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NASA's Dava Newman Joins NZ Science Festival

NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman Joins NZ Science Festival

NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman will join this year’s New Zealand International Science Festival, held in Dunedin, July 8-16.

Dr. Newman will speak about NASA’s Journey to Mars on Thursday July 14 at 7.30pm at the St David Lecture Theatre Complex.

As NASA’s Deputy Administrator, Dr. Newman provides overall leadership, planning, and policy direction for NASA. Dr. Newman is responsible for articulating the agency's vision and representing NASA to the Executive Office of the President, Congress, heads of federal and other appropriate government agencies, international organizations, and external organizations and communities.

Prior to her tenure with NASA, Dr. Newman was the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Her expertise is in multidisciplinary research that encompasses aerospace biomedical engineering. Her latest research efforts included advanced space suit design, dynamics and control of astronaut motion, mission analysis, and engineering systems design and policy analysis. She also had ongoing efforts in assistive technologies to augment human locomotion here on Earth.

Proudly sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, Dr. Newman, who was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in April 2015, says the U.S. is closer than ever to sending American astronauts to Mars – and closer than “anyone, anywhere, at any time has ever been.”

“A new consensus is emerging around NASA’s plan and timetable for sending astronauts to the Red Planet in the 2030s,” says Dr. Newman.

“This consensus extends to everyday dreamers who envision a future where there is a continuous human presence on Mars and where our own quality of life here on Earth is better because of the technologies that we develop to get there.

“I find that less often are folks asking, ‘Why aren’t you doing things my way?’ or ‘Is Mars the right destination?’ Rather, they’re asking questions like, ‘How can we be a part of this?’ and ‘What are some areas where we can work together?’”

NZ International Science Festival Director Chris Green says it is an incredible privilege to have Dr. Newman at this year’s 10th biennial festival.

“To have someone here at the festival like Dr. Newman, who is so actively involved in decisions around space exploration, is an opportunity not to be missed. This is a once in a lifetime event and we are so grateful to the support of the US Embassy in bringing her to the 2017 Science Festival.”

Entry to Dr. Newman’s talk is by gold coin donation. Her talk is just one of more than 170 events during the week. A full list of events can be found at


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