Mankind to Mars with Andrew Fazekas, The Night Sky Guy

National Geographic Live November 10 & 11 at 7:30pm


The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica presents the second event in the National Geographic Live series – Mankind to Mars with National Geographic science writer/broadcaster and moderator, Andrew Fazekas on November 10 and 11. The event includes a post-show Q&A with the panel.

Andrew Fazekas will lead a lively conversation with prominent Mars experts, dramatized in stunning visuals from National Geographic Channel’s groundbreaking new miniseries, MARS. Joined by Fazekas onstage will be Dr. Robert D. Braun, space systems engineer, technologist and organizational leader and Dr. Jedidah Isler, astrophysicist, TED speaker and 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer.

The year is 2032. Welcome aboard the first manned mission to Mars. Ahead of you lies about 45 million miles of empty space, followed by an 18-month assignment on a planet of globe-spanning dust storms, average temperatures of -55°C (-70° F), and a toxic atmosphere of carbon dioxide.

Produced in tandem with National Geographic Channel’s groundbreaking new miniseries MARS, this lively conversation finds Fazekas making predictions about the epic voyage with leading Mars authorities. Meanwhile, stunning feature-film quality visuals and expert interviews produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Michael Rosenberg explore how those predictions may play out. Our first footstep on Mars is as close as two decades away, and Mankind to Mars offers a glimpse into the minds of the brilliant scientists and engineers who are working to take our next giant leap.

National Geographic Live events are thought-provoking presentations by today’s leading explorers, scientists, and photographers.  Upcoming events in the series at The Broad Stage include: The Mystery of Our Human Story with Lee Berger, paleoanthropologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence (April 6-7, 2017) and Rhinos, Rickshaws & Revolutions: My Search for the Truth with Ami Vitale, National Geographic photographer (May 18 – 19, 2017).

The Eli & Edythe Broad Stage
1310 11th St. Santa Monica CA 90401. Parking is free

Thursday, November 10 at 7:30pm
Friday, November 11 at 7:30pm

Run Time:  Approximately 70 minutes, no intermission, plus Q&A with the panel.

Tickets:        Starting at $50.  Prices are subject to change.
Phone:         Patron Services at 310.434.3200
In Person:    Box office at 1310 11th St. Santa Monica CA 90401
beginning three hours prior to performance.


About Andrew Fazekas
Andrew Fazekas, aka The Night Sky Guy, is a science writer, broadcaster, and lecturer who shares his passion for the wonders of the universe through all media. He is a columnist for National Geographic where he authors the popular online weekly StarStruck column, and is also a syndicated space news contributor on radio and TV networks. Andrew is the author of ‘Star Trek The Official Guide to Our Universe: The True Science Behind the Starship Voyages‘ which explores the real science of the popular science-fiction series’ on its 50th anniversary.

About Dr. Robert Braun
Dr. Robert D. Braun has nearly 30 years experience as a space systems engineer, technologist, and organizational leader. He is a recognized authority in the development of entry, descent and landing systems and the advancement of space technology. He leads an active research program focused on the design of advanced flight systems and technologies for planetary exploration and has contributed to the formulation, development, and operation of multiple space flight missions. He joined Georgia Tech in 2003. Prior to joining the Georgia Tech faculty, Dr. Braun was a member of the technical staff of the NASA Langley Research Center for 16 years. In January 2017, Dr. Braun will begin service as the Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Vice Chair of the National Academies Space Studies Board, an AIAA Fellow, Editor-in-Chief of the AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, and the author or co-author of over 300 technical publications. Dr. Braun received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State, M.S. in Astronautics from the George Washington University, and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University.

About Dr. Jedidah Isler
Jedidah Isler has been staring at the stars since she was 11 or 12. But because neither her undergraduate college or the university where she got her first master’s degree offered astronomy majors, she threw herself wholeheartedly into physics. It wasn’t until she entered a doctoral program that she was able to dedicate her time to the studying the night sky. In 2014, she became the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D in Astrophysics from Yale.

Isler studies blazars — supermassive hyperactive black holes at the center of galaxies, some of which emit powerful streams of particles. Sometimes these are oriented toward Earth, offering us a unique perspective on the physics of the universe. Isler is a Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow in Physics at Syracuse University. She participates in the Future Faculty Leader program at Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics and was named a 2015 TED Fellow.

Isler is also interested in breaking down barriers that prevent many students — especially women of color — from becoming scientists. She works to make STEM accessible to new communities.


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