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Air & Space Museum

Speaker Series: Looking Ahead to Mars

Speaker Series: Looking Ahead to Mars

Date: Monday, Jun 3, 2024 | 6:30PM to 7:30PM
Location: Air & Space Museum
Categories: Lecture, Special Events

Join us at the Air & Space Museum for a special, after-hours presentation about Mars with special guest speakers from NASA, Rick Davis and Bob Collom! Pre-registration is required.

Rick and Bob will present an overview of some of the major challenges involved in the human exploration of Mars, with a focus on the reconnaissance needed to overcome those challenges. This talk will share the progress made by NASA’s Human Landing Site Study, tasked with identifying the first human landing base on Mars. It will also cover the lessons learned from previous space exploration missions, and the key questions we need to answer before we can establish a sustainable human presence on Mars. They will also share the many ways students can get involved with the Mars exploration community and with NASA.

Register Here

Arrive early at 6:00 p.m. to explore the museum before the presentation starts! The museum will close after the Speaker Series event ends at 7:30 p.m.

This presentation will take place in the Harrison Ford Theater.

Rick Davis

Rick Davis

Rick Davis currently works at NASA Headquarters as the Assistant Director for Science and Exploration in the Science Mission Directorate (SMD). In this capacity, he does extensive integration work between SMD and the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) on deep space policy, including Mars exploration policy. Rick co-leads a joint SMD-HEOMD study to begin the process of identifying potential human landing sites on Mars, using current reconnaissance assets at Mars. A second goal of the effort is to define future reconnaissance needs which will be required to support human surface operations on the planet.

Rick holds a BA in History, a BS in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia and a MS in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He is fluent in Russian and Spanish. He has received numerous awards, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for work as an ISS CAPCOM. He enjoys running, hiking, SCUBA diving and flying.

Bob Collom

Bob Collom

Bob Collom is currently the integration lead on the Mars Reconnaissance Team in the Planetary Science Division at NASA HQ. In this capacity he helps identify and answer questions we need to resolve to execute civilization-scale science investigations and safely deliver humans to the Martian system. Bob is also the Deputy Executive Secretary for the International Mars Exploration Working Group (IMEWG), a collaborative effort with 30 participating space agencies working to advance Martian exploration through international cooperation. Bob supports the International Mars Ice Mapper mission concept team, mentors student interns and develops science priorities for the Moon to Mars initiative.

Bob joined NASA as an intern in the NASA history office while completing his master’s degree in political science with a focus in space flight policy from American University. Bob became a lifelong space advocate and science fiction nerd while growing up in New Mexico. He enjoys gardening, Dungeons & Dragons and the company of his cats.

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