On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. An estimated 600 million people - at that time, the world’s largest television audience in history - witnessed this unprecedented heroic endeavor.
50 years on 10 others have set foot on the moon while over 500 people from 38 countries have gone into space. We have collated a list of inspiring speakers who are tireless advocates for space exploration and what this means for the future of humanity.
Buzz Aldrin was selected by NASA in 1963 into the third group of astronauts, Aldrin was the first with a doctorate and became known as “Dr. Rendezvous.” The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit became critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs, and are still used today.
In 1966 on the Gemini 12 orbital mission, Buzz performed the world’s first successful spacewalk. On July 20, 1969, Buzz and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. They spent 21 hours on the lunar surface and returned with 46 pounds of moon rocks.
Since retiring from NASA and the Air Force, Col. Aldrin has remained at the forefront of efforts to ensure America’s continued leadership in human space exploration. He devised a master plan for missions to Mars known as the “Aldrin Mars Cycler” – a spacecraft system with perpetual cycling orbits between Earth and Mars.
Buzz continues to chart a course for future space travel and is passionate about inspiring the younger generations of future explorers and innovators.
Dr Adriana Marais, physicist, innovator and aspiring extraterrestrial, believes that we are living at a unique point in the history of life on Earth. She talks about the origins of life, the technology required to live on Mars and the projects working towards sending crews there. She describes how the establishment, and potential discovery of, life on Mars, would be one of the most profound possible contributions of science to humanity. And the steps we are taking to make this a reality.
Dr Adriana Marais will be in Australia and New Zealand from 16-31 October 2019 and is available for local speaking engagements.
Chris Hadfield - First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station
Colonel Chris Hadfield is often referred to as “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong.” He is a worldwide sensation who is acclaimed for making outer space accessible to millions, and for infusing a sense of wonder into our collective consciousness not felt since humanity first walked on the Moon.
His video of video of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” — seen by over 75 million people — was called “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created”, by Bowie himself.
Colonel Chris Hadfield will be in Australia in August 2019.
Anousheh Ansari captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer, and earned a place in history as the fourth private explorer to visit space and as the first astronaut of Iranian descent.
An active proponent of world-changing technologies, Anousheh has dreamed of space exploration since childhood. Her family provided the title sponsorship for the Ansari XPRIZE, a $10 million cash award for the first non-governmental organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. This feat was accomplished in 2004 by legendary aerospace designer Burt Rutan.
Will Whitehorn pioneered the development and concept of commercial spaceflight. He draws the distinction between invention and innovation - and argues that with the right incentives the private sector can create a whole new industrial revolution in space.
As President of Virgin Galactic, Will was at the hub of one of the most exciting business and technology ventures of the twenty first century - commercial space travel. He took the project from being the nascent dream of Sir Richard Branson to a project with real spacecraft, test flights and a spaceport.
Josh Richards -
Physicist, Explosives Engineer, Soldier, Stand-Up Comedian and Mars ONE Candidate
After a decade of picking up booby traps with the Australian Army, slogging through mud with British Commandos, being science adviser to the richest artist in the world, and performing comedy wearing a giant koala suit to confused audiences around the world, Josh found his true calling in September 2012 when he discovered the Mars One project. Selected from over 200,000 initial applicants,Josh is currently one of 100 astronaut candidates short-listed for a one-way mission to Mars in 2031.
Josh’s storytelling makes for compelling & entertaining corporate keynote presentations on leadership, small-team dynamics, and the challenges of life in space that are certain to leave any audience with plenty to think about.
In 1996 Dr Andrew Thomas became the first Australian to take part in a space research mission.
After an extensive career as a mechanical engineer Dr. Thomas was selected by NASA in 1992 and reported to the Johnson Space Center for training. In 1993 following one year of training, he was appointed a member of the astronaut corps and was qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on space shuttle flight crews. He was then named as payload commander for STS-77 and flew his first flight in space on Endeavour in May 1996.
Dr Thomas then trained at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia in preparation for a long-duration flight and in 1998 served as Board Engineer 2 aboard the Russian Space Station Mir for 130 days. From August 2001 to November 2003 Dr. Thomas served as Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office. Dr. Thomas completed his fourth space flight on STS-114 and has logged more than 177 days in space.
His presentations incorporate his experiences, education and views on space research.
Dr Paul Scully-Power is an integrator, strategist, orthogonal thinker and Australia’s first astronaut. He has a unique international background in Industry, Government, Defence, Space and Academia in the US, UK, Australia, and NZ, and is well known for his network of people and institutions around the world.
Dr Scully-Power qualified for high altitude full pressure suit flying at Edwards AFB, and was a flight crew instructor in the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center, becoming Australia’s first astronaut, flying aboard Challenger on the 13th mission of the Space Shuttle.
A leader in applying technology, he is currently engaged in big data analytics, nanotechnology, smart sensors, microsatellites, UAVs, artificial intelligence, and defence programs.
One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.