Dr. Robert Zubrin
Ph.D. is President of
The Mars Society and of
The purpose of the Mars Society is to further the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet. They will accomplish this through:
- Public outreach fostering Mars pioneers
- Worldwide support for government-funded Mars research and exploration
- Private-enterprise Mars exploration and settlement
Pioneer Astronautics is a hands-on research and development company dedicated to inventing and proving new technologies to advance humanity’s reach into space and to improve life on Earth.
Since their founding in January 1996, Pioneer’s innovative team has proven successful in demonstrating a series of dramatic innovations that have the potential to open up radical new capabilities for space exploration systems. Their areas of research have included new methods of rocket propulsion, systems for manufacturing rocket fuel and oxygen on Mars, spacesuit breathing systems, solar sails, magnetic sails, Mars balloon systems, and robotic Mars rocket hoppers. Their customers have included NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Kennedy Space Center, Jet Propulsion Lab, the NASA Institute of Advance Concepts, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, and the United States Air Force Phillips Lab.
Robert is an American aerospace engineer and author, best known for his advocacy of the manned exploration of Mars. 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”.
He questions the delay and cost-to-benefit ratio of first establishing a base or outpost on an asteroid or another Apollo Program-like return to the Moon, as neither would be able to provide all of its own oxygen, water, or energy; these resources are producible on Mars, and he expects people would be there thereafter
Robert earned his B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Rochester (1974), his M.S. in Nuclear Engineering (1984), his M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics (1986), and his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering (1992) — 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 six 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.
Robert 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.
He authored Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization, How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet, Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil, and First Landing, and coedited Islands in the Sky: Bold New Ideas for Colonizing Space.
Watch Robert Zubrin, Opening Remarks — Robert Zubrin — 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention, and Inspiration Mars Panel — Dennis Tito & Robert Zubrin — 16th Annual Mars Society Convention. Listen to Robert on The Space Show hosted by Dr. David Livingston. Read A Conversation With Robert Zubrin and Robert Zubrin on why we should go to Mars. View his Facebook page. Read his LinkedIn profile and his Wikipedia profile.