The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Forum speaker to talk about space exploration

Closing the 60th season of The Forum, space exploration authority Robert Zubrin will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Zorn Arena. His presentation, titled “The Case for Mars,” will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception.

Often labeled as “the Christopher Columbus of Mars,” Zubrin combines engineering with human history to present the not-distant future when the global society will reach greater parts of the universe.

Zubrin’s presentation will show that getting humans to Mars is a task for the current generation.

“Despite the many technical hurdles that exist, we are much better prepared today to send humans to Mars than we were to send men to the Moon in 1961 when Kennedy launched the Apollo program, and we were there eight years later,” he said.

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“I will also explain why doing this is the key to transforming humanity into a spacefaring species, and thus the most important thing we can do in our time.”

As a former senior engineer at Lockheed Martin, Zubrin founded Pioneer Astronautics, a space exploration and development firm. Before working in astronautics, Zubrin was employed in many areas including thermonuclear fusion research, nuclear engineering, radiation protection and as a high school science teacher. He holds masters’ degrees in aeronautics and astronautics, and a doctorate in nuclear engineering.

Founding the Mars Society in 1998, Zubrin’s international organization was created to further the goal of the exploration and settlement of Mars. Zubrin currently serves as the organization’s president in the United States. The organization has been involved with broad public outreach to accomplish the goal of pioneering Mars and supports aggressive government funding of Mars exploration programs around the world.

“Without a frontier to grow in, not only American society, but the entire global civilization based upon Western enlightenment values of humanism, reason, science and progress will ultimately die,” Zubrin has written. “I believe that humanity’s new frontier can only be on Mars.”

Zubrin has written over 100 technical and non-technical articles along with many books including “The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must” (1996). His book shows how an economical mission to Mars could be achieved by maximizing the use of existing technologies and resources found on Mars.

Attending the Forum as one of her two required outside-of-class experiences for astronomy, freshman Christina Schultz hopes to find the presentation interesting.

“I want to see if we can actually live somewhere else than here,” she said.

Admission is $7 for the public, $5 for faculty, staff and those 62 and older and $3 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets can be purchased at the University Service Center or at the door.

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Forum speaker to talk about space exploration