Becoming Interplanetary: What Living on Earth Can Teach Us about Living on Mars


Tags: Mars, Outreach, Planetary Exploration, Solar System

Time: Thursday, Sep 27, 2018 -

Location: Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

Becoming Interplanetary
On September 27, 2018, there will be a public event at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, entitled "Becoming Interplanetary: What Living on Earth Can Teach Us about Living on Mars”.

The event will be a day of panels and performances, organized around three "beats":

Beat 1: The Right Stuff
Tom Wolfe’s book, “The Right Stuff”, cemented the ideal of the cowboy astronaut, drawing on the frontier themes that have long been used to talk about space. How do these narratives of space exploration inform and influence modern ideas about who can explore space? What does it mean to have the “Right Stuff”, and how is that meaning evolving?

Beat 2: Mars on Earth
Thanks to our spacecraft, we now know more about the Martian environment than ever before-- and are on the precipice of sending humans to explore further. What can we learn from the history of exploration on Earth, and how might we understand the Martian environment within the framework of these Earthly lessons? 

Nathalie Cabrol, Director of the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute will be one of the presenters during this segment.

Beat 3: Alternative Futurisms
Science fiction has the power to inspire and instruct us as we envision the future, but it has also long been a vehicle for myths of manifest destiny. What alternative viewpoints on humanity’s future in space might exist, and how might these conceptualize life off-world in radically different ways? 

Presenters include:

Brenda J. Child
Northrop Professor and Chair of the Department of American Studies
at the University of Minnesota

Brian Nord
Research Scientist, The University of Chicago

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Postdoctoral Research Associate in theoretical physics, the University of Washington, Seattle

Ashley Shew
Assistant Professor, Department of Science, Technology, and Society, Virginia Tech

Jordan Holmes/Dxtr Spits
Nathalie A. Cabrol

Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Research at the SETI Institute

Bobak Ferdowsi
Fault Protection lead for the joint NASA-ISRO mission

Michael Oman-Reagan
Vanier Scholar and Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology, Memorial University

Margaret Huettl
Assistant Professor of History and Ethnic Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem
Afro-Futurist space sculptor, performance artist, designer, writer, and educator

Willi Lempert
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Bowdoin College

Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo

Ytasha Womack
Author, filmmaker, independent scholar, and dance therapist

The event will be held in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress from 9am-5pm on 9/27, with a reception to follow. Attendance is open to the public and no registration is required.