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Robert Zubrin
The Mars Society

Robert Zubrin is an aerospace engineer and author, best known for his advocacy of manned Mars exploration. He was the driving force behind Mars Direct—a proposal intended to produce significant reductions in the cost and complexity of such a mission. The key idea was to use the Martian atmosphere to produce oxygen, water, and rocket propellant for the surface stay and return journey. A modified version of the plan was subsequently adopted by NASA as their "design reference mission".

Disappointed with the lack of interest from government in Mars exploration, and after the success of his book "The Case for Mars" as well as leadership experience at the National Space Society, Zubrin formed the Mars Society in 1998. This is an international organization advocating a manned Mars mission as a goal, by private funding if possible. Zubrin lives in Indian Hills, Colorado with his wife, Maggie Zubrin, and two daughters. Maggie Zubrin has long served as the executive director of the Mars Society.

Zubrin holds a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Rochester (1974), a master's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics, a master's degree in Nuclear Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering — all from the University of Washington. He has developed a number of concepts for space propulsion and exploration, and is the author of over 200 technical and non-technical papers and five books. He was a member of Lockheed Martin's scenario development team charged with developing strategies for space exploration. He was also "a senior engineer with the Martin Marietta Astronautics company, working as one of its leaders in development of advanced concepts for interplanetary missions" (The Case for Mars 1996).

He is also President of both the Mars Society and Pioneer Astronautics, a private company that does research and development on innovative aerospace technologies. Zubrin is the co-inventor on a U.S. design patent and a U.S. utility patent on a hybrid rocket/airplane, and on a U.S. utility patent on an oxygen supply system (see links below). He was awarded his first patent at age 20 in 1972 for Three Player Chess. His inventions also include the nuclear salt-water rocket.


Books written by Dr. Zubrin:

The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must (1996), with Richard Wagner. This outlines the Mars Direct plan along with speculation about the economic, social and technical viability of future Mars colonization.

Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization (1999). This ranges from the current status quo and innovative startups of the aerospace industry, through exploration and colonization of Mars, to a more futuristic look at humanity's possible colonization of the solar system and the feasibility of interstellar travel with known physics.

Mars On Earth: The Adventures of Space Pioneers in the High Arctic (2003). Zubrin recounts the origins and progress of the Mars Society's Mars Analog Research Station project, including a variety of perils, both mundane and adventurous, that were overcome in establishing the first analog Mars habitat on Devon Island in the high Arctic. He offers highlights of what has been learned so far through that effort.

First Landing (2001), a fictional tale about a near-future Mars flight using the Mars Direct plan.

The Holy Land (2003). This is an "SF satire on the Middle East crisis and the War on Terrorism, and concerns what happens when the liberal Western Galactic Empire relocates the oppressed Minervan sect to their ancient homeland of Kennewick, Washington, in the midst of a USA ruled by Christian fundamentalist fanatics."

Benedict Arnold: A Drama of the American Revolution in Five Acts (2005). This is an effort to humanize and show the multiple dimensions of Arnold, and to contrast the democratic values embodied in the spirit of the Revolution with the socially bankrupt classism embodied in the British subjects who won Arnold to their side.

Source: Wikepedia

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Last Updated: June 2011