Moving to Mars: My childhood dream to live on the red planet

Dr Gabi Wojtowitz & Dr Adriana Marais | 24 April 2019 | 22:47 


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Show notes

Is there life on Mars? The expansion of our society beyond this planet is within reach, according to NASA, which plans to send humans to Mars by the 2030s. While experts say that travelling to the red planet will soon be possible, it is still not known whether we can survive there.

Dr Adriana Marais is one of Africa’s foremost physicists and an aspiring extra-terrestrial, having dreamt of living on another planet since childhood. She is currently one of the 100 astronaut candidates shortlisted for a one-way trip to Mars in a mission to establish a permanent human settlement. But with a lack of funding, will Mars One get off the ground?

In this episode of Engineering Reimagined, Aurecon Associate Dr Gabi Wojtowitz, interviews Adriana about her motivation for moving to Mars and why we should be excited about the future. We also chat about how engineers can contribute to the pursuit of space discovery and why the SKA telescope will help to drive innovation.

With limited resources on Earth, what are the possibilities of mining the asteroid belt beyond Mars? “Whatever element you're looking for, there's probably an asteroid with your name on it,” says Adriana.

Meet our guest and host

Learn more about Gabi Wojtowitz and Adriana Marais.

Gabi Wojtowitz

Gabi Wojtowitz

Geotechnical Engineer

“When astronomers can understand the formation and evolution of the first stars, what will they do with this information that can help us today?”

Dr Gabi Wojtowitz is an Associate and Geotechnical Engineer at Aurecon. In Gabi’s nearly 14 years in the industry, she has played a role in the foundation and ground engineering on many complex projects. Her career highlights include being part of the Deep Foundations Geotechnical Team that is supporting world-renowned architect and engineer, Santiago Calatrava. Follow Gabi on LinkedIn:

Adriana Marais

Adriana Marais

Aspiring Extraterrestrial

“Space exploration seems to be an extreme but effective way of really forcing people to think differently by achieving really improbable things.”

Adriana is a physicist and innovator, who has raised her hand to go and live on Mars. She is also the Head of Innovation at SAP Africa, has a background in physics and holds an MSc in quantum cryptography and a PhD in quantum biology. Adriana has authored numerous academic and public articles and has received a range of awards. Follow Adriana on social media:

Watch this space | Adriana Marais | TEDxCapeTown

An explorer at heart, Adriana speaks to the adventurer in all of us. Her studies in quantum biology and passion for space have lead her being selected as one of the final candidates to set up a colony on Mars.

Adriana shares her reasoning for her jumping at the opportunity for a one-way ticket to Mars and invites us all to explore our boundaries just a little more. (Source: TEDx Talks)

Play video Adriana Marais speaking at TEDx in Cape Town, South Africa

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