an Explore Mars Event

May 25-27, 2021

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM EDT Daily

Explore Mars, Inc. is pleased to announce the first Mars Innovation Forum (Mars-IF), which is scheduled for May 25-27, 2021. This virtual conference will examine the many innovations that are required for an achievable and sustainable human presence on Mars and how these technologies/capabilities will benefit life on Earth.

The Mars Innovation Forum will be the first of a series of programs (conferences, workshops, webinars) that will (1) define the challenges of sustainability on Mars, (2) recruit new, diverse communities to humanity’s efforts to explore deep space, (3) create new strategies to solve the defined challenges, and (4) identify potentials benefits and markets on Earth.


May 25, 2021 | Day 1

What innovations are needed to make possible the first human missions to Mars?
10:00-10:55 AM EDT | Innovating for Mars/Benefits to Earth
  • Moderator: J.R. Edward (Lockheed Martin | Staff, Chief Technology Office)
  • Walt Engelund (NASA | Deputy Associate Administrator, Space Technology Mission Directorate)
  • Dr. Tiffany Vora (Singularity University | Faculty & Vice Chair, Digital Biology & Medicine)
  • Deborah Wince-Smith (Council on Competitiveness | President and CEO)
  • Ezinne Uzo-Okoro (Office of Science and Technology Policy | Asst Director for Space Policy)
11:00-11:55 AM EDT | Environmental systems
  • Moderator: Dr. Shawna Pandya (Orbital Assembly Corporation | Director of Medical Research)
  • Darren Samplatsky (Collins Aerospace | Associate Director, Business Development | Mission Systems)
  • Dr. Kavya Manyapu (NASA | Extra Vehicular Activities "EVA" Operations)
  • Dr. Danielle DeLatte (Draper | Space & Mission Critical Systems)
  • Barry Finger (Paragon Space Development Systems | V.P. of Engineering & Chief Engineer)
12:30-1:25 PM EDT | Powering a Sustainable Presence on Mars
  • Moderator: Joe Cassady (Aerojet Rocketdyne | Executive Director, Space)
  • Peter McGrath (Intuitive Machines | Vice President of Business Development)
  • Lee Mason (NASA | Deputy Chief Engineer, Space Technology Mission Directorate)
  • Erik Nygaard (BWXT | Director of Research and Engineering)
1:30-2:30 PM EDT | Deep Space Communications and Bandwidth
  • Moderator: Lisa May (Lockheed Martin | Chief Technologist, Advanced Programs)
  • Chris Baran (GEOshare | Vice President and Chief Operating Officer)
  • Andy Petro (NASA | Lunar Communications and Navigation Architecture & Implementation Lead)
  • Don Boroson (Lincoln Laboratory | Fellow, Communications Systems Division)
2:30-3:00 PM EDT | Bhavya Lal (NASA | Senior Advisor for Budget and Finance) interviewed by Beth Mund (Casual Space | Host)

May 26, 2021 | Day 2

Can we sustainably and responsibly ‘live off the land?’
10:00-10:55 AM EDT | Utilizing Resources
  • Moderator: Richard M. Davis (NASA | Assistant Director for Science and Exploration)
  • Michael Hecht (MIT Haystack Observatory | Principal Investigator of MOXIE)
  • Stephanie Boyce (Paragon Space Development Corp | Principal Investigator and Aerospace Materials Engineer)
  • Dr. Kris Zacny (Honeybee Robotics | Vice President)
  • Julie Kleinhenz (NASA | In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU))
11:00-11:55 AM EDT | Feeding Mars
  • Moderator: Janet Ivey (Explore Mars | President)
  • Shahreen Reza (Astreas | CEO and Co-Founder)
  • Pascal Rosenfeld (Aleph Farms)
  • Scot Bryson (Orbital Farms)
  • Gioia Massa (NASA KSC | Project Scientist, Space Crop Production)
12:30-1:25 PM EDT | Building/Creating on Mars
  • Moderator: Mat Kaplan (Planetary Radio | Host)
  • Lynn Rothschild (NASA | Senior Scientist)
  • Daniel Tompkins (GrowMars | Founder, Agricultural Scientist)
  • John Vickers (NASA | Principal Technologist)
  • Stephen Bailey (Redwire | Chief Engineer)
1:30-2:30 PM EDT | Interview with Eddie Ndopu (Award-winning Humanitarian) interviewed by Aaron Shepard (Electrical Engineer/ Science Communicator)

May 27, 2021 | Day 3

What innovations are needed in machine/human interactions to support missions to and the settlement of Mars?
10:00-10:55 AM EDT | Enabling Sustainability on Mars with Advanced Computing
  • Moderator: Armin Ellis (Exploration Institute)
  • Dr. Steve Chien (NASA JPL | Senior Research Scientist, Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems)
  • Naeem Altaf (IBM | Distinguished Engineer & CTO Space Tech)
  • Dr. José Morey (Ad Astra Media | CEO)
11:00-11:55 AM EDT | Human Health and Wellbeing
  • Moderator: Dr. Saralyn Mark (iGiant | Founder and President)
  • Esther Dyson (Wellville | Trained Cosmonaut)
  • Dr. Shawna Pandya (Orbital Assembly Corporation | Director of Medical Research)
  • Alires Almon (Deep Space Predictive Research Group, Founder | Mental Health Center of Denver, Director of Innovation)
  • Dorit Donoviel (Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) | Director)
12:30-1:25 PM EDT | Human/Machine interaction on the surface of Mars
  • Moderator: Beth Mund (Casual Space | Host)
  • Dr. Saralyn Mark (iGiant | Founder and President)
  • Peggy Wu (Raytheon Technologies | Associate Director & Principal Scientist)
  • Jacki Morie (X-Prize | Senior Advisor, Prize Operations)
  • Dr. Terry Fong (NASA | Director of the Intelligent Robotics Group)
1:30-2:30 PM EDT | An Interview with Vint Cerf (Google | Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist) Facilitated by Jim May (Boeing | Strategic Technology Integration)


Ezinne Uzo-Okoro

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Dorit Donoviel

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Deborah Wince-Smith

Council on Competitiveness
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Pascal Rosenfeld

Aleph Farms
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Vint Cerf

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Dr. Shawna Pandya

Orbital Assembly Corporation
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Edward "Eddie" Ndopu

Award-winning Humanitarian
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Beth Mund

Casual Space | Host
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Shahreen Reza

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Alires Almon

Deep Space Predictive Research Group
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Dr. Terry Fong

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Dr. Kris Zacny

Honeybee Robotics
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Dr. Kavya Manyapu

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Dr. Steve Chien

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Esther Dyson

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J.R. Edwards

Lockheed Martin
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Stephanie Boyce

Paragon SDC
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Lee Mason

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Christopher G. Baran

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Erik Nygaard

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Bhavya Lal

NASA | Acting Chief of Staff
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Walt Engelund

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Gioia Massa

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Dr. Tiffany Vora

Singularity University
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Lisa May

Lockheed Martin
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Peggy Wu

Raytheon Technologies
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Daniel Tompkins

Grow Mars
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Armin Ellis

Exploration Institute
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Jacki Morie

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Joe Cassady

Aerojet Rocketdyne
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Michael Hecht

MIT Haystack Observatory
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José Morey, M.D.

Ad Astra Media
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