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STORYTELLERS

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Dirk Schulze-Makuch

"Witnessing a martian sunset"

Dirk Schulze-Makuch

 

Dirk Schulze-Makuch is Professor for Planetary Habitabilty and Astrobiology at the Technical University Berlin, Germany. He has written 10 books and over 200 articles in this research area. He is particularly intrigued by extreme environments and the exploration of life on other planets.
 

 If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

The family, but they wouldn´t be excited about it.

 

If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be? 

Strawberry short cake with lots of ice cream.


If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

'If I feel good Spacer' from by Sheila and B. Devotion, and if I´m a bit down 'Major Tom' by David Bowie.

Sarah Cruddas

"Witnessing a martian sunset"

Sarah Cruddas

 

Sarah is a space journalist, international TV host and award-winning author. She is passionate about all things space and her ultimate aim is to spread the message of why space exploration matters and what has been and will be achieved in the future.

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

Great question. Probably an expert in horticultural - I mean we’ve all seen the Martian!


If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be?

Salmon sashimi, steak, French fries, strawberry ice cream. And probably some salad and vegetables!

 

If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

I mean if you’re going to Mars it’s gotta be 'Life on Mars' by David Bowie.  

Matthew Bothwell

"Witnessing a martian sunset"

Matthew Bothwell

 

Matt is the public astronomer at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. He regularly writes and lectures on astronomy, making it accessible to all. He is the author of “The Invisible Universe: Why There’s More to Reality than Meets the Eye” (2021).

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

Hmm, good question. I think it would be fun to take my cat, Robert. If only because he’d look hilarious in a spacesuit.

 

If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be?

It would have to be something long-life to survive the journey. It’s not food per se, but I think I’d go with Oatley Barista milk, so I wouldn’t be deprived of cups of tea in space.

 

If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

It has to be David Bowie, right?

Jennifer Campbell

"Witnessing a martian sunset"

Jennifer Campbell

 

Jennifer Campbell is a National Account Manager at Castrol. Jennifer has worked at Castrol for 27 years - starting as a part-time lab technician whilst doing her Chemistry degree.

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

A camera to take videos and pictures


If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be?

Pizza and Diet Coke


If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

'Starman' by David Bowie

Sandra Magnus

"I've never returned home"

Sandra Magnus

Sandra Magnus is an engineer and a former NASA astronaut. Sandra has completed 3 missions and spent a total of 157 days in space.

PHOTO CREDIT: NASA

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you? 

Students.  They are just staring out their careers and since travel is a horizon broadening experience I have no doubt the trip would fire their imaginations and jump start their creativity.


If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be? 

When I lived on ISS for four and a half months, I missed fresh, crunchy food. So on an extended trip to Mars I would want to bring fresh vegetables and fruits—and maybe some ice cream!


If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to? 

I like tons of different kinds of music so I would bring a mix of everything, rock/pop/classical/new age/musicals/instrumental/folk/music from different cultures etc.  Definitely would not want just one type for that long of a journey!

Dr Robert Thirsk

"I've never returned home"

Dr Robert Thirsk

 

Dr Robert Thirsk holds the Canadian record for the longest time spent in space (204 days, 18 hours, and 29 minutes). When he was first selected to be one of the first six Canadian astronauts, he was working as a doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Montreal.

Photo Credit: NASA

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

The Mars mission will be particularly daunting, long and confining. I would take my ISS Expedition 20 crew-mates with me. We were a visionary, capable and sociable team that excelled in challenging situations and looked out for each other's well-being.


If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be?

Space food needs to be nutritious and flavorful. I would bring shrimp gumbo - it has a spicy kick and contains plenty of protein and veggies.


If you could sound track your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

Holst: 'The Planets' has a special meaning to me. It was the music playing in the background of my apartment when I received the phone call from the Canadian government informing me that I had just been selected as an astronaut. The music has a mysterious and eccentric sound that I love.

Jan-Robert Holen

"a stingray of bad attitude"

Jan Robert Holen

Jan Robert Holen is an Account Manager at Castrol working in Energy sector. He has been with Castrol for the last 14 years, and started his career in the Marine sector, ensuring vessels around the world received supplies of Castrol engine oils, cylinder oils and greases. Around 2012 focus shifted to the Energy sector where he supported sales activities in UK and Nordics, before becoming an Account Manager in 2016 looking after Operators and OEM’s using Castrol products in Nordics and later also UK.

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

My wife and three kids of course


If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be?

Chicken tikka masala


If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

For the way there, GnR 'Rocket Queen', Led Zeppelin 'Stairway to heaven',  while for the way home, certainly Erik Satie 'Gymnopédie No.1'

Richard Smith

"Making a cup of tea" 300ft in the sky

Richard Smith

Richard Smith is a principle mechanical engineer for ONYX. Working on and repairing wind turbines has taken him all over the world and often to the remotest of places - the job certainly requires sea legs and a head for heights!

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

That could be a bear trap! Someone capable that didn’t need a committee before they made a decision?

 

If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be?

Tea bags & KitKats

 

 If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

Anything sung by Bon Scott

Sam Bird

"when the helmet goes on"

Sam Bird

Sam Bird is a racing driver for the Jaguar TCS Racing Team. He competes in the all-electric FIA ABB Formula E Championship. He’s one of the longest standing drivers in the championship, with 11 wins under his belt.

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

So if I could visit Mars, who would I take with me and why? I’d take… There’s a couple of people that I’d take, and I’ll explain why. I would take Will Smith because he fought the aliens and he won. I would take Paul, from the film Paul, because he seems like a friendly alien. He kind of likes to kick back, have some fun, and maybe he could show me around. And maybe I’d take my dogs, because you know, I think they’d have fun as well.

   

If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be?

If I had to take food to Mars, and they couldn’t recreate a stone-baked pizza, then for sure I would need a pizza oven. That’s what I would need to be having for sure, because I’ve heard that pizza on Mars is great.

 

If you could sound track your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

What music am I listening to on the way to Mars… Do you know what? I’d probably just listen to the entire Ricky Gervais show podcast with Karl Pilkington from start to finish again, and again, and again because the conversations are incredible and you can lose track of time. That’s what I tend to listen to on long journeys. I’ve listened to them all hundreds of times, yet I can still relisten to them all over again, and do it for hours on end. So long journey, that’s what to do.

Gus Greensmith

"when the helmet goes on"

Gus Greensmith

Gus Greensmith is a World Rally Car driver for the M-Sport Ford rally team. Having gained his first stage win at Rallye Monte-Carlo in January 2022, he’s a young an ambitious driver with a bright future ahead.

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

If I had to choose a friend I would take to Mars, I’d have to choose my best friend Chester because it’s quite a long way, so I assume I’m going to want some chatter along the way and maybe a few beers before we get there. So, that would be the idea.

 

If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be?  

Food… something that you’re never going to get bored of, so that’s pretty easy for me. That’s pizza, a lot of pizza. I might be a bit too heavy to land, but I don’t think gravity is quite as heavy over there as it is on Earth.

 

If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

A song would probably be 'On the Luna' by Foals because I would say that’s quite fitting.

Faiz Rahman

"a giant playground of robots"

Faiz Rahman

Faiz Rahman is a graduate mechatronics engineer at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). He's currently working in Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE) where robotics is used as a way of solving problems within difficult environments without the risk of endangering anyone.

Photo Credit: UKAEA

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

SPOT the Dog (won’t need to take up human resources but can be equipped to do cool science stuff).

 

If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be?

Nasi Kerabu (A Malaysian traditional dish).

 

If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

'Never Gonna Give You Up' – Rick Astley (because of course).

Sarah Griffiths

"a giant playground of robots"

Sarah Griffiths

Sarah Griffiths is a Remote Handling Design Engineer. ITER is the world's largest fusion experiment. This multi-national project is based in Southern France where the world's largest tokamak is currently being built and a bid to produce net energy.
 

Mohammed Sadiq

"It speaks through the steering wheel"

Mohammed Sadiq

Mohammed Sadiq has over 42 years experience as a truck driver. He covers thousands of miles in his trusty truck, both night and day and in all weathers.
 

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

I would go with my wife.

 

If you could bring your favorite food with you, what would it be?

Nihari & Haleem (traditional Pakistani & Arabic food)


If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

Old Urdu Ghazals

David Eyton

"Inside out"

David eyton

David Eyton is the former head of innovation & engineering at bp. His varied career at bp has spanned over 40 years and he was awarded a CBE for his contributions to engineering and energy in the UK.
 

If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

Albert Einstein

 

If you could bring your favorite food with you, what would it be?

A salad


If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon'

Shannon Hovey

"a stingray of bad attitude"

Shannon Hovey

Shannon Hovey is an offshore commercial saturation diver. He dives to depths of up to 800 feet in the oceans around the world to repair and install oil and gas fixtures. Working at those kind of depths means living in a contained, pressurised system until the work is completed, which can take anything from 30 to 60 days. He believes being a diver has comparisons to being an astronaut - the eery silence of the ocean floor is a lot like space.

 If you could visit Mars, who would you take with you?

I would probably take my dad.

 

If you could bring your favourite food with you, what would it be?

Smoked anything.

 

If you could soundtrack your journey to Mars, what would you listen to?

The band It Came From Outer Space, The Gods of Macho and anything created by Bill Laswell.

ALAN LIU

"A giant playground of robots"

Alan Liu

Alan Liu is an engineer at KUKA in Shanghai. He works with robots on a daily basis and is responsible for maintaining them and fixing any technical issues.KUKA was founded in 1898 and is a global leader in the supply of intelligent automation solutions. This includes all kinds of industrial robots, from automotive to healthcare.