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Beyond our Planet, Mission to Mars – February 26th, 2020

Beyond our Planet – Mission to Mars”, organized by the MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest in coordination with Seattle technology company MXTreality and the Mars Society’s Seattle chapter.

This special event featured Astronaut Dr. Soyeon Yi, who was the first citizen (and first woman) from South Korea to reach space via her country’s space program. Her flight on Soyuz TMA-12 stayed for 11-days at the ISS, and during her return to earth, she survived a force of nearly 16 Gs when the capsule turned upside down during re-entry. She discusses her harrowing experience during this event.

The event also features our own James L Burk, Steering Committee member, IT Director and founding member of the Mars Society, who leads the MarsVR project to create a VR training & outreach application for the MDRS, and contributes to our Marspedia online encyclopedia project, among others.

The organizer of this event was Jeff Rayner, CEO of MXTreality, who is also a partner on our MarsVR project. Jeff has a lifelong interest in space and holds an astrophysics degree from the University of Leeds in the UK.

Rounding out the panel are Matt Gebert, a former Blue Origin project manager, and Stan Shull, a Seattle-based business development executive, formerly with Boeing.

Many topics were discussed including Mars mission architectures, human factors challenges, competition between the U.S. and China, and emerging players in the Mars exploration landscape such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX.