Humans to Mars Summit 2021 is underway: Watch it live here.

Day 3 of the annual Humans to Mars Summit kicks off in Washington, D.C. and online today (Sept. 15), and you can watch all the events virtually. 

The three-day event, hosted by Explore Mars, will feature panel discussions and speakers from NASA as well as the agency's private and international partners.

"As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, Explore Mars plans to carefully introduce more and more in-person activities," Explore Mars CEO Chris Carberry said in a statement. "While H2M 2021 will be mostly virtual, if it is safe to do so we hope that our audiences around the world will conduct H2M gatherings at restaurants, bars, private homes, and other locations."

You can register to attend the virtual event for free at You can also watch the webcasts live here below on, courtesy of Explore Mars. Also listed below is a schedule of events, and you can find a list of speakers here

Related: A brief history of Mars missions 

Monday, Sept. 13

9:50-10:00 a.m. EDT — Welcome and opening announcements

  • Chris Carberry (Explore Mars, CEO)
  • Janet Ivey (Explore Mars, President)

10:00-10:30 a.m. EDT — A conversation with representative Ed Perlmutter (United States House of Representatives) facilitated by Lisa Callahan (Lockheed Martin CO, Vice President and General Manager - Commercial Civil Space)

10:35-11:30 a.m. EDT — Artemis to Mars: an international collaboration

  • Moderator: Mat Kaplan (Planetary Radio, Host)
  • Kathryn Lueders (NASA, Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate)
  • Hiroshi Sasaki (JAXA, Vice President and Director General for Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate)
  • David Parker (ESA, Director of Human and Robotic Exploration)

11:35-12:30 p.m. EDT — Planet of Robots: Recent Milestones and Discoveries on Mars

  • Moderator: Mat Kaplan (Planetary Radio, Host) 
  • Lori Glaze (NASA, Director, Planetary Science Division) 
  • Sanjay Vijendran (ESA, Mars Strategy Team Leader and Future Mars Studies (MarsX Team) Coordinator) 
  • Dr. Masaki Fujimoto (JAXA, Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) 
  • Hessa Almatroushi (UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Science Lead of Emirates Mars Mission)

1:15-2:00 p.m. EDT — Robots and Humans: an Essential Partnership on the Moon and Mars Q&A

  • Richard M. Davis (NASA, Assistant Director for Science and Exploration)
  • Clive Neal (University of Notre Dame, Professor, Geoscience)

2:05-3:00 p.m. EDT — Earth, Moon, Mars: Building a Sustainable Path to Mars

  • Moderator: Joe Cassady (Aerojet Rocketdyne, Exec. Director, Space)
  • Maria Antonietta Perino (Thales Alenia Space Italy, Head of Advanced Space Exploration Programs)
  • Naoki Sato (JAXA, Director, Space Exploration System Technology Unit)
  • Chad Davis (Northrop Grumman, Sr. Manager, Human Spaceflight Integration & Operations)

3:05-4:00 p.m. EDT — Maintaining momentum: What can and should be achieved in the 2020s and 2030s?

  • Moderator: Mike French (AIA, Vice President, Space Systems)
  • Alicia Brown (NASA, Associate Administrator, Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs)
  • Megan Mitchell (Blue Origin, Director of Government and Legislative Affairs)
  • Patrick Finley (National Space Council, Director, Civil Space Policy)
  • Joel Graham (Professional Staff Member for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS).

7:00-8:00 p.m. EDT — How can space exploration expand inclusiveness and diversity?

  • Moderator: Shawna Pandya (Orbital Assembly Corporation, Director of Medical Research)
  • Dr. Aidyl Gonzalez (IIAS, Researcher, Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership Curriculum Innovator and Collaborator in STEM, Upper School Science educator and Los Angeles County Science Fair SRC Chair)
  • Andrea Yip (Luna Design and Innovation, Founder & CEO)
  • Dr. Aaron Persad (MIT, Research Scientist, IIAS Director of Bioastronautics, Co-Founder, Astreas)
  • Shayla Redmond (IIAS, Director of Education, CEO/founder of STEAM Unlimited, Mechanical engineer)

Tuesday, Sept. 14

9:50-10:00 a.m. EDT — Welcome and opening announcements

  • Chris Carberry (Explore Mars, CEO)
  • Janet Ivey (Explore Mars, President)

10:00-10:55 a.m. EDT — Building a space workforce: inspiring and motivating preprofessional and early professionals

Moderator: Aaron Shepard (Electrical Engineer/ Science Communications)

Anthony Razo (SEDS, Board Chair)

Andrea Lloyd (US Geological Survey Earth Resources Operations and Science, Technical Specialist for the Landsat Program)

Morgan Irons (Deep Space Ecology, Founder & Chief Science Officer)

Owen Welch (Student, Senior at William T. Dwyer High School)

11:00-11:30 a.m. EDT — A conversation with Bill Nelson (NASA Administrator) Facilitated by Janet Ivey (explore Mars, President)

11:35-12:30 p.m. EDT — Making it on Mars: 3-D printing and sustainability

  • Moderator: Trudy Kortes (NASA, Director, Technology Demonstrations)
  • Rich Boling (Techshot, Vice President)
  • Josh Brost (Relativity Space, Vice President of Business Development)
  • Pascal Rosenfeld (Aleph Farms, Director New Ventures & Space)
  • Justin Kugler (Redwire, General Manager of Mission Solutions)

1:15-2:10 p.m. EDT — Designing living space on Mars

  • Moderator: Artemis Westenberg (Explore Mars Europe)
  • Michal Ziso (ZISO, CEO)
  • Vera Mulyani (Mars City Design, CEO)
  • Alfredo Munoz (Abiboo Studio, CEO)

2:15-3:15 p.m. EDT — Nuclear propulsion/surface power

  • Bhavya Lal (NASA, Senior Advisor for Budget and Finance)
  • Jonathan Witter (BWXT, Chief Engineer, Advance Technology Programs)
  • Patrick Frye (Aerojet Rocketdyne, Director, Business Development)
  • Anthony Calomino (NASA, Materials and Structures Engineer)
  • Tom Martin (Blue Origin, Director, Propulsion Sales)

3:15-4:15 p.m. EDT — A trajectory to Mars: advantages and challenges of long and short-stay missions to mars

Moderator: Tim Cichan (Lockheed Martin, Space Exploration Architect)

Hoppy Price (NASA JPL, Mars Orbital Mission 2033)

Bret Drake (The Aerospace Corporation, Associate Director, Space Systems Architecture)

Sharmi Watkins (NASA, Assistant Director for Exploration in NASA’s Human Health and Performance Directorate)

Wednesday, Sept. 15

9:50-10:00 a.m. EDT — Welcome and opening announcements

  • Chris Carberry (Explore Mars, CEO)
  • Janet Ivey (Explore Mars, President)

10:00-10:30 a.m. EDT — Hoppy Price (NASA JPL, Mars Orbital Mission 2033)

10:35-11:15 a.m. EDT — Janet Ivey (Explore Mars, President) interviews Naeem Altaf (IBM, Distinguished Engineer & CTO Space Tech) on the IBM State of the Space Industry Report and the IBM Cubesat Project

11:20-12:15 p.m. EDT — Utilizing resources

  • Moderator: Richard M. Davis (NASA, Assistant Director for Science and Exploration)
  • Michael Hecht (MIT Haystack Observatory, Principal Investigator of MOXIE)
  • Stephanie Boyce (Paragon Space Development Corp, Principal Investigator and Aerospace Materials Engineer)
  • Dr. Kris Zacny (Honeybee Robotics, Vice President)
  • Gerald "Gerry" Sanders (NASA, In Situ Resource Utilization)

12:15-12:30 p.m. EDT — TBA

12:30-1:00 p.m. EDT — TBA

1:45-2:40 p.m. EDT — How space exploration improves life on Earth

  • Moderator: Dr. Tiffany Vora (Singularity University, Faculty & Vice Chair, Digital Biology & Medicine)
  • Jason L Kessler (NASA, Program Executive, Small Business Innovation Research & Small Business Technology Transfer Programs)
  • Shahreen Reza (Astreas, Founder and CEO)
  • Mohsen Alawadhi (UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Mission System Engineer – Emirates Mars Mission)

2:45-3:45 p.m. EDT — EVA suits & operations

  • Moderator: Christopher Nelson (The Aerospace Corporation, EVA Strategic Planning & Architecture Lead)
  • Natalie Mary (The Aerospace Corporation, Exploration EVA SE&I)
  • Ryan Kobrick (Paragon Space Development Corp, Principal Investigator & Aerospace Engineer)
  • Greg Quinn (Collins Aerospace, Staff Research Engineer, Aerospace Systems)
  • Larry Kuznetz (The Mars Suit Project, Founder and CEO)

3:45-4:30 p.m. EDT — Why Mars

  • Co-Moderators: Janet Ivey (Explore Mars, President) & Mat Kaplan (Planetary Radio, Host)
  • Kavya Manyapu (NASA, Flight Operations and Training, EVA)
  • Jim Garvin (NASA, Chief Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
  • Steve Sherman (Living Maths, Chief Imagination Officer)
  • Shawna Pandya (Orbital Assembly Corporation, Director of Medical Research)
  • Kavya Manyapu (NASA, Flight Operations and Training, EVA)
  • Hunter Stanchak (Colonize Mars, Founder)
  • Joe Cassady (Aerojet Rocketdyne, Exec. Director, Space)

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.