Scientific Colloquium
May 11, 2016, 3:30 p.m., Building 3 Auditorium

"The Martian: Science Fiction and Science Fact"  

The best-selling book about an astronaut stranded on Mars was brought to life in Ridley Scott’s film, The Martian. Before production started, Ridley called NASA to obtain information about NASA’s plans for human exploration of Mars in addition to the science of Mars that would contribute to a realistic look and feel of the film in keeping with the approach laid out in Andy Weir’s book. An intense period of interaction over several months followed between Ridley’s design team and NASA journey to Mars personnel on everything from habitats, vehicles, spacesuits, ion engines, radioisotope power systems, and Mars terrains. The result was a tremendously popular and award winning film. Having been one of the main consultants on the film, Dr. Green will discuss what NASA’s real plans and challenges are to sending humans to Mars as compared to this fictional account.

About the Speaker:

Dr. James Green is the Director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Iowa in 1979. Dr. Green has written over 110 scientific papers involving various aspects of magnetospheric physics of the Earth and Jupiter. Dr. Green has also worked at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). While at GSFC, Dr. Green was a co-investigator and deputy Project Scientist on the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) mission. In 1988 he received the Arthur S. Flemming award given for outstanding individual performance in the federal government and was awarded Japan’s Kotani Prize in 1996 in recognition of his international science data management activities.

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