Episodes
Fleeing her homeland of Iran after the Islamic Revolution, Anousheh Ansari settled in Texas and built a highly successful technology firm whose net worth ultimately allowed her to achieve her childhood dream of spaceflight. Through her sponsorship of the X Prize, she fueled the movement of privatization of space exploration. In her role as the first-ever female commercial spaceflight participant, Ansari’s story speaks to the power of commitment and conviction, realizing dreams, and making the...
Published 10/17/13
Veteran Space Shuttle Commander Jeff Ashby relates his personal observations of daily life and human behavior in the environment of the International Space Station. Rather than giving a technical talk, Captain Ashby talks about the human space experience, including observations on how humans adapt to weightlessness, what it feels like to travel to the Space Station, and how a view of the Earth from 240 miles altitude can be life changing. He will also share his perspectives on private space...
Published 10/17/13
Published 10/17/13
We all learn about space and time as children, yet they are still profound mysteries at the cutting edge of physics research. This session surveys several current experiments that probe exotic behavior of space and time: a "Dark Energy Camera" to study the accelerating expansion of cosmic space; laser interferometers that listen for gravitational waves from black holes; and the Fermilab Holometer, an experiment to search for universal "holographic noise" from the quantum nature of space-time...
Published 10/17/13
Telescopes, satellites, probes, and rovers have transformed how we perceive the universe and helped make the invisible, visible. New technologies now enable us to visualize the cosmos in even greater detail, understand our home planet in new ways, immerse ourselves in alien environments, and even see through the eyes of robot explorers. Expert speakers discuss how to bring the far out of our universe, up close. Speakers: Charles Alcock, David McConville, and Richard Hollingham
Published 10/17/13
The relatively small asteroid that exploded in the skies over Siberia last February, injuring over 1,000 people, was a shocking reminder that our planet is a target in a cosmic shooting range. Larger asteroids, from the width of a football field to the size of a small city, have the potential to be killers on a massive scale: in previous collisions with Earth, they have set off deadly blast waves, raging fires, and colossal tidal waves. Fortunately, space rocks like these can be deflected––if...
Published 10/17/13
This session explores the almost unfathomable scales of theoretical physics, from the mysterious properties of dark matter to the depths of our universe and beyond. Experiments, like the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva that smashes together protons at high energies, tell us about the smallest length scales we can observe today while measurements of the universe stretch our observations of large length scales to their limits. Theoretical physicists like Lisa Randall tie the results of these...
Published 10/17/13
It's a question that we have pondered for years: is life on earth really the only life that's out there in the universe? Turns out there's a good chance it's not just us. With research indicating that other planets might be able to host life, how should we be thinking about interactions between extraterrestrial and Earth life? Planetary protection involves avoiding contamination of other locations in the universe with Earth life, as well as preventing unpleasant things happening when...
Published 10/17/13
Thanks to powerful new technologies––and the good old inborn drive to explore––human beings are now investigating places once assumed to be inaccessible. We hear from an oceanographer pushing the limits of technology to explore bizarre “lakes” in the deepest recesses of our oceans; a planetary geologist using images from orbiting spacecraft to explore processes shaping the surfaces of planets, such as dunes migrating across the surface of Mars; and an astrophysicist trying to solve the...
Published 10/17/13
Virgin Galactic is the world’s first commercial spaceline. How did this project first see the light of day? With the help of stunning images and footage, Stephen Attenborough will chart its progress to date, including the latest from the ongoing test flight program. Is Virgin Galactic the spark that could light the fire of a vibrant new industry that could help to meet some of the most pressing challenges faced on Earth in the coming decades? Will you be the company’s next customer on a trip...
Published 10/17/13