Hosted by the University, the Engineering Maths Science and Technology Association (EMSTA) annual prestige seminar will pose the question: Mars – Man or Machine?

Mars - Man or Machine?

NASA is planning to put a man on Mars by 2030 and Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, is working to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. The EMSTA 2017 seminar intends to explore the technical and human challenges of extended space travel and how to survive on Mars, a distant hostile planet.


The seminar will be chaired by Professor Yang Gao, FIET FRAeS, Associate Dean (International) of Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Professor of Space Autonomous Systems, Surrey Space Centre.

The first speaker, Dr Tanya Lim, will cover the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), which is currently at Mars aerobraking towards its science orbit - expected to be reached in April 2018. One aspect of the mission of particular interest is the study of the origins of methane, which potentially are biological.

The second speaker, Abbie Hutty, will describe ExoMars Rover, Europe’s first Rover mission to Mars – a mission in search of life, past or present.

The third speaker Nick Spall will talk about Man or Machine? After talking about routes for humans to Mars, he will describe what it will do to the body, and the mind. He will discuss surface operations and issues (dust, radiation, resource utilisation) and the effectiveness of human operations.

More information and booking

Registration and light refreshments from 18:00. Seminar 18:45 - 21:30

The seminar is free to attend, advance booking is required  - book online to attend this event

Further information about EMSTA

Further information about studying at the University of Hertfordshire


The Weston Auditorium, de Havilland Campus, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB