Saturday, September 17, 2016

NASA's Controversial ARM Mission To Be Debated At 2016 Mars Society Convention

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NASA’s Controversial ARM Mission to be Debated at 2016 Mars Society Convention

Despite NASA’s 
recent decision to move forward with its proposedAsteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), questions still remain about the project’s growing cost and support within Congress and by the next presidential administration, as well as its usefulness in developing experience and technology for a human mission to Mars.

ARM is intended to send a robotic spacecraft to a Near Earth Asteroid to collect a small boulder from the object and move it to cislunar space. Astronauts will then visit the captured boulder during a planned Orion mission in 2026 in order to test deep space operations in advance of a trip to the Red Planet.

In an effort to further educate the public about this project, the Mars Society has scheduled a high-level debate entitled “Do We Need the Asteroid Redirect Mission?” as part of its 
19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for Thursday, September 22nd at 7:30 pm at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Participating in the ARM debate will be:

+ Dr. Louis Friedman, Co-Founder & Executive Director Emeritus, The Planetary Society
+ Dr. Thomas Jones, Former NASA Astronaut, Author and Former Member, NASA Advisory Council
+ Dr. Robert Zubrin, President & Founder, The Mars Society, and President, Pioneer Astronautics
+ Art Harman, Director, Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration, and Former Legislative Director, Office of Congressman Steve Stockman
Jeff Foust, Moderator, Senior Staff Writer, SpaceNews, & Editor, The Space Review

Speaking that same evening at 7:00 pm immediately prior to the ARM debate will be Dan Mazanek, Mission Investigator of NASA’s ARM program, providing a full overview of the spacecraft’s current planning and status.

Join us for what will certainly be an interesting and timely debate! Full information about the 2016 Mars Society Convention is currently available online, including registration details, banquet dinner reservations and the complete program itinerary.

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