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JKeith Henry
(757) 864-6120/344-7211

RELEASE : 06-033
Speaker to Make Case for Mars Trip Within 10 Years

Travel to Mars is possible within the next 10 years according to aerospace expert Robert Zubrin, president of Pioneer Astronautics, who is expected to deliver that message to employees at NASA Langley Research Center in a talk May 4.

Zubrin will outline a daring plan to sharply cut costs and send a group of American astronauts to the Red Planet in the near future called "Mars Direct." The plan was first proposed by a small team at Martin Marietta some years ago, with Zubrin its principal author. Now that NASA has revived the call for human space exploration, Zubrin's plan is at the center of an international debate about how soon the first humans can be sent to our neighboring planet.

Zubrin's address, entitled "Mars Direct: Humans to the Red Planet within a Decade," is part of NASA Langley's Colloquium series, designed to bring leading experts in their fields to the research center to speak and interact with NASA Langley employees.

Media wishing to interview Zubrin are invited to attend a news briefing at 1:15 p.m. May 4. Reporters should contact Keith Henry at 864-6120 or 344-7211 by 10 a.m. for credentials and access to the Center. The talk will be presented in the NASA Langley H.J.Reid Auditorium, immediately following the briefing.

Zubrin holds Masters degrees in aeronautics and astronautics and a doctorate in nuclear engineering. He is the inventor of several unique concepts for space propulsion and exploration, the author of more than 200 published technical and non-technical papers in the field, as well several non-fiction books. He is a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and former chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Space Society. He founded the Mars Society, an international organization dedicated to furthering the exploration and settlement of Mars by both public and private means. He personally led the construction and operation of a human Mars exploration training station on Devon Island, an uninhabited island in the Canadian Arctic 900 miles from the North Pole.


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