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NASA Scientists Carol Stoker and Geoffrey Landis to Speak at Mars Society Convention

by Freya Jackson last modified 2010-07-08 17:19

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that NASA scientists Carol Stoker and Geoffrey Landis will be presenting at this year's convention.

Planetary Scientist Carol Stoker, NASA Ames Research Center, will be presenting two plenary sessions at this year’s convention.  Her first topic will be "Habitability of the Phoenix Lander Site" and the second will be "Drilling on the Moon and Mars in Human Exploration field tests at Mars Desert Research Station"

Dr. Stoker received her B.S. in Physics from the University of Utah and Ph.D in AstroGeophysics from the University of Colorado.  Her research focuses on developing robotic systems for space exploration and testing them in terrestrial analogs. She has led field experiments in the Antarctic, Arctic, undersea, and deserts in the southwestern US to demonstrate robotic systems that pave the way to searching for life on other planets. Her recent projects include the MARTE project that developed robotic drilling, sample handling, and instrumentation relevant to searching for life in the Martian subsurface and demonstrated this in a field simulation of a Mars mission performed in Rio Tinto Spain at the source of an acidic river system that is an important Mars analog.  Carol is a Co-investigator on the Phoenix mission that landed near the North Pole of Mars in 2008, and sampled subsurface ice to search for a habitable environment.  She led the synthesis of the mission results to show that the environment is habitable and warrants a follow up mission to search for modern life.


NASA scientist and science-fiction author Geoffrey Landis will be presenting a plenary talk on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit and Opportunity in addition to two afternoon talks, "The Case for Venus" and "HERRO: TeleRobotic Exploration of Mars."

Geoffrey A. Landis is a scientist at the NASA John Glenn Research Center. He was a member of the Mars Pathfinder scientific team, where he analyzed solar energy and dust on Mars, and is currently a member of the science team for the Mars Exploration Rovers. 

In addition to his work on Mars, he works on developing advanced concepts for spaceflight.  He was one of the first fellows of the NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts, where he worked on analyzing new concepts for laser-pushed lightsails.  He is currently working on future missions including the Solar Probe Plus, a spacecraft to probe the outer corona of the sun, design concepts for telerobotic missions to Mars, Venus, and the asteroids, and development of technology for in-situ resource utilization for the moon and Mars.  He has published four hundred scientific papers in the fields of  photovoltaics and astronautics, and holds seven patents.

Dr. Landis is also a Hugo- and Nebula- award winning science fiction writer. His novel Mars Crossing won the Locus award for best first novel. His most recent book, Impact Parameter (and Other Quantum Realities from Golden Gryphon Press collects some of his award-winning short fiction. It was named by Publisher's Weekly as one of the notable books of the year. More information can be found at his web page,

Registration for the conference is now open at  Rooms at the Marriott at a specially discounted rate of $94/night for single, double, triple, or quadruple occupancy for Mars Society conference attendees are available by calling the Marriott at 937-223-1000.

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