Today and tomorrow SpaceX will be holding its first Mars Workshop in Boulder, Colorado to discuss how the company will accomplish the goal of sending humans to Mars with an eye to living on the Red Planet.
The news of event was first reported by Eric Berger of Ars Technica yesterday afternoon.
According to the story Eric filed, “this appears to be the first meeting of such magnitude, however, with nearly 60 key scientists and engineers from industry, academia, and government attending the workshop, including a handful of leaders from NASA’s Mars exploration program. The invitation for the inaugural Mars meeting encourages participants to contribute to ‘active discussions regarding what will be needed to make such missions happen.’ Attendees are being asked to not publicize the workshop or their attendance.”
It’s fitting the meeting be held in Boulder, Colorado at the University of Colorado, the co-host. Boulder was the home of the Mars Underground which then led to creation, and very public Mars Society, which in its infancy included Elon Musk as a board member alongside myself.
The SpaceX team leading the Workshop are Paul Wooster, who is SpaceX’s principal Mars development engineer and Margarita Marinova, senior Mars development and vehicle systems development engineer. Marinova was also instrumental in the development of SpaceX’s efforts in landing the Falcon 9 first stage booster. Both are originally from the Toronto area.
Wooster, who has an undergraduate and masters degrees from MIT, was also an early member of the Mars Society and worked on the Mars Gravity Biosatellite while at MIT.
Marinova worked at NASA’s Ames Research Center before joining SpaceX. She has an undergraduate degree from MIT as well, and a PhD from Caltech. Marinova got her first taste of Mars field work in the Canadian high-arctic where she spent a field season in 2000 at the Haughton-Mars Project.
Update: 3:27 p.m. EDT – This is event is invitation only. Word has it that the list of invitees include Western University, Maxar Technologies and the following other organizations: Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado, Boulder; NASA HQ, ASI, JPL/Caltech; Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona; ASURE, MIT, Bechtel Corporation; Schlumberger; University of Florida; Freestyle Analytical & Quantitative Services, LLC; Ball Aerospace; Arizona State University; Brown University; NASA Ames; EchoStar; NASA Glenn; JAXA; SpaceX/Tesla; BAERI; ESA; University of Central Florida; Caterpillar Inc; NASA JSC; Aerospace Corporation; MBRSC – UAE; Planetary Science Institute; LASP / University of Colorado, Boulder; and Honeybee Robotics. Information from NASA Watch.