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About this Video

Witness the never-ending struggle of Maya Nasr, a PhD candidate at MIT who is working on the NASA Mars Perseverance Mission, to overcome the limitations imposed by her passport that prevent Maya from fully contributing her learning and passion to human’s exploration of space.
Imagine achieving the dream of a little girl, on a journey from a small Lebanese village to pursuing a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics in partnership with NASA at one of the foremost scientific learning institutions on the planet – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  But Maya Nasr’s passion – to be a significant contributor to humankind’s expansion out to the Solar System and beyond – is thwarted by her passport, locking her out of areas of research so crucial to her work on MOXIE, the technology that will extract oxygen from the Martian environment and allow humans to explore the heavenly bodies surrounding Earth.

Maya’s dream often becomes a nightmare of bureaucratic and political branding because Lebanon lacks the favored status required for her to obtain fuller access to the places, people, technology and ideas without which her progress is constantly hobbled, diminishing what she can do for the people of this planet.

Maya tells her story in this talk entitled “Your passport – an open door to opportunity, or a lifetime lockout?”  Share her frustration in sustaining the dream she has labored to passionately to achieve due to an immigration system that should work to advance the United State’s space program, but often denies entry to the very people who can make that happen.


About the Speaker

Maya Nasr

Maya Nasr

Lebanese aerospace engineer Maya Nasr worked on the Mars 2020 mission. Since coming to the United States and MIT as a 16-year-old, Nasr’s interests have expanded beyond even Mars. Her experiences have led her to become an advocate for expanding the international community in space exploration and for the peaceful use of space.