Mars One Project astronaut candidate and UKZN alumnus, Dr Adriana Marais, was the guest speaker at the first UKZN Durban Alumni Association gathering this year.
Marais, who spoke to a packed house on the Howard College campus, is currently one of 100 Mars One Project astronaut candidates in the running to travel to the red planet around 2026. She hopes one day to continue her research on Mars and possibly contribute to the discovery of evidence that life once existed there.
In an informative and entertaining presentation, Marais discussed the current new era of innovation in space exploration and explained the detailed planning required for a journey to Mars, outlining the funding and research involved, the travel arrangements and what life on the planet could possibly be like.
The presentation was followed by a question and answer session and then much discussion over snacks and drinks in an adjoining venue. Guests, who were mostly UKZN graduates, enjoyed an impromptu photo opportunity with Marais.
The Durban UKZN Alumni Association plans to arrange several talks and tours this year.