The mysteries of the mind, Israel’s greatest exit and Technion and the Crown – all in the latest edition of Technion LIVE – hot technology news from Israel!
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The mysteries of the mind, Israel’s greatest exit and Technion and the Crown – all in the latest edition of Technion LIVE – hot technology news from Israel!
“Your future is here”: 700 outstanding high school students take part in Tech Women at Technion this month.
“Your future is here,” announced computer science student Karen Yitzhak to the group of excellent female high school students attending this year’s Tech Women, which she hosted.
Arriving at Technion City from Israel’s four corners, the 700 female students are presently excelling in math and science at school. During the Tech Women even at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology the students met with researchers, faculty, and graduates, touring laboratories and encountering a range of research fields.
Tech Women events are held at the initiation of the Rosalyn August Women Girls Empowerment Mission (GEM) and are designed to inspire female students with the field of possibility and opportunity at Technion and to encourage them to pursue undergraduate studies in science and engineering.
“Already in the Technion’s first class in 1924, the 17 students studied included one female. This was at a time when, in many countries, academia was closed to women. Since its first day, the Technion has received male and female students based on their abilities alone and regardless of religion, race and gender,” said Prof. Alon Wolf, Vice President for External Relations and Resource Development who opened the event. “You also came here to the Technion today because of your abilities. If you want to influence the future of the world and determine what it will look like in fifty years’ time, come study at the Technion.”
The opening event was hosted by student Keren Yitzhak, who began her studies at the Technion Preparatory Program some five years ago and will soon complete here bachelor’s degree in computer science. “You were selected to attend this event because you are brilliant, and we have no doubt that your future is here,” said Yitzhak, who in parallel to her studies works at Melanox. “Even if you aren’t sure what you want to do when you grow up, the Technion is a great starting point for you.”
Dr. Rotem Vishinkin, who received her PhD from the Technion this year, spoke about her path at Technion and about the studies she conducted under the guidance of Prof. Hossam Haick of the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering. In recent years, Dr. Vishinkin innovated a sticker to diagnose tuberculosis. The development, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
and the European Union, is expected to save the lives of millions of people in developing countries through early diagnosis and compatible care. “As a young girl, I dreamed of becoming a doctor,” she told the students. “But in the end, I chose chemical engineering studies, where I combine engineering and life sciences. As the director of the Apatch group, where research partners from academia, hospitals and various companies are developing a sticker to diagnose tuberculosis, I feel that I’m making a unique and significant contribution to humanity.”
The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology salutes the Apollo 11 heroes who landed on the moon 50 years ago. Buzz Aldrin, who will soon be celebrating his 90th birthday, was an honored guest at Technion Israel during the International Space University, which held its international program at Technion City.
The first moon landing, starring Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, took place 50 years ago on July 20th, 1969. Armstrong descended from the lander to the moon, followed by Aldrin, who described the scene as a “spectacular wilderness” – a phrase he would later use as the title of his autobiography. The astronauts set up the US flag and a memorial plaque on the moon; carried out some pre-determined scientific missions; and spoke to the US President Richard Nixon. They then boarded the lander and returned to Columbia, the commanding cell, where Michael Collins, their colleague on the mission, was waiting for them all the time to orbit the moon. Apollo 11 began its journey back home. They positioned the flag of the United States of American on the moon, together with several other items, including greetings from 73 national leaders. One of these was from the President of the State of Israel, Zalman Shazar, who wrote: “From the President of Israel in Jerusalem, as long as there is a moon, there will be peace.”
Dr. Buzz Aldrin visited the Technion in 2016. In his lecture at the Technion, Dr. Aldrin said: “I have no doubt that I am lucky. My mother was born when the Wright brothers made the first flights in history, and my father was one of the pioneers of the aviation world. I just flew jets in the Korean War and made spacewalks, and yet I got to go on the moon.”
Dr. Aldrin, a graduate of West Point Military Academy and a former combat pilot, received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1963. He was accepted as an astronaut in 1963 and in the summer of 1969, he landed on the moon. “We got a chance to land on the moon, and the opportunity became a milestone, an event that changed the history of mankind,” he said in his lecture at the Technion. “Humanity has succeeded in setting foot in a new and entirely different place: 400,000 people have been involved in the success of this mission and half a billion have watched us in that historical event.”
Over the last three decades, Dr. Aldrin has invested most of his time in the mission of manning Mars. He established the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute in Florida to promote settlement on Mars, with the target year of 2040. “Mars is the island waiting for us in the dark of space: Get your Ass to Mars, because there, as President Kennedy said about the mission of landing on the moon, we have a connection with fate.”
This year, following the crash of the Israeli ship Bereshit, Aldrin tweeted to the project’s people: “Never despair – your efforts, your innovation and the work of your team are an inspiration to us all.”
Like his colleague, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, was born in 1930. As a teenager, he worked hard to finance the flight rates that were his ultimate ambition, and at the age of 16, he received a pilot’s license. At the age of 20, he was a fighter pilot, and in the next two years, he performed almost 80 combat flights in Korea. In 1966, as a fresh astronaut, he saved himself and his crew after a dangerous mishap at Gemini 8.
Over the next three years, Armstrong gained extensive experience on the ground and in space and was eventually appointed the commander of the first moon landing mission, Apollo 11. And so on July 20, the voice in the control room said: “Here is the calm sea base. After performing all the steps required for the historic march, he reported this time to half a billion listeners and viewers: “A small step for man, a tremendous leap for mankind.” Four days later, on July 24, 1969, Apollo 11 landed in the Pacific Ocean.
In July 2007, Armstrong visited Madatech in Haifa and spoke with students from the north of Israel. In response to one of the questions, he said that: “the purpose of the flight to the moon was to expand our knowledge, and indeed, we learned that the human race is not connected to the earth in chains, we can go out and live in other places.”
The Adelis Award for groundbreaking brain research was presented at Technion to Dr. Yaniv Ziv of the Weizmann Institute of Science
The Adelis Brain Research Award was granted last week at Technion to Dr. Yaniv Ziv, a researcher at the Department of Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute of Science. The 2019 Brain Research Award was presented to Dr. Ziv by Rebecca Boukhris and Sidney Boukhris, Trustees of the Adelis Foundation and by Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie. The award ceremony took place at the Technion Board of Governors meeting on June 16, 2019
Prof. Lavie thanked the representatives of the Adelis Foundation for its tremendous contributions to brain research in Israel and for their generous donation to Technion for the establishment of the André Deloro Building for Biosciences, Medicine and Engineering. He said, “The brain, to a large extent, is still a black box, and studies like those of Dr. Ziv give us a glimpse inside that box. This ceremony is an opportunity to congratulate not only the prize recipient but also their mentor, Prof. Michal Schwartz, winner of the 2019 EMET Prize in Life Sciences. Prof. Schwartz also supervised the 2017 Adelis Prizewinner, Prof. Asya Rolls of the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, and the lesson here is that it is important to choose the right mentor.”
Rebecca Boukhris, Trustee of the Adelis Foundation, said that “We are proud to support talented young scientists like Yaniv, and in this way promote and encourage brain research in Israel. The future of Israel depends on its young people because today’s youth will build tomorrow’s world, so it is important to encourage young people to ask, learn, demonstrate curiosity, and broaden their imagination. This is the only way we can expand the circle of excellence that Israel needs.”
The Adelis Foundation, established in 2006 by the late Mr. André Cohen Deloro, of blessed memory, aspires to make a meaningful impact on the lives of Israeli citizens and strengthen Israel as a successful, secure and prosperous nation in the following key areas: scientific and medical research; education; and societal welfare. The Foundation supports academic excellence in Israel, and in particular medical and scientific research. In 2015, in keeping with the legacy of the Foundation’s founder and in loyalty to his vision, the foundation inaugurated the Adelis Brain Research Award which grants $100,000 annually to an outstanding young Israeli researcher.
The purpose of the award is to encourage excellence among young Israeli scientists in the field of brain research; to advance our knowledge and understanding of the brain, its functioning, and the diseases connected with it; and to achieve international scientific impact.
Brain research is a leading global scientific research priority.
The award panel of judges comprises senior figures from Israel’s scientific community: Dr. Gal Ifergane, Prof. Moshe Bar, Prof. Illana Gozes, Prof. Eilon Vaadia, Prof. Jackie Shiller, Prof. Rafi Malach, Prof. Noam Ziv, and Prof. Michal Schwartz, veteran leading Israeli brain researchers.
In the award’s fifth year, the Adelis Foundation was both pleased and proud, to witness many high-quality proposals representing Israeli potential in the field of brain research.
The main criteria for the Adelis Prize are excellence, innovation and achievements. The judges had a difficult task, given the diversity of the submissions and their high level. The 2019 award was granted to Dr. Yaniv Ziv, a researcher at the Department of Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Professor Jackie Shiller of the Technion presented the judges’ decision:
“We are proud to announce Dr. Yaniv Ziv from Weizmann Institute as the 2019 Adelis laureate. The prize committee found Dr. Ziv’s past and present contributions, his long-term goals, and the overall importance of his research to warrant the prize. Dr. Ziv deals with the one of most fundamental and important questions in brain research, how the brain forms new memories, how it maintains these memories stable despite a constant instability in neuronal function. Dr. Ziv uses the most advanced methods to study the neuronal network with high spatial and temporal precision over time. His methods using novel computational approaches including machine learning yielded exciting new insights about how our memories are represented and stored. Despite being a young researcher, Dr. Ziv is already known worldwide and well esteemed for his outstanding contributions to the field”.
Dr. Yaniv Ziv earned a BSc in biology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2001. He completed a PhD program in neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2007. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Biology at Stanford University starting in 2008 and joined the Department of Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute in 2014. His academic and professional honors include the 2007 Otto Schwartz Foundation award for excellence in studies and research, and the Weizmann Institute of Science Award for an outstanding PhD thesis in 2007. He was awarded the Rothschild Foundation postdoctoral fellowship and the Machiah Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. In 2014 he was awarded the Sieratzki Prize for Advances in Neuroscience, and in 2018 appointed CIFAR-Azrieli Global Scholar in the Brain, Mind and Consciousness program. Dr. Yaniv Ziv is married to Dr. Michal Ziv (a clinical psychologist) and has three kids, Romy, Noa and Itamar. Research in Dr. Ziv’s lab focuses on the neural mechanisms of long-term memory.
The main objective of Dr. Ziv’s research, funded by Adelis, is to identify the principles that underlie the storage and organization of information in long-term memory. Towards this goal, the Ziv lab is applying novel optical imaging and computational analysis methods that they have developed. These methods allow tracking the coding properties of large populations of the same neurons over many weeks and analyzing how their joint activity patterns change over time and as a function of experience. Ziv’s current research centers on neural coding in the hippocampus and related cortical circuits that are crucial for spatial navigation and for the formation and processing of memories for places and events. The proposed research aims to represent the structure of relationships between neuronal activity patterns that underlie specific experiences and address fundamental questions that could not have been addressed before. For example: How do hippocampal neural code change during learning, and what aspects of the codes are degraded in forgetting? Can individual neurons be fungible (i.e. mutually interchangeable) for memory storage? And, to what extent are memories of different experiences similarly organized in the brains of different individuals?
On Monday, 10.6.2019, between 11:00 – 14:00, the Neve Sha’anan Gate will be closed to traffic.
This coming Monday, 10.6.2019, a traffic sign gantry will be erected at the Neve Sha’anan Gate at Technion City.
When the gantry is being lifted into place, (between 11:00 – 14:00), the Neve Sha’anan Gate will be closed to
Cars that want to enter the campus during the aforementioned time frame can do so via Nesher
The exit via Neve Sha’anan Gate will remain open throughout the lifting operation.
In an emergency, please contact the Security Center by calling 2222.
- Board of Governors
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ארבעה סטודנטים מצטיינים מהטכניון חזרו מקורנל-טק לאחר שפיתחו שם יישומים חדשניים בתחומים שונים
הדס אורגד, מרוה מועלם, עוזי סמג’ה וחאדי חדאר התחילו את שנת הלימודים הנוכחית אחרי חווית קיץ ייחודית: שהות בקמפוס קורנל-טק בניו יורק. הקמפוס, שהחל לפעול הקיץ ונחנך רשמית ב-13 בספטמבר, הוקם בעקבות זכייתם של הטכניון ואוניברסיטת קורנל בתחרות שיזם ראש עיריית ניו יורק לשעבר, מייקל בלומברג. במסגרת הקמפוס פועל מכון טכניון-קורנל ע”ש ג’ייקובס.
שהותם של ארבעת הסטודנטים מהטכניון בקורנל-טק היא חלק מתוכנית לחילופי סטודנטים בין שני המוסדות. לדברי לירז מנצ’ל, אחראית קשרי טכניון-ג’ייקובס, “אנחנו בוחרים את הסטודנטים שלנו בקפידה, והתגובות בהתאם – המנחים שמארחים אותם שם מתפעלים מאוד מרמת הידע שלהם ומתפלאים שרובם סטודנטים לתואר ראשון שמעולם לא עסקו במחקר. השהות בקורנל-טק כמובן מעשירה את הסטודנטים אבל גם תורמת תרומה משמעותית למחקר בקורנל טק, ולכן נוצר שם ביקוש לסטודנטים נוספים שיגיעו בקיץ הבא. התקווה שלנו היא שבעקבות הקשרים האלה ייווצרו קשרי מחקר ארוכי טווח בין פרופסורים משני המוסדות.”
עוזי סמג’ה, חיפאי, כבר מתחיל ליצור קשר כזה. “הגעתי לקורנל טק בתחילת הלימודים שלי לתואר שני ועבדתי עם פרופ’ מור נעמן ממכון טכניון-קורנל על דפוסים של קריאת טקסט. הרעיון הוא להבין מה הקורא רואה, כמה זמן הוא עוצר על טקסט, מתי הוא חוזר לפיסקאות קודמות. זה משהו שהייתי רוצה להמשיך כאן במסגרת התואר השני, ואני מקווה שתהיה לי הנחייה משותפת של פרופ’ נעמן עם חבר סגל מהטכניון.”
הטכניון מספק למשתתפים בתוכנית כרטיס טיסה, ביטוח רפואי והוצאות קיום בסך 2,500 דולר. רוב הסטודנטים שוהים כ-8 שבועות בקורנל טק וזו עבורם ההזדמנות הראשונה להשתתף במחקר אקדמי. מרוה מועלם מהכפר עילבון עשתה את הקיץ בקורנל-טק בהנחיית פרופ’-משנה יואב ארצי החוקר את הממשק בין למידה עמוקה לעיבוד שפה טבעית. היא התמקדה ביכולתם של רובוטים להבין הוראות פעולה כתובות שהם מקבלים. מרוה הגיעה לטכניון אחרי לימודים בתיכון הישראלי למדעים ולאמנויות בירושלים. כיום היא לומדת לתואר ראשון כפול – מתמטיקה ומדעי המחשב – במסגרת תוכנית רוטשילד טכניון למצוינים (שנה ג’).
האדי ח’דר מהכפר ואדי חמאם לומד גם הוא במסגרת תוכנית רוטשילד טכניון למצוינים וזו השנה האחרונה ללימודיו במסלול הכפול של פיזיקה ומדעי המחשב. “הנסיעה לקורנל הייתה הזדמנות ראשונה לעבוד על בעיה מעשית משמעותית ולהרגיש שיש כאן תרומה ממשית לחברה.” בהנחיית פרופ’ איתי גורביץ הוא חקר, מנקודת מבט של מודלים מתמטיים, את הבעיה של התאמת תרומות כליה למטופלים הנזקקים להן. “יתכן שאני רוצה לתרום לאחי כליה, אבל עקב אי התאמה זה בלתי אפשרי. יתכן שהפתרון טמון בכך שמישהו אחר יתרום לאחי כליה ואני אתרום לאחיו של אותו תורם. יש כאן אפשרויות מורכבות מאוד ולכן חשוב מאוד לפתח מנגנון שעשוי לפתור אותן באמצעים מתמטיים.”
הדס אורגד, ילידת נתניה הלומדת גם היא בפקולטה למדעי המחשב (שנה ב’), השתתפה בקורנל-טק בפיתוח אמצעי הגנה על משתמשי אנדרואיד מפני מעקב. לדבריה, “רבים מהיישומים החוקיים שאפשר להוריד ב-Play Store של אנדרואיד מאפשרות לגורם חיצוני לעקוב אחר המשתמש. האפשרות הזאת מנוצלת בעיקר בהקשר של אלימות בתוך התא הזוגי, כשבן הזוג של הקורבן מטיל עליו אימה ומשבש את חייו באמצעות אותם יישומים. מאחר שלא מדובר ברוגלות קלאסיות (spyware), אפליקציות האנטי-וירוס הקיימות בשוק לא מזהות אותן ולא מתריעות מפניהן. הפרופסורים שהנחו אותי שם, טום רינסטפרט וניקי דל, פיתחו ‘רשימה שחורה’ של אפליקציות קיימות עבור משתמשים שרוצים להגן על עצמם מפני מעקב כזה. הבעיה היא ששוק האפליקציות מתחדש בקצב מסחרר, ולכן התמקדתי בפיתוח תוכנה שמזהה אפליקציות כאלה גם אם אינן כלולות באותה רשימה שחורה.”
מרוה מועלם והאדי ח’דר
The Israeli ambassador H.E. Mark Regev welcomed representatives of the Technion to the Grosvenor Hotel where they held a private briefing on the activities of the Technion.
London, 08.12.2017 – Israel’s Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev welcomed representatives from the Technion to an exclusive private breakfast briefing at the Grosvenor Hotel on the current activities at the Technion. A lively room of over one hundred people came to listen to top investors discuss the latest start up opportunities available from its cutting edge scientific and technological knowledge and capabilities, the Technion Research & Development Foundation (TRDF).
Ambassador Regev remarked that, “Israel is rapidly establishing itself as a key component for global development. Technology innovation is becoming a major export with much larger nations like the USA and China are capitalising on the 21st century technology, innovation and conceptual products produced in Israel. I am very pleased to be here supporting the Technion, an institution that is developing future technology that will change the world.”
Professor Wayne D. Kaplan, Executive Vice President for Research of the Technion and Director of the Technion Research & Development Foundation, speaking at the event said, “Technion is a research university effervescent with new technologies, all firmly based in fundamental science. The academic, intellectual, entrepreneurial and innovative spirit on campus is tangible – you can feel it. I welcome all those in the UK to come and see for yourselves how our people are disrupting this space for generations to come. Our research at the Technion is not carried out in a vacuum but with a reason and a vision for the future.”
An independent analysis commissioned by the Technion showed that in Israel alone, in less than 20 years Technion alumni have started more than 1600 companies that created 100,000 jobs, and have a combined revenue of nearly $30 billion.
Eddy Shalev, co-founder of Genesis Partners and one of first venture capital funds in Israel remarked: “Technion people have instilled two ingrained skill sets, financial and technical. There are a mix of disciplines where there is opportunity to invest, including chip design, hardware, software, cyber and med-tech. In 1996, direct foreign investment in Israel was around $5 billion a year. In 2016 it was $22 billion. Some three hundred multinationals now have big operations in Israel employing thousands of people and the Technion is a key contributor to this amazing growth.”
Jonathan Metliss, Governor of the Technion who chaired the event in his opening welcome said, “When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that ‘Israel had to innovate or perish’ it encapsulated the spirit of the ‘start-up nation.’ Israel in its isolation from mainstream commerce with its geographical neighbours linked with the discipline from military service were major contributors to developing a technology sector that now employs over 270,000 people. This innovation has allowed Israel to become a key player on the global technology stage.”
A study from the lab of Prof. Noam Adir of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology: natural evolutionary processes prevent the presence of dangerous and potentially lethal molecular interactions by avoiding the presence of specific protein sequences in microorganisms. They found these sequences by a novel method – looking for what is missing in biological data sets. The group then experimentally showed that when these sequences are present in a protein, bacterial growth is indeed inhibited. The study was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.
Evolution is an ongoing process, whereby those individuals of species that are the most fit for their environment have more offspring and thus out-compete less fit individuals. The individual’s fitness is a product of the quality of its cellular biochemistry, made possible by the thousands of enzymes that allow its physiology to perform all of the necessary chemical reactions that allow the cell to live. Deficiency in these molecular functions can lead to disease, loss of adaptability to environmental changes, or weakness against other organisms. The molecular machines that make life possible are large polymers made up of linear sequences of building blocks that contain different chemical functions: proteins, DNA, and RNA. Biological variety is a result of the evolutionary changes in these polymers, first and foremost the result of the astronomic number of possible permutations in the order of the 20 naturally occurring amino acid (AA) residues that are the building blocks of proteins. There are 8,000 possible sequences of three AAs, 160,000 sequences of four AAs, over 3 million sequences of five AAs and so on. Since proteins can contain between hundreds to thousands of AAs, the possibilities are endless.
The millions of different protein sequences found in all organisms determine the three-dimensional structures that give proteins the ability to function correctly. Proteins in cells can work alone or associate correctly with other cellular components, while avoiding incorrect and harmful associations with other components. Changes to the sequences naturally occur due to mutations (single site, or larger changes due to more dramatic sequence shuffling) of an organism’s DNA – the genetic material. Changes due to mutations can lead to new positive characteristics, or they may have negative consequences to the organism’s viability. A mutation that has a negative effect may prevent the organism from competing with other organisms in its environment, eventually leading to its demise. One could predict that over time, evolutionary pressure would work against the presence of organisms containing these internally lethal sequences and they would disappear.
Over the past few years, there has been a world-wide effort to obtain the entire DNA sequences (the entire genomes) of many organisms. These data have given us the ability to predict all of the possible protein sequences (the proteome) that might exist in organisms as simple as bacteria or as complicated as humans. Prof. Adir and his students, Dr. Sharon Penias-Navon and Ms. Tali Schwartzman, hypothesized that the huge amount of data made available by modern genomics would allow them to look for short sequences that occur less often than expected or are completely missing in the organism’s proteome. They developed a computer program that searched the many existing data sets to identify short sequences that are underrepresented (URSs). While they found that most of the sequences of three or four AAs indeed do exist at their expected frequency in the proteins of different organisms, URSs do exist. They used the program to search for URSs in the proteomes of many different organisms (especially pathogenic microorganisms) and found that different organisms have different URSs. Adir and Penias-Navon wanted to prove that these URSs are indeed harmful, and they hypothesized that protein synthesis (translation) by the ribosome is the function that URSs might harm.
They embedded bacterial URSs (identified in the proteome of the gut bacterium E. coli) comprised of three or four AAs in a normal protein sequence, and showed that no matter where they put the URS, protein translation was inhibited. They showed that these same E. coli URSs had no effect on protein translation in human cells, showing that the effect is species specific. They further showed that one four-AA URS was powerful enough to inhibit translation completely to the point where the growth of the bacterial cells was significantly reduced: these are indeed lethal sequences. Adir and Navon suggested that URSs could be used as highly specific anti-microbial agents, and a patent, together with the Technion, was submitted.
In order to obtain even more precise molecular details on the action of the URS, they initiated a collaboration with Prof. Joseph Puglisi and his student Dr. Guy Kornberg of Stanford University, who are experts in following protein translation in single ribosomes, thereby obtaining direct information on the translation reaction mechanism. Using these single molecule methods, the inhibitory effect of the existence of a URS on translation was confirmed. Their methods enabled a precise determination of the site of inhibition. They found that as soon as the URS AAs enter the entrance to the ribosomal nascent protein exit tunnel, translation is inhibited.
Each year, the International Space University honors the memory of one of its greatest supporters, Dr. Gerald Soffen, with a lecture featuring a prominent visionary in the space sector. Few are more visionary than ISU’s Chancellor and Apollo 11 moonwalker, Dr. Buzz Aldrin.
Buzz Aldrin, most famously known as the second man to walk on the Moon is hands-on with the next big dream: humanity’s next big frontier – getting people to Mars.
On Tuesday 28th July 2016 at the Technion the 86-year-old space man addressed the 2016 class of the International Space University, sharing his experiences as an astronaut and his mission not only to fly people to the Red Planet, but also to “maintain a permanent human presence on Mars.”
“There’s no greater endeavor that humanity will undertake for generations to come than to create a permanent presence on another planet in the solar system.”
Recalling the impact of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon he said that, “The world welcomed us back as heroes. But we understood that they were [not] just cheering for three guys. It was what we represented: a nation, and the world coming together. We had accomplished the impossible and the true value of Apollo is the amazing story of innovation and teamwork that overcame many obstacles to reach the Moon.”
Buzz Aldrin earned his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at MIT and wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous. He was selected by NASA in 1963 into the third group of astronauts, and earned the nickname “Dr. Rendezvous.” The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised are still used today. He also pioneered underwater training techniques, as a substitute for zero gravity flights, to simulate spacewalking.
In 1966 on the Gemini 12 orbital mission, Buzz set an EVA record for a 5 ½ hour spacewalk. On July 20, 1969, Buzz and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. They spent 21 hours on the lunar surface and returned with 46 pounds of moon rocks. An estimated 600 million people – at that time, the world’s largest television audience in history – witnessed this unprecedented heroic endeavor.
Since retiring from NASA, Buzz has remained a proponent of human space exploration. He devised a master plan for missions to Mars known as the “Aldrin Mars Cycler”, and has received three US patents for his schematics of a modular space station, Starbooster reusable rockets, and multi-crew modules for space flight. He founded Starcraft Boosters, Inc., a rocket design company, and Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to addressing science literacy for children by igniting their passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) through delivering hands-on STEAM activities and inspirational messages.
Dr. Aldrin is an author of nine books including his New York Times best-selling autobiography entitled, “Magnificent Desolation”. He continues to inspire today’s youth with his illustrated children’s books: Reaching for the Moon, Look to the Stars, and recently released Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet. His 2013 book, “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration”, outlines his plan to get us beyond the moon and on to Mars. As one of the leading space exploration advocates, Buzz continues to chart a course for future space travel and is passionate about inspiring the younger generations of future explorers and innovators.