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Jan Millsapps, Ph.D.
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Jan Millsapps, Ph.D., is a pioneering digital filmmaker, an early web innovator, and a versatile and accomplished writer. She has produced films, videos, digital and interactive cinema on subjects ranging from domestic violence to global terrorism, and has published in traditional print and emerging online venues. Her novel Venus on Mars,will be published by Jaded Ibis Press in 2014. She is Professor of Cinema at San Francisco State University. Late in 2013 she was named to the select group of 1058 Mars One astronaut candidates who are embarking upon two years of rigorous testing to determine which ones will be among the first humans to colonize Mars, beginning in 2025.

Entries by Jan Millsapps, Ph.D.

When Can We Talk About Anchor Babies on Mars?

(1) Comments | Posted September 10, 2015 | 8:36 PM

When the current crop of presidential candidates speak of aliens, they are not referring to those living on other planets. There are no off-Earth colonists and no anchor babies on Mars - yet.

But with multiple Martian missions in the works, some involving human explorers, perhaps we should take the...

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Why We Don't Need Another Space Race

(3) Comments | Posted August 24, 2015 | 4:33 PM

We didn't finish the first one yet. We just abandoned it.

"Nearly five decades ago we had the ability to extend ourselves into the solar system and beyond," Stephen Petranek says in his new TED book, How We'll Live on Mars. "We simply have not chosen to pursue...

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Home: Not Where the Heart Is

(1) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 1:39 PM

Pluto has a big heart and now we've captured it. The New Horizons team has named the distinctive heart-shaped feature splayed across the newly clarified surface of the dwarf planet the Tombaugh Regio to honor Pluto's Earthly discoverer.


Right now, as...

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Symbol or Solution?

(2) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 6:55 PM

The best time to remove the Confederate flag from the SC capitol grounds is the same time as when to plant a tree, and that (according to an old Chinese proverb) is twenty years ago.

If we'd lived the past two decades (or more) without such a...

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Unpacking Mars

(1) Comments | Posted February 22, 2015 | 5:56 PM

Now that a week has passed since the "we regret to inform you" email from Mars One signaled my elimination from the planned mission to send the first humans to the red planet, it's time to unpack. As I watch my friends soak in the glory of the interviews they've...

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Schrodinger's Jan

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 1:09 PM

I'm going to Mars.

No, I'm not.

I'm trapped in a box, living two distinct futures. In one I live on Mars, with the inherent complexities, perils and lack of creature comforts that the first colonists will encounter there. In the other I'm spending the remainder of my days...

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Only One Way to Mars?

(3) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 10:23 PM

Seventh grader Alyssa Carson grabbed recent headlines because she wants to be one of the first humans on Mars. Accumulating the right stuff starts early these days. This young woman has been pursuing her space dream since she was in diapers.

She's been on a tear, attending Space Academy, Robotics...

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Wait for It...

(4) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 2:27 PM

When he took charge of the U.S. space program in 2005, former NASA administrator Michael Griffin's stated priority was to get us beyond Earth orbit, but he's built his post-NASA career around delivering scathing assessments of its lack of progress.

Many in the space community agree.


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Who Would You Want to Go to Mars With?

(4) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 2:15 PM

Who would you want to go to Mars with?

"You're gonna need at least two Scottys and two Spocks," Mars One finalist Cody Don Reeder says, without hesitation. A mechanic and bee-keeper, Reeder hopes to claim one of the "Scotty" slots for the upcoming mission.

Finalizing crew roles for the...

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Martians in Houston: Do We Have a Problem?

(1) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 9:14 PM

Last week 100 or more hopefuls looking for a way to Mars converged at the South Shore Harbor Resort in League City, Texas, just outside Houston, for the annual convention of the Mars Society: engineers working on intricate ways to get us there, "aspiring Martians" chatting up Mars One leader...

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Pink Is the New Red

(1) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 5:50 PM

Recently I sat in on an energetic workshop for preschoolers at Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, watching 15 "Tyke Explorers" assume ownership of the entire Solar System in a kid-sized multimedia extravaganza called "Dance of the Planets."

Tyke wrangler Ken Yamata awarded each unadorned Styrofoam plate -- small...

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Fairies, Witches and Astronauts

(0) Comments | Posted June 15, 2014 | 5:38 PM

I saw Maleficient yesterday. Sharing the theatre with preschool girls and their moms, I couldn't help but think about the special connection between girls and fairies (boys, for the most part, ignore fairies, except when they lose a tooth).

In the first scene, Angelina Jolie's Maleficent soars, dips and hovers,...

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Sisterhood: Powerful on Mars!

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 7:37 PM

Have you talked to any of the 705 remaining Mars One candidates who will represent you -- humanity -- as the first off-planet colonists? Perhaps you should. Here's how to find one near you. If you'd prefer a neat spreadsheet to a wildly zooming Google Earth video,

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On Mars, Who's in Charge?

(10) Comments | Posted May 16, 2014 | 8:47 PM

One sign we're on our way not just to visit, but to colonize, Mars is that people are talking about what sort of governance the first settlers will implement and adhere to. If an international group, will each remain a citizen of his/her nation on Earth and live according to...

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Who Doesn't Want to Go to Mars?

(3) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 5:00 PM

Three hundred fifty-two individuals will not be going to Mars, at least not with Mars One.

Seven hundred six of the 1,058 Round Two applicants, including me, received official emails this morning announcing that we are still in the Mars One international astronaut pool, which has now been...

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Show Me the Martians!

(2) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 6:50 PM

A distant light hugging the Martian horizon as photographed by Curiosity was evidence to some of an underground civilization whose citizens didn't keep their shades drawn on April 3 and 4.

Here be Martians?

Even the tiniest visual anomaly on Mars sends Earthlings reeling...

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The Right Design Stuff Begins Here

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 12:51 PM

Any event involving multiple astronauts is a "must-attend" for a self-defined space geek like me. Last Thursday's Autodesk "Found in Space" Design Night mixed space-age design with actual space exploration. Workstations for creating original aluminum foil hats, loud techo-space sound (the DJ table at one point was manned...

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We're Not Ready for Mars Closeups

(2) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 7:08 PM

Lately I've heard a lot of people dissing Mars One and its showbiz antics. Calling the rumored media deal "that reality show where all those poor people died on the way to Mars" comes to mind as the meanest to date.

Mars One chief Bas Lansdorp's plan to...

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Celebrating Women's History Month -- On Mars

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 12:05 PM

We're halfway through Women's History Month and since no one has mentioned any Martian females of historical significance, I'd like to recognize a few who exemplify "character, courage and commitment," this year's theme as chosen by the national women's history project.

It's likely you've never heard...

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What's New on Mars: Triangle Monkey Butt

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 1:53 PM

No matter what the UN's 1967 Outer Space Treaty says to the contrary, we've long been in the business of selling pieces of the universe. You can buy a moon plot, an asteroid, or a star, which means you can attach a name to a non-terrestrial place for a fee...

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