Friday, April 12, 2019 7:30-9:00pm


First Parish in Cambridge 1446 Mass. Ave. Harvard Square


5:30-7:30pm on Palmer St. in Harvard Square Palmer Street Solar System Take Over On your way to First Parish, stroll through the solar system and stencil the stars and moons on the street amidst giant inflatable planets.

After Party

Zero Gravity Space Bar Reception Enjoy a Zero Gravity beer and chat about Mars with other opening night participants and guests. Cheers!

50 years after humans walked on the moon, we look to the next major destination: Mars.

How exactly will we get to Mars, and back? Can the red planet support life, including human visitors from Earth? Why Mars, and what’s next? Join John Durant, Cambridge Science Festival founder and MIT Museum Director, and Mars experts to prepare for an epic journey.


Jeffrey Hoffman

Professor of the Practice of Aerospace Engineering, MIT NASA Astronaut 1978-1997
Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman’s primary research interests are in improving the technology of space suits and designing innovative space systems for human and robotic space exploration. As a NASA astronaut Jeff made five space flights, becoming the first astronaut to log 1000 hours of flight time aboard the Space Shuttle. He is Deputy Principal Investigator of MOXIE, an experiment on NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, which will produce oxygen from extraterrestrial material. In 2007, he was elected to the US Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Maria Zuber


E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics, Vice President for Research, MIT
Dr. Maria Zuber oversees MIT Lincoln Laboratory and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research laboratories and centers. Maria is also responsible for intellectual property and research integrity and compliance, as well as research relationships with the federal government. Her research bridges planetary geophysics and the technology of space-based laser and radio systems. Since 1990, she has held leadership roles associated with scientific experiments or instrumentation on ten NASA missions.

Christopher Maurer

Christopher Maurer

Principal Architect and founder at redhouse studio architecture
Christopher Maurer is an architect, innovator, and humanitarian. Working in limited-resource environments has inspired Christopher to reduce material inputs and leverage and building process to make maximum positive impact. In research, he is working with leading scientists at NASA and MIT to develop and promote new “bioterials” which can change the way we build and live.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 26: Stephen Petranek speaks at the National Geographic Channel "MARS" Premiere NYC on October 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for National Geographic Channel)

Stephen Petranek

Author of “How We Will Live on Mars,” from Simon & Schuster
Stephen Petranek's talk “10 Ways The World Could End Suddenly” is one of the most popular TED talks of all time, and his Mars TED talk has been watched 3.5 million times. Stephen is co-executive producer of the National Geographic’s Mars documentary series, and science advisor to the series. He was editor-in-chief of the Discover for eight years, editor-in-chief of The Washington Post Magazine for more than a decade, senior editor at Life Magazine, and editor-in-chief of Breakthrough Technology Alert, a science-based newsletter for investors.