Invited Speakers

Dr Subbiah Arunan
Chief, Mars Orbiter Mission –Mangalyaan

Dr. Subbiah Arunan is an Indian scientist and Padma Shri awardee, known for his role in the Mars Orbiter Mission of Indian Space Research Organization. He is the project director of Mangalyaan. Arunan was responsible for leading a team to build the spacecraft. The challenge for him was to build a new communication system, which would largely be autonomous so that it could take decision and 'wake up' the orbiter engine after 300 days.

Description: G:\2016 UPTO\yelena serova.jpg Yelena Serova, Engineer and Cosmonaut

Yelena Olegovna Serova (Russian: Елена Олеговна Серова, born April 22, 1976) is a retired Russian cosmonaut and politician. She was selected as a cosmonaut in 2006 and was assigned in 2011 to Expedition 41, which launched in September 2014 and returned to Earth in March 2015. Serova became the first female Russian cosmonaut to visit the International Space Station (ISS) on 26 September 2014.
Time in space: 167d 05h 44m

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Sergei Avdeyev , Engineer and Cosmonaut

Sergei Vasilyevich Avdeyev (Сергей Васильевич Авдеев, is a Russian engineer and cosmonaut. Avdeyev at one point held the record for cumulative time spent in space with 747.59 days in earth orbit, accumulated through three tours of duty aboard the Mir Space Station. He has orbited the earth 11,968 times traveling about 515,000,000 kilometers.
“ Hero of the Russian Federation”

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Mark Serov, Russian Engineer Cosmonaut & Deputy Commander of RSC Energia
He completed the MAI in 1998; since 1998, he has worked at RKKE; at present, he is in the post of planning specialist in GOGU at TsUP Moscow; OKP: 16.06.2003 - 28.06.2005; married the cosmonaut Yelena Serova; retired; currently deputy commander of RSC Energiya cosmonaut detachment.

Dr. R. Ken Johnston, Sr.  Civilian Astronaut

Dr. R. Ken Johnston, Sr. one of 4 Civilian Astronaut Consultant Pilots from the Apollo Moon Program, is a retired aerospace engineer, US Marine, and “NASA Whistle blower.” Johnston was hired by Grumman Aircraft Corp. because of his training as a pilot with an avionics background to become a principal contractor for the Apollo Lunar Module testing. His duty was to assist with cockpit and instrument development and Astronaut training at the Manned Space Center (to be renamed the Johnson Space Center) in Houston, Texas, as a “civilian astronaut consultant pilot."

Description: Vera Mulyani
CEO and Founder, Mars City Design

Ms. Mulyani’s multidisciplinary background in master planning in various fields of art; architecture, urban design, filmmaking and storytelling, has made her specialized in conceptual strategy in technology, innovation and business development. Ms. Mulyani contributes her expertise in applying combining these fields, creating a collaborative competition platform for designing cities for Mars, our next step to settle the Red Planet. Ms. Mulyani is the Master Architect and planner of Mars City Design.

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Shaun Moss
Founder, The International Mars Research Station”

Shaun Moss is a writer and computer scientist with an 18-year passion for Mars. Shaun realized that people would settle Mars in his lifetime. Shaun is also the founder of the Mars Settlement Research Organization. His research has included how to make air and steel on Mars, Martian timekeeping systems, food systems for Mars, terraforming, and more, and he has given numerous presentations at conferences in Australia and the United States. Shaun has also developed a robust and affordable humans-to-Mars mission architecture based on the latest space technology, and a plan for the world’s top space agencies to collaborate on building a Mars base. He presented this plan at TEDx in 2014, and published a book titled The International Mars Research Station, in 2016. He is now working on a new book, titled Becoming Multiplanetary, about how to settle Luna and Mars

Description: G:\2016 UPTO\SDNX MARS SUMMIT\sotira.jpg Sotira Trifourki
CEO & Founder, Artemis Space

Sotira is CEO of Artemis Space, a space company based in Manchester that is manufacturing and researching space robotics and micros satellites.  She is also the Director of the Cyprus Space Office, an organization developing opportunities for Cypriot Society to access space. Sotira will be presenting a demo of the Destination Discovery Network workspace, an online portal which enables users to design experiments and hardware for future space missions, using the XploraSat CubeSat platform, along with a workshop on Space Education and Citizen Science.

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Ron Sparkman
Founder at, Aspiring Astrophysicist
Docent,  Space Foundation, USA
Science website promoting space, science, and STEAM education.

Description: Sireesh Pallikonda Sireesh Pallikonda
Exploring Mars from Martian Orbit & International Space University Alumni

Sireesh Pallikonda mission is to propose a scenario to explore Mars by landing humans on a Martian moon and returning them safely to Earth, in order to prepare the foundation for the first manned mission to the surface of the Red Planet.

Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan is Senior Fellow and Head of the Nuclear and Space

Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), New Delhi.
Dr. Rajagopalan joined ORF after a five-year stint at the National Security Council Secretariat (2003-2007), where she was an Assistant Director. Prior to joining the NSCS, she was Research Officer at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. She was also a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Politics, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan in 2012. She has also co-authored and edited five other books, including Awaiting Launch: Perspectives on the Draft ICoC for Outer Space Activities (2014). Her research articles have appeared in edited volumes, and in peer reviewed journals such as India Review, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Air and Space Power Journal, International Journal of Nuclear Law,Strategic Analysis and CLAWS Journal. She has also contributed essays to newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Economic Times and Pioneer. She has also lectured at Indian military and policy institutions such as the Defence Service and Staff College (Wellington), National Defence College (New Delhi), Army War College(Mhow), and the Foreign Service Institute (New Delhi). She has also been invited to speak at international fora including the UN COPUOS (Vienna), Conference on Disarmament (Geneva), UNIDIR (Geneva), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the European Union.


Patrick J. Barthelow
Moonbouncer ham radio operator, Educator
Member, Google Lunar X Prize, Team Synergy Moon
Member, Consortium for Monterey Bay Space Port
International Consultant- Space Communications, USA

Team SYNERGY MOON: Team SYNERGY MOON is competing in The Google Lunar X PRIZE, a $30 million international competition. SYNERGY MOON is an eccentric, electrifying merge of the arts and sciences. We represent a collaboration of individuals from over 15 countries and our numbers are growing. Through aerospace research and development, rocket launch services, and a wide range of public events and awareness campaigns, we aim to inspire and invigorate humanity's desire to explore the Moon, Mars, and space beyond. We are an official team in the Google Lunar X PRIZE, and also pioneers in human space travel and interplanetary exploration.

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Ronnie Nader-First Ecuadorian Astronaut
-Chief Designer of the Civilian Space Research Program for Ecuador
 -Founder of the EXA - the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency.
-Chief Designer of Project DAEDALUS, the first Latin American micro gravity plane, -Mission director for Project POSEIDON, achieving a micro gravity World Record for Ecuador granted by Guinness and the World Records Academy -7 Aerospace missions flown as Mission Commander: EXA/FAE-01 to EXA/FAE-07 -Chief Engineer of the HYPERION Reactive Alert Network -Chief Designer of Project HERMES - The first Internet-to-Orbit gateway. -Creator of the program "A SATELLITE IN LASSROOM", providing elementary schools with the capability of connecting in real time to weather satellites for use in live classrooms -Chief engineer and leader of the team that built the 1st Ecuadorian satellite, the NEE-01 PEGASUS -Chief engineer and leader of the team that built the 2nd Ecuadorian satellite, the NEE-02 KRYSAOR -Mission Director for NEE-01 and NEE-02 1st Ecuadorian satellites launch and operation -Main Researcher at EXA
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Kartik Kumar
Analog Astronaut at the Austrian Space ForumPhD candidate in Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft
Co-founder & CEO at
Kartik Kumar is an Analog Astronaut at the Austrian Space Forum, involved in terrestrial analog mission campaigns to develop the processes, interfaces and systems to support future human missions to the Red Planet. His first deployment was during the AMADEE-15 mission on Kaunertal Glacier, Austria in August 2015. In his role as Analog Astronaut, Kartik is also involved in outreach activities to engage school children through STEAM education. He is currently finalizing his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, studying the dynamics of planetary rings. During his PhD, Kartik founded Tudat: an open-source astrodynamics toolbox. Kartik is also Co-founder & CEO of, a space startup aimed at opening up the space industry by developing a comprehensive, up-to-date and independent parametric search engine for the aerospace industry. Kartik continues to be involved in various activities within the space community. He co-organized SpaceUp NL in 2014 & 2015 and is an ISU alumnus (SSP16).

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Oscar Mathews
Mars One Astronaut Candidate
NASA HERA X Mission Commander

Born in Madrid, Spain, Oscar graduated Kirby High School as Valedictorian from his hometown of Memphis, TN. He then became a naturalised US Citizen, and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2004 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. While at USAFA, Oscar earned his Private Pilot’s certificate and then completed a five year commitment in the USAF as well as a six month tour of duty in Kuwait before separating from the Air Force to attend grad school. He subsequently attended The University of Tennessee, Knoxville for a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, with an emphasis in atmospheric boundary layers, aeolian particle saltation and dune formation. He currently works as a Navy Reserve Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer (Flight Test Engineer) and transferred from NAVSEA, where he worked for 3 years as a Nuclear Test Engineer, to become an EA-18G Electronic Warfare weapon systems integration Aerospace Engineer and system airworthiness test team lead at Patuxent Naval Air Station at NAVAIR in Lexington Park, MD. Oscar is a second-year PhD student at Old Dominion University’s doctoral program in Aerospace Engineering, specialising in spacecraft and habitat radiation

shielding, with Mars ISRU expert and Distinguished Professor of Engineering Dr. Robert Ash as his mentor. He has a younger brother, Anthony, and father David, both of whom live in Memphis, TN. His mother, Maria Pilar, also a naturalised US citizen, enjoys traveling the world as much as he does. He loves exploring the unknown, 3D printing, flying, old Corvettes and BMW’s, playing trumpet, board games, soccer, and hopes one day to have the opportunity to explore space and Mars. He is a Maker, MarsCoin Foundation pioneer, Mars One 100 Candidate, Eagle Scout, Private Pilot, and NASA HERA mission 10 Commander.

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Bill Hargenrader,
Entrepreneur, Innovator –Mars NOW

-International Speaker on Cybersecurity, Mars Exploration, Innovation, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship.
-Digital Marketer, consultant and adviser: marketing funnels, landing pages, webinars, online product creation, etc.
-Advocate for STEAM education, Space and Mars Exploration, and Mental Health.

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ReutSorekAbramovich, PhD
Scientific Advisory Board,Young Astronauts Academy
Weizmann Institute of Science

I am a space enthusiastic, and thus created The Israeli Mars Society chapter and am a focal point for international collaborators interested in promoting space related technologies into the Israeli market. I am on the scientific advisory board for The Young Astronauts Academy at The Davidson Institute of Science Education in the Weizmann Institute of Science, and this year we are bringing Mars to the Israeli desert for full analysis, exploration and colonization. During the summer of 2016 I had the privilege of being the astrobiology core lecturer at the International Space University - Space Studies Program 16 (SSP16), Technion, 2016. Prior to that I have lectured in various symposiums, academic and public conferences since 2009. Before academia life – I worked at Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. for several years – gaining insight into security, firewalls, hackers and the whole “high-tech” phenomena in Israel and overseas.
I have received my PhD in immunology and molecular sciences in 2013, from The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. My PhD research included studying extremophiles with The Australian Centre for Astrobiology. Basically – how salt loving bacteria or heat loving bacteria survive high salinity, high temperatures, etc. I worked on living stromatolites, in Shark Bay, Western Australia. These geo-biological structures have now been recognized as significant for the search for life on Mars.
During my PhD I was the director of the New South Wales chapter in the Mars Society Australia and we were engaged in public awareness events and organizing field trips with “Spaceward Bound” program, by NASA Ames Research Center, California. From 2013 till 2016 I was a research fellow at The Mina &Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University. Israel.  My research topic was about a unique marine bacteria (Trichodesmium) and their toxins production, as this has important implications on the health of Earth oceans and has huge potential for biotech applications.
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Avishek Ghosh
Citizen Scientist-Astronaut 
PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere)
Analogue Astronaut
Mars DesertResearch Station (MDRS)

My name is Avishek Ghosh and I originate from Kolkata, West Bengal. After graduating in Physics from India, I decided to further pursue Masters in Space Studies (MSS) at International Space University (ISU), France. As part of my master’s program, I got an opportunity to work at NASA Ames Research Center, as a research scholar, during spring of 2015.

I would like to briefly describe my passion and interest for Space started at an early age with a dream of becoming an astronaut. This enthusiasm towards human space exploration propelled me to delve deep into diverse technical subjects and courses that provided me hands on experience towards my career objectives. As part of bridging gaps and exploring my new frontiers towards learning more about human aspect of surviving in space, I am immensely pleased to inform you that I have been selected as a Citizen Scientist-Astronaut organized by PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) and an Analogue Astronaut in a human space simulation program called Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) organized by The Mars Society. During this program, I have this opportunity to represent my country India as an international participant which is the best achievements in my career.

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Royce Jones
Space Entrepreneur And Investor
Royce Jones - is a space entrepreneur and investor, injecting both start-up capital and IP into new companies. His background is in real estate construction. He has spent the last 10 years working as a consultant in the space commercialization industry focusing on innovation for commercial space finance. Mr. Jones is a founder, investor and IP developer in Cool Solar, RocketJet and Mayajuel, LLC. Mr. Jones has 25 years’ experience in property construction and finance and has constructed over 4,000 multi-family apartment units and retirement homes and a number of hotels and commercial buildings. His experience in structuring commercial and asset backed financing is now being applied to the financing of business related assets.

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Dr. Bhupendra Singh

Dr.Bhupendra Singh( Single, Vegetarian, New Delhi, Bharat)
Qualification- M.Sc.Physics) and Ph.D. other professional courses B.Ed.((B.H.U.)., M.Ed.(NCERT). My ideals are the integration and development of educational principles to further a universal education.
My mother died when I was young & my father and brother fully support me in a one way mission to better mankind and its evolution towards interplanetary voyaging.
Languages, English, Hindi, Sanskrit, and Esperanto.
Becoming an astronomer 10years ago, I began dreaming of interplanetary travel based on Education science and technology. So as to help lift humanity out of financial poverty illiteracy and war, wishing to expunge this from our existence forever. I saw my path for the future working together to foster a new civilization. Creating hope and expounding the dreams of our youth creating a new human revolution. That our world’s people can get behind and follow.

Mars is our first step at colonization our galaxies, and from an educational stand point it’s a brand new horizon needing a new template and parameters, to develop a mars science and technology, based in an alien environment, but maintaining our spiritual values from a value creating society.  So producing a counter a counter valance against the trials and tribulations of such an Alien environment. To fostering new ideas and technologies, and to pinch a great line from the movie Mars( to science shit out of it) instead of being motivated by big business, but motivated by science for the betterment of humankind, Further evolving our species. Without space exploration and without planet beginning its downward ecological spiral. Its time to begin the exodus to the cosmos.

Christopher Columbus and others like Cook voyaged to the new world, opening up new ideas,  new kinds of food, new ways to achieve things, that pioneering spirit is not dead its merely dormant awaiting its new beginning. 

I await my future, hands on heart, ready to face whatever the Universe has to throw at me this is my calling and time is now.
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Mitchell scher
Lead-Commercial Space Industry
Alumnus of International Space University

Mitchell scher is a graduate of the International Space University where he studied Space Business and Management.  After working in Beijing, China in the technology sector for a number of years, he now leads research on China's developing commercial space industry and how it fits into China's and other nations' space industries and policies.
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Ryan MacDonald
Astronaut Candidate at Mars One - Human Settlement of Mars

Hi, I’m Ryan, I’m a Theoretical Astrophysicist currently working on a PhD in Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. My research focuses on understanding the physical conditions and chemical composition of the atmospheres of exoplanets. I completed my Master’s in Physics at Oxford University, where I investigated thermal-IR cameras for a future proposed ESA sample return mission to Phobos. I have also worked on data analysis from ESA’s Venus Express mission.

But this pales in comparison to what I can do on Mars. To search for evidence of past or present life, to speak to and inspire school children back on Earth, to build the first civilisation on another planet… How could anyone say no to that?


I’ve always been interested in Space and Science, Physics is all about trying to work out what the heck is going on in this strange universe of ours! In my free time, I like to run outreach activities for younger audiences and I’m currently finishing writing a near-future Hard Science-Fiction novel.