Space and Vision

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"The sky's the limit," said NASA Deputy Chief Scientist Gale Allen. Sending humans to Mars was one of the topics she'd been discussing, during NASA's International Space Apps Challenge, in April of 2016. So were the concepts of all-inclusive citizen science, and the challenges of attracting more women to participate in the largest hackathon in the universe. Gale was consulting with the groups onsite at Pasadena's Cross Campus facility, on the ways NASA's open data can be used to solve problems--in space and on earth. As NASA's 2016 International Space Apps Challenge began, Gale talked about her background, the ways in which NASA was removing the "intimidation factor" to get more diverse participants, and some of the innovations she was seeing. She also offered a preview of the ways some of the innovations resulting from Space Apps may show up in daily life on earth in the near future. On this edition of Over Coffee®, you'll hear: How Gale first became interested in science as her life's work; Some of the considerations for day-to-day life in space; Some of the solutions NASA's found, for problems on earth; What "citizen science" could mean to you, if you'd like to get involved; Some of the problems on which the International Space Apps Challenge was working, and their global applications; How NASA is reaching out to involve more women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); What scientific terms like "microgravity" mean, in daily life in space; Some of Gale's most rewarding career experiences; Some of considerations with which she's working, as NASA eyes putting astronauts in space by the 2030s; The roles she sees for arts people in the future of science (NASA considers them critical team members!); Some of the classes that have been most challenging for Gale and her NASA colleagues during their education (hint: everybody with a passion for science wasn't immediately brilliant at everything!);

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