Nobody can deny that SpaceX founder Elon Musk has thought a lot about how to transport people safely to Mars with his Big Falcon Rocket. But with regard to Musk’s very ambitious plans to settle Mars in the coming decades, some critics say that Musk has not paid enough attention to what people will do when they get there.
But SpaceX can be more serious about preparing for human landings on Mars, both in terms of keeping people alive and making them meaningful to do. According to private invitations seen by Ars, the company will host a “Mars Workshop” on Tuesday and Wednesday of the week at the University of Colorado Boulder. Although the company would not comment directly, a SpaceX official confirmed the event and said that the company regularly meets a lot of experts regarding its mission to Mars.
This seems to be the first meeting of such magnitude, but with nearly 60 key researchers and industry, academy and government engineers participating in the workshop, including a handful of leaders from NASA’s Mars exploration program. Invitation to the initial meeting in Mars encourages participants to contribute to “active discussions about what is needed for such assignments to take place”. Participants are asked not to publish the workshop or their presence.
Life on Mars
The meeting is expected to provide an overview of spaceflow capacity that SpaceX develops with the Big Falcon rocket and spacecraft, which Musk has previously been described in the long-term international space meeting in 201
6 and 2017. Discussion topics will focus on how best to support hundreds of people living on Mars, for example, access to natural resources where it will lead to a sustainable outpost.
Through this meeting, SpaceX hoped to be able to engage deeper with both NASA and the scientific community who have studied these issues in the depths of decades – but have regularly been frustrated by the spacecraft’s lack of progress in bringing people to Mars. A researcher who participated in the meeting told Ars: “I have some confidence that SpaceX will eventually achieve its goal of coming to Mars, and this feels like an exciting opportunity to be a part of that story and to influence the future of people Red Planet. “
The workshop has three employees: Paul Wooster, who is SpaceX’s premier development engineer in Mars; Margarita Marinova, Senior Mars Development Engineer; and Bobby Braun, Dean of the College of Engineering & Applied Science at CU Boulder. Braun, a former NASA chief engineer, has worked with SpaceX on previous projects.
As a response from Ars, Braun released the following statement about the conference: “CU Boulder and its atmospheric and space physics laboratory are proud to host a large number of representatives from the entire academy, government and industry a week in a discussion about Mars exploration technology, he says. “As the nation’s hub for space innovation, host meetings with an industry partner such as SpaceX are part of what we do.”
SpaceX and NASA
Braun, who became a dean at CU Boulder 2017, has elevated the university’s airplane and meeting represent a coup as the university approaches the completion of a $ 101 million space building. This facility will include a mission check for experiments at the International Space Station, a dream hacker simulator and an indoor airplane for drones and other aviation vehicles without people on board.  “From the airload to the International Space Station with NASA to say marching with Colorado Aerospace giants like Ball Aerospace, United Launch Alliance, Sierra Nevada, DigitalGlobe and Lockheed Martin in research and human resources development, to develop and drive next-generation space science payroll and mission over Solsystem CU Boulder, promotes innovation across the aviation industry, says Braun .
It seems remarkable that several NASA researchers studying the red planet (and the potential for human landings) will attend the workshop. Although NASA and SpaceX have an excellent relationship through the commercial crew and cargo program to fly regulations and people to the International Space Station, there is some overlap and potential competition in deep space.
Both NASA, with public money and SpaceX, through private investment, develop very large rockets that allow people to fly into deep space. Both NASA and SpaceX finally want to send people to Mars. Such a workshop can ultimately plant seeds that lead to cooperation rather than competition in the coming years. It seems particularly possible considering the Trump Administration’s expressed desire for NASA to work close to commercial space companies like SpaceX and its innovative technologies, such as reusable launch vehicles.