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Adriana Marais

  • Location
    South Africa
  • Area of Expertise
    Space Technology, Foundational Concepts, Communities, Innovation, Leadership, Purpose
  • Type

“The reason I want to explore beyond the world as we know it is simple: The allure of the unknown is far more powerful than the comfort of the known.”

- Dr Adriana Marais, theoretical physicist, author & adventurer

Adriana is on a mission. She has a background in theoretical physics, her award-winning PhD and postdoctoral work focused on quantum effects in biology and the origins of the building blocks of life in space. She is currently developing a blockchain-based economic system for extreme environments towards a second PhD. Her book “Mission: Off-World” detailing the vision of humanity’s journey into the stars will be launched internationally with Profile Books next year.

In 2019, she left her position as Head of Innovation at SAP Africa to found Proudly Human. She has visited Antarctica, Norway, deserts in the Middle East and Africa, the Aquarius Reef Base undersea habitat and submarine naval bases on location scouts for Proudly Human’s Off-World Project. The Project, also to be streamed globally as a documentary series, is a range of off-grid habitation experiments in the most extreme environments on the planet, in preparation for life on the Moon, Mars and beyond, as well as a resilient future here on Earth.

Since 2017, Adriana is a Director at the Foundation for Space Development Africa, an initiative of which is Africa's first mission to the Moon, the Africa2Moon Project, as an extension of the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope currently under construction in South Africa, aiming to be the world's first radio telescope array on the Moon to perform new science from the lunar farside.

Adriana is also Scientific Moderator on space resources with the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator, a Researcher at Stellenbosch University and the National Institute of Theoretical and Computational Sciences, both in South Africa, and also Faculty at the Singularity University. She was previously one of 100 finalist astronaut candidates with the Mars One Project.


Mission Off-World: How Space Exploration is Expanding Our Understanding of Reality and Our Place in It