Live Twitter #MarsChat: Give to Mars Day 2016

We are so excited to be hosting our annual Give to Mars Day event and Potato Challenge for the second year on November 17, 2016. The annual Potato Challenge and Give to Mars Day are such an exciting events that bring awareness to the importance of STEM education and human deep space exploration to people all over the world, while also raising funds to support our programs at The Mars Generation including sending kids with economic need to Space Camp on unique 100% paid scholarships that include transportation.

You can follow the live stream of the event by following the hashtag #PotatoChallenge here.

We are excited be continuing in our tradition of holding a #MarsChat on Twitter

Our founder Astronaut Abby will be hosting the chat and answering questions too! But this year we thought why host one chat when we can host 3! Follow the #MarsChat hashtag at the following times and feel free to submit questions for each of our guests during the chat:

1:00pm CST Astronaut Abby with special guest Joe Cassidy, Executive Director of Space Programs Aerojet Rocketdyne, Twitter: @MarsJoe (see bio below)

6:00PM CST Astronaut Abby with special guest Morgan Irons, Duke University undergraduate student and founder of Deep Space Ecology, LLC,  and a leader of The Mars Generation Student Space Ambassador Program Twitter:@dukemorganmars (see bio below)

8:30PM CST Astronaut Abby with special guest Andrew Rader PhD, Aerospace Engineer at Space X, Twitter: @marsrader (see bio below)

Join us for a fun Q&A, and have the opportunity to ask some of your own questions.

Astronaut Abby, Founder of The Mars Generation, aspiring scientist and astronaut 

Who Is The Mars GenerationAbigail Harrison, a.k.a. Astronaut Abby, is a sophomore at Wellesley College. She is studying Astro-Biology and Russian and working toward becoming a scientist and eventually a NASA astronaut. 

Five years ago, Abby began sharing her dream of becoming one of the first astronauts to Mars online and today she has built a community of more than a half million followers and fans who support her dream and the dreams of many other amazing young people. To expand this community of support, Abby established a worldwide outreach initiative to engage students across the world about space, STEM and reaching for one’s dreams. She turned this outreach program into The Mars Generation ( – a nonprofit with a goal to serve as a catalyst to identify students with an interest in these areas and nurture their study in STEM education. 

Abby is recognized as a leader in the space community, working as a space ambassador herself with a focus on educating and exciting people around the world about the importance of space exploration to the future of humankind.  To find Abby, visit her website at


Joe Cassidy, Executive Director of Space Programs Aerojet Rocketdyne

joe-cassady-aerojet-rocketdyneJoe Cassady is the Executive Director of Space Programs in the Washington DC Operations for Aerojet Rocketdyne, where he helps oversee strategy development and architectures for future space and launch systems. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University as well as a Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering at the George Washington University. He has 33 years of experience in propulsion and mission and systems analysis, and has authored more than 50 technical papers dealing with electric propulsion, power and attitude control systems and mission analysis. His experience includes flight projects for both the U.S. Air Force and NASA. In addition, he has served on a number of advisory groups for NASA and the Department of Defense. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA; vice-president of the Electric Rocket Propulsion Society; and serves on the board of directors for ExploreMars, a non-profit dedicated to STEM and human Mars exploration.

Morgan Irons, Founder of Deep Space Ecology LLC



Morgan Irons is a senior at Duke University, majoring in environmental science and biology with a chemistry minor.  For two years, she has been performing research on closed ecological systems for space habitation.  Morgan founded the company, Deep Space Ecology LLC, to solve the problems surrounding sustainable human settlement in space by creating marketable solutions for sustainable living on Earth.  She serves as the Chief Science Officer, with her main projects currently centered on the pre-treatments required to grow plants and allow organisms to live in regolith conditions.



Andrew Rader, PhD, Aerospace Engineer Space X

andrew-raderAndrew Rader is an Aerospace Engineer with a PhD in human spaceflight from MIT (2009). He’s also a Game Designer, Author, Youtuber, and winner of Discovery Channel’s #1 series Canada’s Greatest Know-it-All. Andrew is an avid trivia player and public speaker, occasionally giving talks at schools, convention panels, museums, and other venues. His Youtube series ‘Cooking on Mars’ describes the strangest kids of foods we might eat on Mars. His latest venture is Mars Rover Rescue, a children’s book about a team of space explorers who head to the red planet to search for a missing rover (out xmas 2016, available on Kickstarter now at

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