Mission Support

CapCOM Team

Gael Mariani, CapCOM Coordinator

I live in rural west Wales, UK and I work part-time as a freelance book editor and researcher, which involves my doing a lot of the science and other research for a well-known fiction author. My main passion in life is astronomy, and I have a degree in the subject. Other interests include music (I play piano and mandolin) and a lifelong devotion to martial arts, which nowadays finds its expression through Tai Chi sword fighting. That’s handy for when you’re out alone at night watching the sky through your telescope, and the zombies come . .

Within the scope of astronomy, one of my key areas of interest has been solar science. Housed in my private observatory are a pair of solar scopes, which I use in my capacity as a solar data gatherer for SILSO. I also help collate data for a solar physicist working here in the UK. I’m additionally a New Millennium Committee member of the Planetary Society, as well as a member of the Astrobiology Society of Great Britain. I am also an active astro-photographer and was an entrant in the 2016 Astronomy Photography of the Year Competition – sadly, I didn’t get anywhere, but will keep trying!


Bernard Dubb, CapCOM Deputy Coordinator & IT Coordinator

I’m a semi-retired IT professional with thirty years’ applications programming experience. My educational background includes degrees in history, psychology and computer networking. I’m an amateur radio operator, active in Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES Connecticut Section, Net Control Operator) and the National Weather Service SKYWARN severe weather spotting program (Coordinator, Windham County Connecticut). I’ve communicated with ISS and Juno spacecraft via amateur radio. Other interests include music (percussion and electronic instruments), electronics and the outdoors (hiking and camping). I live in a small house on a lake in rural Connecticut. Grew up with Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. In addition to CapCom responsibilities, I’m also MDRS IT Coordinator, contributing to Hab networking, robotic observatory and autoponics projects. I’m glad to be part of this team, helping to advance the knowledge base for the epic journey to Mars.

Veronica Brooks

Veronica Brooks holds a M.A. in Computer Science and Information Systems and studies Data Science at UCI. She is curious about all things related to art, science, nature and technology and has an interest in designing and sketching Mars settlements and learning more about space, perhaps even writing another book or designing a game.  Thank you all for your inspiration.


Sylvain Burdot

Sylvain, 26,  holds a MSc. in Engineering in Industrial Risk Management and works from French Guiana as a freelance aerospace consultant helping rocket and satellite startups to bring life to their products.
His work is not only to develop avionics systems and programs but also popularizing his passion for Space and Sciences toward students during high school conferences.

On his free time, he is currently building two micro-satellites and assisting several student groups building their own, in addition to preparing is amateur radio license. Sylvain is also a former MarsOne candidate.


Miguel Cooper

Software Engineer from Universidad La Salle Mexico City

Over 40 years of experience in IT.

Has given five presentations at the Mars Society International Convention, and have volunteered for Capcom several times.

At the present time freelance Novelist, published “To Rule the World” in December 2017, Working on a new project a Thriller about the First Human Mission To Mars.


Graeme Frear

Graeme Frear has a B.A. in Information Systems Management, currently working as a DevOps / Infrastructure Engineer. Born in New Zealand amidst all the excitement of the Apollo program, he fully expected to be walking on the moon by the year 2000.  OK, so that didn’t quite work out, but he’s still dead keen on exploring and settling on a new World, Mars!


Chiemi Heil

Chiemi (Chi) 28, holds a B.A. in Communications with a double minor in Software Information Systems and Japanese from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She spent 10 years in the marketing world but opted for a career change after touring SpaceX during her time as an Army civilian contractor. Heil is now finishing her B.S. in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where she will continue to a M.A. in Aeronautics with a specialization in Human Factors.

Heil recently moved to Houston to begin her internship with NASA where she will help promote the ISS through various marketing and social media campaigns. In her free time, she volunteers at Women in Aviation International as the Outreach Officer and also helps the United Nations create programs to encourage more women and girls to enter into the space industry.


Jennifer Holt

Jennifer Holt is an Emmy Award-winning Editor and Producer who currently volunteers with The Mars Society as a CapCom officer and as a Producer/Editor for projects like the recent feature about the Mars 160 Mission. (Jennifer is always open to proposals for video projects, so feel free to contact her directly.) She also serves on the board of directors for Hartford Food System, a nonprofit in Hartford, Connecticut, that works to improve food justice for underserved communities. In her free time, Jennifer hangs out with her cat and dog, swims, practices tai chi, and plays board games (including Terraforming Mars).


Johanna Kollewyn

Johanna has B. Eng in Aerospace Engineering and is currently working towards an MSc in Mechanical Engineering. She is focusing her research in autonomous robot navigation and will be basing her thesis in simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). Although she currently works in Infrastructure and Transportation as an engineer, she wants to eventually wants to move into the Air and Space sector. In her free time, Johanna enjoys playing soccer, lacrosse and strategy games. She currently lives in Canada, but hopes to travel or work abroad once she has completed her MSc.


Jordan Lane

Jordan is originally from Southern California. He studied aeronautical engineering at West Point and then served two tours to Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. After graduating from Harvard Medical School he started his training in Anesthesiology at Walter Reed and serves as an Army doctor.

He joined the MDRS team during the 2017-18 season and is excited to participate in the advancement of space-related research and planning.


Bruce Ngataierua

Teacher and Educator of Science and Mathematics both in classroom and distance education. A background in Astronomy and Physics with an interest in Space Biology and Technology. Lives in Wellington, New Zealand and was part of Crew 118 in 2012.


Alessandro Santoni

Alessandro is very dynamic and positive, loves to travel, to play the drums and to play basketball. He holds a double BSc in Automation&Robotics from University of Bologna (Italy) and Tongji University of Shanghai (China). He worked as a Robotics Research Engineer, but he is now enrolled in a European MSc in Space Engineering: he’s currently in Germany, beginning 2018 will move in Sweden, and wants to transfer his robotics and control systems background into the space sector.

What he aims at, is to give a solid contribution in turning humankind into a space-travelling species, in empowering solar-system exploration and in making sure one day a human will safely walk on another planet!


Kevin Seidler

Kevin Seidler has been in the Canadian Navy since 2005, working as a Combat Systems Engineering Officer. He resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he works at the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Command. He is currently completing a part-time Masters in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota where his research interests are leaning towards the development of Mars and lunar bases. Kevin has been involved with the Mars Society since being part of the November 2017 Mars Desert Research Station refit party. He is married with a young daughter.


Nishat Tasnim

My name is Nishat Tasnim, and I’m an International student from Dhaka, Bangladesh currently finishing up my MSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UBC’s Okanagan campus. My research goals have been focused on implicating environmental biodiversity with inflammatory disorders through the gut microbiota. I love technology (Health tech or Ed. tech incorporating BCI, VR, AR, and anything AI), boardgames (Terraforming Mars!), Star Trek (TNG!), and meeting different people from different places. It is my pleasure to join the MDRS CapComm team. Looking forward to getting to know you all.


Kimberly Patterson

Kimberly (Kim) 19, is currently attending her Sophomore year at Agnes Scott College. She is majoring in Astrophysics and is very passionate about space. She plans to attend graduate school with the intention of one day becoming a Research Astrophysicist for NASA or helping out as Mission Control for future NASA missions.


Tim Radford 

I am an independent software developer living in a cottage on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales in the UK. I have a first degree in Physics with Astrophysics, an MSc in Computing, and am currently studying for an MSc in Space Science. I am fascinated by exploration, whether space- or earth-based.

Part of my Space Science studies included a week working on a Mars rover simulator, which I thoroughly enjoyed so I am looking forward to being able to continue working on simulated Mars!

I have been a member of the local mountain rescue team for the last 19 years, love playing guitar and am a beekeeper.


If you are interested in volunteering as part of our CapCOM team, please visit this link to apply.