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July 1, 2008

Summer Interns Work on Mars Settlement for 4Frontiers Corporation


TAMPA, FL – 4Frontiers Corporation, a new space technology company (focused on long term habitation in space, material science, and ultimately the settlement of Mars) is pleased to announce that it has nine new interns. Three of these interns are supported through the NASA Exploration System Mission Directorate (ESMD) and are working out of the 4Frontiers office in New Port Richey, FL.  The remaining interns contribute to 4Frontiers’ efforts from points around the globe.


Intern summer projects are in a variety of fields from communications, structural design, and engineering, to human factors design for Mars habitats.  4Frontiers is excited to have the following individuals as interns this summer:


Tara Allen, graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, NASA ESMD intern – A long-time interest in assisting humans to survive in extreme conditions led Tara to pursue her recently completed bachelor’s degree in human factors psychology.  This background makes her an ideal fit for her role developing interior designs and layouts for the Gen 1.5 Mars Settlement. 


Alex Stimpson, graduate of the University of Florida, NASA ESMD intern – Solving tough problems is routine for this new MIT graduate student, who recently graduated with a degree from UF in Bioengineering. His role involves investigating structural integrity and materials selection for future Martian greenhouses. There has not been a time when Alex was not interested in space exploration and he brings his enthusiasm and drive to 4Frontiers for the summer.


John Truett, graduate student at the University of Florida, NASA ESMD intern – Working alongside Alex Stimpson, John Truett aids in investigating design factors for future Martian Greenhouses. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and biological engineering from UF. He and Alex are also assisting 4Frontiers with planning a Mars surface simulation to be conducted in a Mars analog environment here on Earth. Their efforts could prove essential to the survival of a future Martian settlement. 


Peter Collins, graduate of Newcastle University – Peter Collins has an interest in the environment and agriculture, and holds a masters degree in Biogeochemistry. His background makes him a perfect fit to help 4Frontiers assemble and review materials generated as part of the Generation II Mars Settlement Study, pertaining to water and wastewater systems.  Peter is also leveraging his experience as a 2004 participant at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.


Jason Rhian, student at University of South Florida – A former NASA intern and current NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and NSS chapter leader, Jason assists 4Frontiers with its marketing and public relations efforts.  The Columbia shuttle tragedy was a driving force in his decision to enter college and pursue a career in space industry communications.


David Schwab, graduate of Purdue University – Passionate about space, educated in business, David Schwab aids 4Frontiers in developing and implementing business strategy.  David is currently employed as an operational strategy consultant and assists 4Frontiers through his independent consulting and design firm Darkhorse Ventures. 


Eric Shear, student at Tacoma Community College – Eric will soon be entering the University of Washington to pursue a degree in aeronautics and astronautics.  With his interest in astrobiology, astronomy and extreme-environment architecture, Eric’s interests mesh nicely with those of 4Frontiers.  Eric assists 4Frontiers with development of its Mars surface simulation concepts and with other informative entertainment efforts.


Svetlana Shkolyar, graduate student at the University of Florida – A former NASA Kennedy Space Center intern and Florida Space Grant Consortium undergraduate grant recipient, Svetlana graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelor’s degree in physics.  Her passion for learning and communicating about the universe led her to pursue a master’s degree in science journalism at UF.  She is also currently a consultant with the Florida Space Grant Consortium. She helps 4Frontiers with technical writing and the development of promotional materials. 


Kiara Winans, graduate of Antioch University – Since childhood Kiara has dreamed of working in space exploration and aeronautical sciences. She has since devoted herself to making this dream a reality.  Her studies have covered a wide field from social ecology, biochemistry, appropriate technology, and aeronautics giving her a diverse range of skills to draw from. She is currently completing a master’s degree in ecological engineering at the University of Florida, and assists 4Frontiers with development of its Mars surface simulation concepts.


The combined experience, skills and dedication of these interns has given 4Frontiers a fresh infusion of energy.  “They have had a profound impact on 4Frontiers’ efforts and vision”, said 4Frontiers vice president Joseph Palaia. As diverse as their collective backgrounds are, their shared goal for 4Frontiers is the same – settling Mars in our time.


4Frontiers Corporation is named after the four current and upcoming space frontiers – Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and Asteroids.  The company’s development activities include technologies required for long-duration human habitation in space, extra-terrestrial resource recovery, and orbital tourism.  Its informative entertainment segment engages and educates the public while communicating the company’s progress. 

The Florida Space Grant Consortium and Space Florida also assisted ESMD in supporting three of the interns.

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"There may be only a brief window of opportunity for space travel during which we will in principle have the capability to establish colonies (which could in turn establish further colonies). If we let that opportunity pass without taking advantage of it we will be doomed to remain on the Earth where we will eventually go extinct." - Richard Gott, "Implications of the Copernician Principle For Our Future Prospects," Nature, 1993
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