Preparing the Human Body for Mars NASA Speaker Coming to Martz

Article Contributed by
Walt Pickut
Martz/Kohl Board of Directors

The public is invited to the Martz/Kohl Observatory to hear this fascinating presentation on Wednesday evening, March 8 at 8:00 p.m., 176 Robin Hill Road in Frewsburg. Guests are also welcome every Wednesday evening to visit, tour the facility, and on clear nights, to view the stars and planets for themselves.

The trip to Mars may well be the greatest feat of bravery and endurance ever recorded in the annals of human exploration. NASA believes it is possible. They are preparing for the trip now and Wednesday’s speaker is on the team.

Prominent NASA scientist Laurie Abadie, a Jamestown native, will be the evening’s speaker. Laurie is the Deputy Director of the Communications Team for NASA’s Human Research Program. Her presentation will highlight the exciting challenges of space travel and the training and preparation of astronauts for the 3-year-long round-trip through deep space and for exploration of the Martian landscape. Laurie’s talk and slide presentation will be followed by a Question & Answer period open to everyone.

“Preparing the Human Body for Mars” is geared for all audiences, the general public and the back yard stargazer, whether as a hobby, or for science, or for people who simply enjoy the night sky. Traveling the solar system and exploring the stars at the Martz/Kohl Observatory is an adventure suited for everyone.

Martz/Kohl member,Tobie Smith, learning the basics of astrophotography and image enhancement in the Martz/Kohl observatory control room. Tobie may be better known to readers as the Head Chef at the popular Nic-L-Inn in Frewsburg, NY.

New Membership Perc
The all-volunteer staff at the Martz/Kohl Observatory has begun classes on Tuesday evenings at the observatory for any member who wants to learn how to operate the main research telescopes for their own viewing pleasure, to learn astrophotography or to join the search for asteroids, comets and supernovas. One new member has begun a study of black holes and the expansion of the universe. Classes can begin at any time for individuals.

Other members have recently tracked and photographed some of the near-Earth asteroids which only narrowly missed colliding with Earth in the last few months.

The course will first teach the basics of observing and photographing the stars and planets, then move on to more advanced astro-imaging techniques and remote control of the observatory’s main telescopes.

Visit to learn more about the Martz/Kohl Observatory and special monthly guest speakers. Coming soon, John Mangus, NASA’s chief optical scientist heading up construction of the soon to be launched Webb Space Telescope.

For a deeper look at the night sky, planets, stars and the entire universe, visit the Martz/Kohl Observatory online at, check the schedule of events and visit in person. Thank you to Hall and Laury Opticians for sponsoring these Martz/Kohl columns.