As NASA Administrator Charles Bolden noted this past October at the Center for American Progress, America is closer to sending a human to Mars than ever before. But while the United States has made significant progress toward that goal in recent years, NASA must still discover how it will overcome the practical physical and psychological challenges American astronauts will face on their voyage to—and their stay on—the red planet.
With 4,330 hours in space, NASA astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman brings firsthand experience with these concrete problems to her current position in NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist. In addition to two space shuttle missions and a five and a half month stay aboard on the International Space Station, Coleman holds a Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and rose to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Air Force before retiring in 2009.
Please join the Center for American Progress for a fascinating discussion on the practical steps America will need to take in order to send astronauts to Mars and other destinations beyond the moon.