What can I expect from WeMartians in terms of coverage?
TL;DR (if you're short on time): Follow the social media accounts below for coverage from Sun Mar 19 to Thur Mar 23. On Friday Mar 24th, WeMartians will be touring Space Centre Houston to visit Johnson Space Centre and will provide additional content. The conference hashtag is #LPSC2017. First podcast episode will be Tuesday, Mar 28. Additional long form interviews will follow in subsequent episodes on our regular 3-week basis. Patreon Supporters should read below for bonus content info.
This is WeMartians' first in-person event and we're very excited to provide coverage for all the Martians out there. Jake has been selected as one of 48 official conference microbloggers with dedicated access to wi-fi during the event. If you're looking to follow along as it happens, our Twitter account is the one account you should follow.
Additional coverage on Facebook will include featured Mars scientists from the event with pictures of their posters or during their talks. We're interested in showcasing the diversity of talent that will be present at the event and hope to show you all kinds of people who are working to unlock the mysteries of Mars today. Instagram will show worthy images from the conference.
Episode 21 will be released on March 28th, the Tuesday after the conference. The intention is for this episode to be an overall story of the event, with short interviews from a variety of attendees and organizers. If you want the once and for all summary of everything that happened, this will be your best bet! This episode should include a good mix of science, inspiration and exploration. We should even be able to catch up with some of our past guests!
Depending on the contacts that we make on site, we could have 1-3 additional episodes that will follow on the regular schedule after 21. These episodes will be traditional long form interviews with one or more scientists who are working on Mars.
What if I'm a Patron?
The Event Itself
You might be asking yourself - what kinds of things actually happen at this event anyway? You can definitely check out the week's schedule at a glance, or the full schedule with links to the abstracts being presented. But basically, there are three major kinds of events happening.
During most of the mornings and afternoons, different presenters will be taking turns giving talks of around 15 minutes each on the subjects of their papers. These papers are organized into groups of similar research, and similar destinations in the solar system. For example, Monday morning has a three hour session on Mars Volatile Surface-Atmospheric Interactions, which is a series of talks on the effects of different substances moving from the atmosphere to the surface and back. If you remember Episode 4, Michael Aye taught us about how Carbon Dioxide cycles to the poles and back seasonally - this would be the right session for a talk like that (in fact, Michael's work is being presented in this very session!)
We'll be hitting as many of the Mars ones as possible (hitting all would require Jake to be in more than one place as once). Past guests Cassie Stuurman, Nina Lanza, and Tanya Harrison are all speaking this year. Some of the highlighted sessions I'm looking forward to:
If you don't land a talk to present your work, you might also have the chance to present your scientific findings in one of two poster sessions. These happen Tuesday and Thursday evening, and basically involve a huge conference hall with rows of posters up on walls. These posters try to summarize, with figures and other imagery, the findings on various topics so far. These posters are also categorized into different areas based on different themes.
We hope to meet a lot of people in these sessions and capture some on the scene 5-minute summaries of different work being conducted. Some of the poster categories I'm looking forward to:
Presentations & Special Events
Finally, there are a couple presentations & special events which take place throughout the conference.
The Sunday evening before is a welcome event that we'll be attending in order to catch up with past guests and try to meet some future ones.
On Monday, we'll have the chance to hear Apollo astronaut Harrison "Jack" Schmitt gives his thoughts on the recent passing of John Glenn, Edgar Mitchel and Gene Cernan. Afterwards, NASA's Science Mission directorate will address the community. That evening, the Exhibit Hall opens, which has some cool visitors we're keen to say hello to, not least of which are:
Tuesday has a special presentation called Picking a Human Landing Site on Mars: What Are We Learning? which is obviously of great interest to us Martians!
Finally, on Thursday, Lockheed Martin is hosting a workshop on how humans can use their Mars Base Camp spacecraft design to accomplish scientific objectives on Mars from orbit. Should be a blast!
Space Centre Houston
The last day of the conference is typically a short one, and we made the decision to get out early and head down to Houston to visit Space Centre Houston at the Johnson Space Centre on the Level 9 tour which is sort of a VIP tour to visit behind the scenes.
Expect some cool photos, including the Saturn V rocket, a space shuttle replica, the historic Apollo Mission Control and more. They've also opened a new Mission Mars exhibit that we're very excited to check out.
This is going to be a lot of fun. Strap in to your space couch and let's go to Mars!
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