Plenary Speakers

Monday, October 27, 2014
Gregg Maryniak 
Co-founder and Secretary of the XPRIZE foundation

Presentation Title: Fountains of the Moon
Earth’s offshore island, the moon, will provide the missing part of the puzzle that will unlock serious space exploration and commercialization

  Gregg Maryniak has served as CEO of the Space Studies Institute of Princeton, Senior Scientist of the Futron Corporation and Director of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. He was awarded Russia's Tsiolkovsky Medal for his work on harvesting the energy and material resources of free space.

‌Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Ray Arvidson
James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences Washington University in St. Louis

Presentation Title: Roving on Mars with Opportunity and Curiosity: Terramechanics and Terrain Properties


Raymond Arvidson received a Ph.D. from Brown University in 1974. He is presently the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, focusing on teaching and research about current and past environments on the Earth, Mars, and Venus. He is a fellow of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences. He has been instrumental in development and implementation of both orbital and landed missions to the planets, including participation in the Magellan Radar Orbiter Mission to Venus, Team Leader for the Viking Lander Imaging System on Mars, member of the Project Science Group for the Mars Global Surveyor Mission, Deputy Principal Investigator for the highly successful Mars Rover Missions (Spirit and Opportunity), the Robotic Arm Co-Investigator (aka “Dig Czar”) for the Mars Phoenix Lander Mission, and Co-Investigator for the hyperspectral mappers OMEGA (European Mars Express Orbiter) and CRISM (on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). Currently he is a participating scientist on the Mars Science Laboratory Mission. He is the Director of the NASA Planetary Data System Geosciences Node, making available ~100 terabytes of NASA data to the world-wide research community. He is also Director of the undergraduate Pathfinder Program in Environmental Sustainability ( He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union (AGU), received the AGU Whipple Award, has been honored as the Missouri Teacher of the Year, and is a recipient of three NASA Public Service Medals, and a number of NASA citations and awards from Washington University in Saint Louis.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Chris Lewicki
President and Chief Engineer Planetary Resources

Presentation Title: Redefining Natural Resources: The Next Audacious Step

  Chris Lewicki has been intimately involved with the lifecycle of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers and the Phoenix Mars Lander. Lewicki performed system engineering development and participated in assembly, test and launch operations for both Mars missions. He was Flight Director for the rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and the Surface Mission Manager for Phoenix. The recipient of two NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals, Lewicki has an asteroid named in his honor: 13609 Lewicki. Chris holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. At Planetary Resources, Mr. Lewicki is responsible for the strategic development of the company’s mission and vision, engagement with customers and the scientific community, serves as technical compass, and leads day to day operations.