulations NASA, Lockheed Martin, and United Launch Alliance for the successful launch of the Mars InSight Lander!

Explore Mars, Inc. congratulates NASA, Lockheed Martin, and United Launch Alliance for the successful launch of the Mars InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) Lander!When InSight lands on the Martian surface in November 2018, it will examine the interior of the planet to further our understanding of the formation of terrestrial planets as well as analyze tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars. The mission will also carry seismic equipment to attempt to detect quakes on another planet for the first time.

According to Explore Mars President Artemis Westenberg, “The launch was as punctual as a Japanese train or a Swiss watch, and showcases American success in sending robotic missions to the Red Planet. This bodes well for the experience we are acquiring necessary to send humans to Mars 15 years from now. ”

Updates on InSight and other Mars missions will be provided at the upcoming Humans to Mars Summit (H2M.EXploreMars.org) on May 8-10, 2018 in Washington, DC.

NASA Administrator Calls Centers on Successful InSight Launch

NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, left, speaks with Vandenberg Air Force Base over the phone, with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, to congratulate them on the successful launch of NASA’s InSight spacecraft Saturday, May 5, 2018 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is a Mars lander designed to study the “inner space” of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core.

Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)  Source: NASA HQ PHOTO (Flickr)

Register to Hear NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Wednesday May 9th at H2M 2018!
Athena Brensberger aka @Astroathens Visits Vandenberg Air Force Base, Tours NASA Mission Control, The Weather Squadron, Western Range Operations Control Center at 30th Space Wing & More!

Athena Brensberg, known as her social media prowess @Astroathens attended the launch site of NASA’s Mars Insight Lander at Vandenberg Air Force Base as part of the NASA Social team covering all launch activities up though lift off and payload deployment.

Upon arrival, Athena provided an overview of what those launch activities would be, in a general synopsis you can view HERE, where she details who will be include in the NASA TV press briefing she would be in the audience for, and extrapolates upon the critical instruments necessary to perform nominally and gather invaluable scientific data about the interior of Mars. Brensberger breaks down the various aspects of the mission which make the InSight mission so exciting, which you can read via her blog at Astroathens.com.


Athena @Astroathens Brensberger is an international model and science host with a background in astrophysics and creative arts. Her mission is to bridge the gap between entertainment and science and is a vocal and visible proponent of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).

The featured videos above follow Athena as she takes part in the NASA Social activities with mission specialists and scientists on-site explaining various instruments and vial components of InSight; experiences a virtual reality (VR) demo of NASA’s OnSight software, revealing just how immersive and informative the virtual world can enlighten scientists here on Earth through data obtained from the Mars Science Laboratory, or, Curiosity rover. Athena was then briefed by Lockheed Martin on the historical significance of NASA’s InSight mission with respect to previous incomplete and successful attempts to reach Mars, whether in orbit or at the surface. In the second vlog episode, Athena tours the Atlas V rocket itself, developed and manufactured by United Launch Alliance (ULA), whose Centaur upper stage is escorted to space by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s powerful RL10C-1 engine.

We thank Athena for her support of Explore Mars and although she cannot physically attend, Athena will be virtually taking part in the Humans To Mars Summit, where she’s one of our esteemed panel guests for ‘Engage & Educate: How Social Media Amplifies Awareness and Support for the Journey to Mars Missions’ taking place on Day 3 from 11:30AM – 12:15PM EST

NASA TV To Webcast Day Two Opening Keynote Delivered By NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine

Newly appointed NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will deliver the Opening Keynote at Humans To Mars Summit 2018 from 8:35AM EST to 9:55AM EST in the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University on May 9, 2018. NASA will be featuring the keynote on NASA TV, and/or the NASA App.

Film screenings, speaker lunches, and all the Secondary events Now Open for Registration, space is limited so register today!

Onsite Evening Reception, May 8th, 5:45 pm to 7:30 pm, City View Room

Join us for marvelous views of the DC monuments from the roof terrace of the beautiful City View Room at GWU where our opening reception will take place. Light hors d’ouevres*, beer, wine and other soft beverages will be served. This reception will also feature a special rum tasting that will be offered by Washington, DC distillery, Cotton & Reed. The reception will provide a pleasant break between the daytime sessions and our evening film screening.

There is no cost for this event, but it is open only to those who have paid for full conference registration, designated sponsor attendees, and invited guests.  This event is not open to Student attendees or those purchasing less than a full three-day registration.

There are only 100 tickets available, so you must register for this event in advance, no later than Friday, May 4. There will NOT be an opportunity to sign up on-site.

Join us May 8th at 8:00 pm for the D.C. premiere of Seat 25 at The George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, part of the Humans to Mars Summit 2018.

Nicholas Agnew is a director, writer, composer, and actor. Trained as an actor and still working extensively in film, television, and theatre,  Agnew’s recent credits include the feature films Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Lost City of Z, the television series Victoria, and the newly successful and award-winning science fiction film Seat 25. Having built up a wealth of experience in front of the camera, Agnew has made the move into directing. Pairing his understanding of performance with an exceptional technical team, Nick hopes this will be the beginning of a long future making films.

Madelaine Cooke began writing for theatre while simultaneously training as an actress. In 2015 she began working on her first feature length screenplay. Cooke co-founded the production company Lagom Pictures and teamed up with Nicholas Agnew to produce and write the science fiction film Seat 25.

Register for the Largest Human Exploration of Mars Event on this Planet!
Speaker Lunch, May 9th, 12:30 pm, Continental Ballroom, Marvin Center

What better way to have a frank and open discussion with your fellow space protagonists than to join them for lunch?  Our luncheon keynote speaker is Jeffrey Manber, the CEO and Co-Founder of Nanoracks, a market leader in commercial in-space services.  We will also be joined by special guest, David Blackmore, the brand ambassador for Ardbeg scotch whisky, who has arranged for us to do a “scotch toast” with Ardbeg.  Once again, we will be serving Olsen Pinotage (red wine) which is produced by private astronaut, Greg Olsen at his vineyard in South Africa.

This luncheon is a very popular event at H2M and usually sells out completely in advance of the conference.

The cost of this event is $60.00/person.

There are only 75 tickets available, so you must register for this event in advance, no later than Friday, May 4. There will NOT be an opportunity to sign up on-site.

Offsite Evening Reception, May 9th, 6:30 pm, National Academy of Sciences

Be our guest in the elegant and beautiful Great Hall at the National Academy of Sciences building. A selection of heavy hors-d’oeuvres* will be served, with wine, beer and soft beverages available at the bar.  For the fourth time, the reception will feature the popular Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky tasting, featuring Ardbeg brand ambassador, David Blackmore.

The cost of this event is $75.00/person.

There are only 75 tickets available, so you must register for this event in advance, no later than Friday, May 4. There will NOT be an opportunity to sign up on-site.

Congressional Briefing Panel, May 10th, 2:00 pm, Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253

Following the close of regular H2M Summit programming, Explore Mars will present a special panel discussion entitled, Innovating Toward Mars”. Moderated by student space advocate, Abigail “Astronaut Abby” Harrison, this panel will discuss the findings of the 2018 Humans to Mars Report, as well as present an overview of the proceedings of the 5th Achievability and Sustainability of Human Exploration of Mars Workshop (AM V).  This panel will also feature discussions of STEM education innovations and exciting advancements in such technologies as virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence.

Panelists include:

Moderator: Abigail “Astronaut Abby” Harrison (Board Chair at The Mars Generation)
Joe Cassady (Executive Director, Space, Aerojet Rocketdyne)
Peggy Wu (Associate Director, Human Machine Interaction, United Technology Corp.)
Chris Codella (IBM Distinguished Engineer, CTO Government Cognitive Computing, IBM)

Light snacks will be served at this event.

There is no charge for admission, but attendance is limited to 75 people and you must sign up in advance.  This includes designated sponsor attendees.

Join us May 10th at 7:00 pm for the Landmark Theater Film Screening and Panel, Fight for Space“FIGHT FOR SPACE” is a documentary film that asks, why haven’t we gone back to the Moon, or sent humans to Mars? Weren’t we supposed to be there in the 80s? What lead to the decline of NASA’s budget and why is it stuck in low earth orbit?

Filmed over the course of 4 years, Fight for Space is the product of thousands of Kickstarter supporters who believed that the exploration of space is worth fighting for. Over 60 interviews were conducted with astronauts, politicians, educators, historians, scientists, former NASA officials, commercial space entrepreneurs, and many other experts in the space community. It is a film like no other that tackles issues no other documentary have touched, featuring newly restored 35mm and 16mm footage from the National Archives NASA collection.

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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: Bob.Barboza@Gmail.com

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