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18 March 1997
Space Group Hosts Symposium Examining Manned Missions to Mars

[This Release Forwarded By The National Space Society On Behalf Of the New York, NY, Space Frontier Society Chapter]

Three New York-based technical and space societies will host a day-long public symposium Thursday that will examine the possibility of human expeditions to Mars early in the next century.

The symposium, The Technical Feasibility Of Manned Flight To Mars, will take a comprehensive look at the technical issues, as well as cost and political hurdles, involved with manned Mars exploration. The conference will be held Thursday, February 20, from 10 am to 5 pm, at the New York Academy of Science, 2 East 63rd Street in New York.

The event is being sponsored by the New York chapters of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the National Space Society (NSS), as well as the Metropolitan Engineering Societies Council, an association of twenty local chapters of engineering societies.

The symposium will conclude with a speakers roundtable and press conference from 4 to 5 pm Thursday. Both the roundtable and the symposium itself are open to the public and the press.

The conference, while necessarily technical, will be geared to a general audience. "Now is the time to start a public discussion about exploring Mars," explains symposium chair David Aviv. "The technology to send humans there is nearly at hand, and there are compelling reasons to explore the planet as only humans can." Primary among these reasons, according to Aviv, are the newly invigorated possibility of extinct or existing life, as well as an understanding Martian climatic change as it relates to Earth. "This is nothing to say of how manned Mars missions will excite and motivate our country, and especially our youth," Aviv adds.

The symposium program will feature leading researchers in the areas of Mars exploration, with the program running the gamut from Government plans to private visions of missions to the Red Planet. Topics of discussion will include NASA plans for Mars, the NASA reference mission and the Mars Direct concept (a privately developed mission plan billed as cheaper and faster than most Government concepts), US and international space transportation options, new propulsion technology, human factors, robotic program, and economic benefits.

Participants will include Dr. Roger Bourke of NASA's Mars Exploration Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Dr. Robert Zubrin, President of Pioneer Astronautics, a leading spokesman for human Mars exploration and settlement; Mr. Christopher Faranetta, Deputy Managing Director of American Operations for the Russian company RSC Energia; Joseph Nieberding, Senior Advisor for Advanced Space Concepts at NASA's Lewis Research Center; and Stanley Borowski of NASA Lewis, a leading spokesman on nuclear propulsion.

For more information, please contact Symposium Chair David Aviv, of the IEEE, at (212) 425-8160, or Associate Chair Greg Zsidisin, of the NSS, at (201) 467-8480 ext 269, email

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Updated Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 15:23:18
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