Archive for April, 2016

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin heads to Brentwood, TN

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is set to visit Brentwood Tennessee.

Aldrin, 86, flew on Apollo 11 in July 1969, and became the second man to step foot on the surface of the moon, after Neil Armstrong. The retired astronaut will visit the Barnes and Noble to sign his new book No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon.

Aldrin will not sign anything other than his book at the event.

Saturday, May 14, 2 p.m., Barnes and Noble, 1701 Mallory Lane.

Read the Original Article at The Tennessean

Passage To Mars Motion Picture Documentary Set To Hit Big Screen

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

The Mars Institute, in partnership with Jules Verne Adventures, is proud to announce special advance screenings of “Passage To Mars”, the spectacular motion picture documentary film on the Mars Institute and NASA’s epic Northwest Passage Drive Expedition in the Arctic. “Passage To Mars” will open at Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles, California, on May 31, 2016.

The Northwest Passage Drive Expedition was a multi-stage, long-distance, crewed rover traverse on sea-ice and on land, along the fabled Northwest Passage. The expedition’s destination: the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) Research Station, a remote polar outpost on Devon Island, a.k.a. Mars On Earth. The expedition’s goal: to safely deliver the HMP Okarian, a concept pressurized rover for planning human Mars exploration.

The Northwest Passage Drive Expedition was led by Dr Pascal Lee, planetary scientist at the Mars Institute and the SETI Institute, and director of the Haughton-Mars Project at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Accompanying Lee were Mars Institute team members Joe Amarualik, John W. Schutt, and Jesse T. Weaver, as well as “Passage To Mars” film director Jean-Christophe Jeauffre of Jules Verne Adventures, and director of photography Mark Carroll.

“Passage To Mars” follows the HMP Okarian and her crew on their bold journey across the Arctic, with Emmy-nominated actor Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) voice-over reading Lee’s expedition log. The film also guest stars Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Shot in the Arctic and on Mars, as seen through the eyes of NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) robots sent to the Red Planet, “Passage To Mars” offers a powerful glimpse into the challenges and wonders awaiting future human explorers on Mars.

“The upcoming screening of “Passage To Mars” is an important milestone for the Mars Institute. The film tells the story of our journey across the Arctic, and shows the real Mars on the big screen like never before”, says Lee. “Astronauts bound for Mars will train on Devon Island, and we hope this film will inspire and ready all explorers”.

” “Passage To Mars” is a celebration of adventure, science, and exploration, an hymn to humanity’s thirst for discovery”, says Jean-Christophe Jeauffre, the film’s award-winning director. “We hope the film will contribute to encourage our species to reach for other worlds, and to also protect this one”.

“Passage To Mars” will show at Laemmle Theaters on the following dates and times:

31 May 2016, 8 pm: Ahrya Fine Arts Movie Theatre, Beverly Hills, CA
1 June 2016, 7:30 pm: Playhouse 7 Movie Theatre, Pasadena, CA
2 June 2016, 7:30 pm: Noho 7 Movie Theatre, North Hollywood, CA
4 June 2016, 10 am: Santa Monica Film Center, Santa Monica, CA
5 June 2016, 10 am: Santa Monica Film Center, Santa Monica, CA
Each screening of the film will be followed by a “Meet The Crew” on-stage event featuring members of the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition.

Advance Praise for Passage To Mars:

“Captures the truth of exploration – the will to survive against the odds. Gripping!..”
– James Cameron, Director of Titanic, Avatar

“Stunningly beautiful! This is not science fiction. This is the real deal!”
Andy Weir, Author of The Martian

“Out of this world! This film takes you on board our journey to Mars!”
– Leroy Chiao, Former NASA Astronaut & Commander of the International Space Station

“A suspense winner, and a lesson for future humans on Mars!”
– Jean-Francois Clervoy, ESA Astronaut

For more information:

“Passage To Mars” Trailer, Screening Schedule, and Tickets:

About the Mars Institute

The Mars Institute is an international, non-governmental, non-profit research organization dedicated to advancing the scientific study, exploration, and public understanding of Mars. The Mars Institute conducts cutting-edge research in Mars Science and Exploration. The Institute also studies the Earth’s Moon, near-Earth objects, and the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, viewed as stepping-stones in the exploration of Mars. The Mars Institute is committed to conducting high quality peer-reviewed research and to sharing the knowledge and benefits of space exploration with students and the public worldwide. The Mars Institute is headquartered at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, USA. Mars Institute Canada is based at the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station, Devon Island, Nunavut. Mars Institute Norway is based in Stavanger, Norway.

For more information, visit:, or contact:

Elaine Walker
Director of Education and Public Outreach

Pascal Lee, PhD
Director, Mars Institute

About the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition

The Northwest Passage Drive Expedition was an activity of the Haughton-Mars Project. The expedition was sponsored by the Mars Institute and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Additional support was provided by the United States Air National Guard, AM General, ARB, Bassett Petroleum Distributors, Bombardier Recreational Products, Canadian Space Agency, Cornell University, First Air, Geonics, Hamilton Sundstrand, Jules Verne Adventures, Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA, Kenn Borek Air, Kikiak, Kitnuna, Mattracks, Mountain Hardwear, Musk Foundation, National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Nunavut Research Institute, Pelican Signs, Polar Continental Shelf Project, Pull-Pal, RTL Robinson Enterprises, SETI Institute, Shokolade Caf, Simon Fraser University, Sorel, SpaceRef Interactive, University of Alberta, University of Florida, and the Arctic Communities of Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Grise Fiord, Kugluktuk, and Resolute Bay.

About Passage To Mars

PASSAGE TO MARS (USA, 2016). 94 minutes. Feature-Length Documentary.
Official website:

A Jules Verne Adventures Production in Association with Green Flash Pictures



Associate Producers GO O’CONNOR & ROBERT J. ATWATER
Director of photography MARK CARROLL
Visual Effects Supervisor KEVIN LINGENFELSER
A Mars Institute / NASA Expedition

Sustainable Colonization of Mars: Using a Resource-rich Red Planet

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

A new NASA technical memorandum has taken a hard look at the prospect of sustainable colonization of Mars, one that is safe, affordable, and nurtures independence of residents on the Red Planet from Earth.

Frontier In-Situ Resource Utilization for Enabling Sustained Human Presence on Mars has been authored by Robert Moses and Dennis Bushnell of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Moses is an aerospace engineer and Bushnell is chief scientist at the NASA center.

“There are massive resources on Mars obtainable from the atmosphere and extracted from the regolith which are capable of supporting human colonization,” the 55-page, April 2016 report explains. Using Martian resources, existing technologies could supply water, oxygen, fuel, and building materials “to relax the dependence on Earth during the buildup of a colony on Mars.”

Frontier technologies

Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA
On the to-do list is matching In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) with frontier technologies, the report says, that include robotics, machine intelligence, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, 3-D printing/additive manufacturing and autonomy. “These technologies combined with the vast natural resources should enable serious, pre- and post-human arrival ISRU to greatly increase reliability and safety and reduce cost for human colonization of Mars,” the memorandum notes.

Wide range of needs

The sweeping and far-reaching NASA technical memorandum highlights the latest discoveries of water, minerals, and other materials on Mars that reshapes thinking about using the planet’s resources.

Technologies, new approaches, and new thought about Red Planet resources are spotlighted in the report, suggesting ISRU-related research areas. It also lays out an implementation strategy whereby the ISRU elements are phased into the mission campaign over time for enabling a sustainable human presence on Mars.

Credit: NASA/Pat Rawlings
Credit: NASA/Pat Rawlings
And what’s the resource utilization on Mars upshot?

Doing so not only supports colonies on the Red Planet and crew return to Earth, says the report, but also missions to go elsewhere from low Earth orbit or from low Mars orbit, as well as space tourism in the inner solar system.

Live off the land

The currently known resources on Mars are huge, including extensive quantities of water and carbon dioxide – ideal for such things as life support, fuels and plastics.

Report co-author, Moses, tells Inside Outer Space: “Sustaining human presence on Mars looks affordable and safe when counting on extensive ISRU on the planet. The known resources on Mars open up a vast opportunity to make on Mars most of what’s needed at Mars to support pioneering there.”

Asks Moses, why not ISRU?

“What other ways are our pioneering astronauts to live off the land at Mars?”

Large-scale ISRU

Still, there’s work to do.

Credit: NASA/Pat Rawlings
Credit: NASA/Pat Rawlings
Given the discovery of substantial amounts of water ice on Mars, however, the report flags a fact: There has not yet been a fully comprehensive study of large-scale ISRU on Mars.

ISRU could conceivably enable, given the immense resources now known to be available on Mars, the following:

A habitat incorporating significant Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) protection via burial beneath 5 meters of regolith;
Fuel for on-planet ascent, outbound, return and powered entry, descent and landing (EDL);
Life support systems for food, water and breathable atmosphere; habitable temperatures and pressures; and 3-D printing and other manufacturing approaches (including synthetic biology) along with a variety of hardware including equipage and on-planet transport vehicles.
Off-planet Walmart

Utilizing extensive ISRU “could possibly be the gamechanger that achieves the requirements necessary for pioneering and ultimately colonization,” the report adds.

The report stresses that Mars can become the “proving ground” for many new technologies “that not only improve Earth independence but set up Mars to become the supply source for fuels, oxidizers, life support, spare parts, replacement vehicles, habitats, and other products” for space faring beyond low Earth orbit.

Indeed, using Mars-produced fuel and transforming Martian resources would constitute “an effective inner solar system Walmart for, eventually, nearly everything required for space faring and colonization,” the memorandum concludes.

NOTE: Many of the issues regarding the homesteading of Mars are to be featured in my new book — “Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet” — to be published by National Geographic this October. The book is a companion to the National Geographic Channel six-part series coming in November.

Scuba Dive with Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin in the Cayman Islands hotel

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Here’s your chance to moonwalk with the second man to walk on the moon – Buzz Aldrin! Okay, so you may not be on the moon per se, but you will experience the closest sensation that you can get to weightlessness on earth: SCUBA diving!

This lot includes a 2-day SCUBA diving adventure for you and a guest with legendary moonwalker, Gemini XII and Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin! Suit up and plunge into two days of SCUBA diving with Buzz in beautiful Grand Cayman Island, known for some of the best diving in the Caribbean with endless visibility and plentiful amounts of fish and turtles!

Aldrin, known as Mr. Rendezvous for perfecting spacewalking with underwater training during his Gemini flight days, will be your dive buddy on up to four dives on one of Red Sail Sports’ spacious dive boats for an unforgettable underwater adventure.

At the day’s end, you will relax in your nice room at Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, until you meet up again with your dive buddy the next day (two nights of accommodation are included).

Nowhere else on earth will you engage in an experience like this – moonwalking with a real moonwalker! One of only 12 men to walk on the Moon, Aldrin piloted the Gemini XII mission, and was lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, the world’s first lunar landing mission.

Donated by: Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation, Red Sail Sports and Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resorts

Oh My! George Takei, Buzz Aldrin to host gala at KSC

Monday, April 18th, 2016

‘Star Trek’ star to host Apollo 11 gala with Buzz Aldrin on July 23.
Welcome back, Mr. Sulu!

“Star Trek” actor George Takei and space legend Buzz Aldrin will host the Apollo 11 anniversary gala July 23 at Kennedy Space Center. And here’s a bonus: For all you “Star Trek” fans out there, the Apollo 11 charity gala will feature another familiar face, actress Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura in the beloved sci-fi series.

The Apollo 11 gala will include a reception, celebrity photo ops, dinner under the Saturn V rocket and a program that will “teleport guests back to a time when space travel transitioned from fantasy to reality,” a news release states. Proceeds will go to Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation, which educates thousands of children about science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

Although “Star Trek” aired on TV from 1966-69, it has gained an international cult following. In turn, so has Takei. The 78-year-old social media guru and pop culture icon has more than 9.7 million likes on his Facebook fan page and 1.8 million followers on Twitter. He’s well-known for sharing humorous posts and puns. His catchphrase? “Oh My!”

The actor previously visited Kennedy Space Center in 2007 to talk to space center employees about diversity.

Some of his notable work include the documentary, “To Be Takei,” which covers everything from “Star Trek” to his childhood in an internment camp to coming out as gay. Takei has been married to his manager Brad Altman since 2008.

The 83-year-old Nichols appeared in the “Star Trek” films, too. In addition to acting, she is a singer. Other celebrities will attend the gala, the news release states.

PHOTOS: John Travolta, Buzz Aldrin do the “Pulp Fiction” dance

Actor John Travolta headlined last year’s Apollo 11 anniversary gala with Aldrin, and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” actor Seth Green served on a panel. During the event, fan Mary Matulka paid $4,000 to dance with Travolta and Aldrin, then added $1,000 if they gave her the Uma Thurman bangs haircut from Travolta’s film “Pulp Fiction.”

Tickets are $1,000, $750 for students and military and $1,800 for VIP with sponsorships ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. Call 321-783-6836 or visit