AD Astra: Fox Studio NASA Presentation

Thanks to Eylat Poliner for covering and for taking the pictures. Thanks to Mark Poliner for doing the summary of events for us.

On Thursday, September 12, 2019, Skewed and Reviewed had the pleasure of attending a NASA panel, “From Apollo to Artemis program and back to the moon” which was put on by Disney / Fox. This panel talked about where NASA is now and where NASA wants to be. The first part of the panel was hosted by Ad Astra’s screen writer Ethan Gross. On the panel were Lara Kearney, Deputy Program Manager, Gateway Program; Nujoud Merancy, Chief, Exploration Mission Planning Office; Jessica Vos, Orion Crew Systems Engineer; Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson: The second part of the panel was hosted by Director James Grey, on the panel were Laura Kerber, Planetary Scientist, JPL; Rob Manning, JPL Chief Engineer; Steve Lee, Curiosity Rover Deputy Project Manager, JPL

We are living in an age where science fiction is becoming science fact. Those kids that grew up with their nose in a science fictions book, marveled at 2001 A Space Odyssey, dreamed of piloting an X-wing fighter, or flying at warp speed, are now the scientists and engineers at NASA making fiction a reality. From Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon to Apollo 11. From 2001 A Space Odyssey’s space station to the International Space Station. This is what NASA does.

Space is a part of us. The motivation for exploring space is the same wonder and awe of exploring Earth. As Carl Sagan said, “We are made of star-stuff.” The panel compared exploring space, like exploring your backyard. When you’re looking in your back yard you wonder, how big is it, is it green, is there a pool, is there a fence, is there a BBQ. It’s like that with space and planets

The panel discussed current and future NASA projects, such as, Orion, Artemis, and the Deep Space Gateway Station. To make these projects succeed, NASA researches such ideas as, how the body responds to various materials, how your body performs in micro gravity, building better spacecraft, fuel dynamics, and many other areas of research.

By comparing the science fiction of the movie Ad Astra to science fact, the spacecraft from Ad Astra to current NASA projects, and acknowledging the assistance NASA gave the movie was the main purpose of this panel.

Fifty years ago, a milestone was reached when man first set foot on the moon. That journey is about to begin again with Artemis. Artemis will be leading humans back to the moon, not just flags and footprints, the new landings on the lunar surface will also establish a small lunar-orbit space station called the ‘Deep Space Gateway Station’ to support future missions, which in turn will support an eventual human landing on Mars in the late 2030s.

There’s recognition within the space community that the moon is not only a logical stepping-stone to Mars, but also a base from which to build and sustain a space-based economy that would fund more ambitious goals in coming decades. Getting back to the moon will make it easier to develop the necessary capabilities and skills to enable humans to set foot on the red planet in the 2030s. The Space Launch System (SLS), composed of the Artemis rocket, Deep Space Gateway, and the Orion spacecraft, will be the first integrated mission for exploration.

The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is a joint US-European spacecraft intended to carry a crew of four astronauts to destinations at or beyond low Earth orbit.

Artemis is a joint mission between NASA, the European Space Agency, and U.S. commercial spaceflight companies with the goal of landing “the first woman and the next man” on the Moon, specifically at the lunar south pole region by 2024. This will be laying the foundation for establishing a sustainable presence on the moon. Private companies can build a lunar economy.

Creating sustainable living environments on the moon and Mars, creating new economies and industries in space is the future of man. The movie Ad Astra shows the possibilities in action.