Speaker – Dr Robert Zubrin

Dr Robert Zubrin

Founder and President of the Mars Society and President of Pioneer Astronautics

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Robert is  founder and President of the Mars Society and President of Pioneer Astronautic. He founded the Mars Society with the goal of furthering the exploration and settlement of Mars by both public and private means. Formerly a Staff Engineer at Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver, he holds a Masters degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Washington. Robert is the inventor of several unique concepts for space propulsion and exploration, the author of over 200 published technical and non-technical papers in the field, and was a member of Lockheed Martin’s “Scenario Development Team” charged with developing broad new strategies for space exploration. In that capacity, he was responsible for developing the “Mars Direct” mission plan, a strategy which by using Martian resources, allows a human Mars exploration program to be conducted at a cost 1/8th that previously estimated by NASA. Robert is known internationally as one of the most creative engineers working in the aerospace industry today, and he and his work have been subject of much favorable press coverage in The Economist, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the London Times, The Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, Newsweek, Air and Space Smithsonian, Popular Science, Space News, and many other publications. He has also appeared on the Discovery Channel, CNN, NPR, and the BBC. He is the holder of 15 US Patents.

In addition to his many technical publications, Dr. Zubrin is the author of seven books, including “The Case for Mars: How We Shall Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must,” in 1996, “Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization,” published 1999, “Mars on Earth: Adventures of Space Pioneers in the High Arctic,” published 2003, “Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror,” published 2007, “How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet,” published by 2008, and “Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudoscientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism,” published in  2012.

Since founding Pioneer Astronautics in January 1996, Robert has served as the Principal Investigator of over 60 research and development efforts in areas including spacecraft and launch vehicle propulsion systems, Mars and Lunar in-situ resource utilization technology, EVA life support and propulsion, and robotic exploration systems.

Prior to that, for seven years, Robert was employed as a Senior, and then Staff Engineer at Lockheed Martin (formerly Martin Marietta) Astronautics in Denver, working on the design of advanced space transportation and propulsion concepts. Robert won two Inventors awards from Martin Marietta for his design of a nuclear rocket engine that could use CO2 as propellant, allowing a vehicle so powered to have unlimited mobility on Mars, and for his design of the “Mars Direct” mission architecture. While at Lockheed Martin, Robert also worked on many other projects ranging from small ICBM and missile defense systems to robotic Mars balloon missions, space nuclear power, and the design of aerial-refueled rocketplanes.

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