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Leading the Future

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February 26, 2018

   Today, hardly a media issue goes by without some mention of the promise of the commercial move into space by private firms. SNS member Elon Musk has succeeded in disrupting costs  and changing the paradigm of who, what, when, and at what price both cargo and humans
can leave the planet, and where they may go next. But even so, almost all of these media
mentions are just that – enthusiastic pieces with little or no real information for those who have more than a passing interest in one of the greatest economic opportunities of our lifetimes. Sure, laun...

September 13, 2017

In 2004, after the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) landed I took to writing down each day after getting back to the apartment in Pasadena about that day.  My goal was just to share and educate about what it was like and what was happening.  It was to share the dream.

The problem was that we had two rovers on the surface and they were twelve hours apart.  Each of us doing operations was assigned for that shift to one or the other of the rovers, either to Spirit (the first to land) or to Opportunity.We previously had lectures about sleep deprivation, and how fligh...

August 22, 2016

A virtual panel was held August 22-26, 2016 to explore essential precursor Mars surface activities which would be compelled by a 2025 Human landing on the surface of Mars. We assumed precursor missions on 26 month windows beginning in 2018. This is the report on that panel's inquiry. The discussion quickly focused on detection of any extant life on Mars, especially at the site of the human landing. With current technologies and current understanding of the scope of possible biological activity there is no single instrument which can convincing eliminate the presen...

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