Life in Space: the Science, the Challenges, and the Broad Horizon

Thursday 4 October 2018, 15:30 – 16:30

Location: Bremen Conference Center – DLR Hall


This event will showcase our current understanding of life in space, including the potential for extraterrestrial life and the search for life in our solar system (Ehrenfreund), and the potential for live humans to capably and safely deal with the fundamental challenges of spaceflight, including: biomedical (Mukai); long-duration life support (Mankins); and the projection of individual human capabilities and presence on the surface of another world (Newman). A clarification of these life-related issues will be provided by these distinguished panelists, and via (live) audience engagement.

Organized by:
The SETI Institute


John D. Rummel

Senior Scientist,

SETI Institute,

United States



Full Bio

Dr. John Rummel is a Senior Scientist with the SETI Institute, and chairs the Institute’s Science Advisory Board. He has previously worked at NASA Headquarters as NASA’s Senior Scientist for Astrobiology and as the Planetary Protection Officer. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990), the recipient of the Life Sciences Award from the International Academy of Astronautics (2005), and was awarded the NASA Exceptional Performance Award in 2008.



Pascale Ehrenfreund

Chair of Executive Board,

German Aerospace Center (DLR),




Full Bio

Pascale Ehrenfreund is the Chair of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center. She is also a Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs at the Space Policy Institute in Washington DC. She was a lead Investigator of the NASA Astrobiology Institute with a focus on Solar System exploration.


Chiaki Mukai

Senior Advisor, Astronaut,

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA),




Full Bio

Chiaki Mukai is Japan’s first female astronaut, and currently a JAXA Senior Advisor and Vice President of the Tokyo University of Science. She is also the Chair of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses for Outer Space. Dr. Mukai flew as a Payload Specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-65/IML-2)  in 1994, and on the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-95) mission in 1998, conducting various life science and space medicine experiments.


John C. Mankins


Mankins Space Technology, Inc.,

United States



Full Bio

John C. Mankins is Vice President of the Moon Village Association, Founder and President of Mankins Space Technology, Inc., and President of Artemis Innovation Management Solutions LLC. He is a member of the IAA and the National Space Society. While at NASA, he served as Chief Technologist for Human Space Flight and received the Medal for Exceptional Technology Achievement.


Dava J. Newman

Apollo Program Professor,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

United States



Full Bio

Dava Newman is the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Harvard–MIT Health, Sciences, and Technology faculty member, and former Deputy Administrator of NASA receiving NASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal. She is also a MacVicar Faculty Fellow (awarded for contributions to undergraduate education). As the past Director of MIT’s Technology and Policy Program (TPP), she led the Institute’s largest multidisciplinary graduate research program. She is the Director of the MIT Portugal Program 2030. She has been PI on four spaceflight experiments to investigate astronaut performance on the Shuttle, Mir Space Station and ISS, and is known for her revolutionary BioSuit™ Mars spacesuit.