Monday, March 28

Denting the Universe with NASA Astronaut Cady Coleman

Attending the Dent conference can be a life altering experience and I've been lucky enough to be present for the past two years. Dent is an invitation-only gathering held once a year in Sun Valley, ID for people who want to "put a dent in the universe," as Steve Jobs once said. It was founded by Jason Preston and Steve Broback, two forward thinking visionaries that have changed the landscape of technology for over twenty years.

At this year's conference, I had the honor of interviewing NASA Astronaut, Catherine Grace "Cady" Coleman about her career in space. This interview was a prelude to the announcement of Dent: Space. The first Dent: Space conference will be held in San Francisco on September 21st through 23rd, 2016.

I had some interesting questions for Cady. Watch the short thirty minute video where you'll learn about calluses in space, UFOs, CAPCOMs, the Journey to Mars, Space X, and the NASA Space Apps Challenge.  If you prefer, the full transcript is after the jump.

MC: Cady Coleman is an astronaut, can you tell? Because she has all the badges and everything which makes her absolutely official! Cady has over a 180 days in space (accumulated over two space with Shuttle missions), a six-month expedition with the International Space Station; she launched and landed aboard the Soyuz Russian spacecraft, she acted as the lead robotics and Science Officer during her tenure abroad the ISS and you performed a second ever free flyer robotic capture from the ISS. Presently, you are astronaut and innovation lead at NASA’s Office at Chief Technologist. Are you the Chief Technologist? 

CC: I am not. I work for the Chief Technologist and it’s like working in sort of the Switzerland of NASA. It’s a magical place, because its a place where you can have big ideas that places that are more established can’t really … you don’t really have time within their mission to work out. So we do the trail blazing , and try things out, get them proven and then hand them off to the folks of NASA.

MC: That’s amazing! I wish we were having the really great camera, so you could see it, but that just didn’t work. When I heard I was going to get to talk to Cady there was a bunch of things and I’m going to try to ask them. At what age did you think about science? Never mind being an astronaut. 
CC: Science, I was in high school where I had a teacher; I had a very intense kind of chemistry teacher that just thought that chemistry was everything; and it should be everything to us; so I loved it.
MC: So, a good teacher.
CC: A really good teacher. She didn’t take “no” for an answer. And we were kind of: “I don’t know if I understand this” and she was like “everybody needs chemistry and it’s the best in the world”.

MC: Woah, so for the teachers out there, see how your passions can really affect your students? So, that’s why you went into chemistry.

CC: That’s correct.
MC: What was your original plan to go with chemistry? You were going to MIT?

CC: I went to MIT as an undergrad, and I have to say I actually was not planning to go to a Science and Engineering School. Or one that was so known. 
MC: MIT is a big deal. 
CC: Well, it is a big deal and yet, you know, I said to my mom: “Mom, I don’t want to go to some school where it’s like science and math and they’re not regular people. And, it’s not the first time in my life I’ve had to admit that I was wrong. Where she told me I couldn’t say no unless I went up there and looked around. I took a tour and it was so obvious that there was so many people there that were just like me, that were regular normal people; and they loved .. and they had a a passion for what they did, but they also liked to go to parties, and do sports, and… 
MC: Was their passion. So when your mom says: ”Just check it out, just don’t say no.” 
CC: Now that I have a 15 year old I’m going to say “Yes, listen to your mom.”

MC: Ok, absolutely. Mine’s all grown up and she did the same thing. Since you mentioned STEM education, there’s a huge push, you know, STEM this, STEM that, science, math... but some people are not inclined in that way. Or just, I still use a calculator, I’m sorry, I just have to. But for those who still love the idea of space, are there also jobs at NASA for people who aren’t scientists?

CC: Absolutely. I mean, you see people walking out to a rocket, getting in the rocket and going, and there are hundreds and hundreds and really thousands of people to help make that happen. Everybody, from people that are designing the spacecraft; but what about who’s just organizing all that? What about who is leading the teams?

CC: You know, it’s not always technical leadership that is needed, and what about the people who are just envisioning what you are going to do uo there on the missions? You know, when we are planning to live on Mars, we need people from all aspects of life. But, I guess what I like to think about it is that, you might think that somebody like me, math, science, physics, and all those subjects just came easily.

CC: And I will tell you that I have certain intuition. I mean, math is ok for me., Some people when they read a book, textbook and they see an equation, they go: “ Yes and then this happens”, I go “ok, equation, now what happened?” To some people that’s a sentence, but to me it’s not. And in physics, this is something that it’s not really intuitive to me, and then, look at my job; does that mean physics isn’t for me?

CC: No, it just means that I have to actually swallow my pride, I have to ask for more explanations and just say: The way you explained it, it didn’t work for me. Could we try again? Is there somebody else? You know, go find another source, either somebody that you find, or the internet, or a different place, or videos. But, you know, physics and science and chemistry, all of us need to have some technical background, I think.

CC: Because we want make informed decisions about our lives. When somebody talks about healthcare and tells me what’s going on with my kid, I want to be able to really understand the choices. And so we all need, even if this doesn’t feel like it’s you … I’m sorry but you still have to use it, that doesn’t mean that using a calculator, that’s ok. 
MC: But that’s also taking responsibility for decisions. 
CC: It is, but I think that there’s basically one of the reasons why there’s sort of a dichotomy of the people who think: “Yeah, I’m on this science technology kind of camp, and,, I’m not”. It’s partly the way that we present these things, especially to girls and minorities. Where you just show some cool widget to a child who’s a guy, and they are like “wow, I want it that apart, I want to do it.” Typically girls want to know: “if I knew how to fix that, what kind of difference would it make to people?”

MC: You’re right. 
CC: How can I change people’s lives? That’s like the folks that changed computer science course at Carnegie Mellon to tell these kinds of stories about why you want to build, do this stuff for computer programming or electronics. And they increased the enrollment by like 40 %.

MC: Well, it’s almost the difference between coming up with an answer and knowing how you got to the answer when the teacher used to say: work out the entire equation, because you’re going to learn as you work out the problem. 
CC: Exactly. 
MC: That’s so cool. I never thought of applying in that same way. All right. So, before we get into your space experience, you probably had to go on vomit comet, which is the KC 135, which is a plane that everybody has to go on. Can you tell people about that? 
CC: Everybody loves to go in this plane.

MC: So I want you to know I had the opportunity, there was not a chance, I was horrified!

CC: I guess what I think … so it’s an airplane that’s going to fly up really steeply and then down really steeply. When you’re falling down, it’s as if like you are in an elevator and the cord broke and then you’re falling. Right? So you, and the elevator both falling, but it’s not that bad, because it’s an airplane that can then pull up; and so we get about 30 seconds of floating around.It is used mostly to help us understand how experiments are going to work. Especially things like liquids in zero gravity or microgravity behave really differently.

CC: So we want to know what do liquids really want to do; and we have experiments we design for space. But we have to introduce the liquid, we have to squish it out of a needle or a straw, or something; and so on that plane we discovered at one point, when we were trying to look at what drops of liquid are they going to do, well they were getting back in the needle, and so we couldn’t do the experiment. So that’s why we used that plane, we figure that stuff out early.

CC: And 30 seconds doesn’t sound like very long, but it’s long enough to figure out to be weightless in a spacesuit and to figure out, can you see here and do this, and see out of your helmet, at that angle? You know, something that when I was on the ground, trying something out, learning how to operate a space crane. It was easy to do, but then, when you’re really weightless in the space suit that angle of the gloves was such that I really couldn’t see above here, so I couldn’t see the end of the crane that I was pointing. 
CC: So, these 30 seconds were magical. I loved the feeling. You just have to be careful, and there are people to help you.

MC: When you see films of people doing it, there’s always the clip where everyone’s smiling, but I would be horrified. And I’m so proud of you for being so brave.

CC: It’s really fun, but it’s interesting. And also, some people are don’t feel well, in terms of being nauseous. And I will tell you that this: “we are chemistry” is a great answer. Ok?

MC: It flows! 
CC: I mean, we have anti- nausea medications that help people who have nausea problems or who are sick, or maybe taking cancer drugs, things like that, I get sea sick. 
MC: Me too!

CC: And those kinds of medications really helped me for being sea sick. Well I can take them for that thing.

MC: Really? 
CC: Actually I certainly do take them for that point because the experiments are really important and it could cost gazillions of dollars.

MC: And you want to be all there, you want to be 100% in and not sweating. 
CC: The whole plane will be flying for nothing; if you in that suit space you’re not feeling well.

MC: What is your favorite thing about being in space?

CC: I love the floating. Because it’s not about just: “oh, here we are, floating around”. When you live up there it’s like 10 train cars put together, so it’s huge, without the seats in them, so there’s really a lot of room and the only way to move around is to fly.

MC: Well, I’ve been told, and I don’t really remember his name because he totally faded away now that I’m talking to you as far as my favorite astronaut.

CC: I am now the favorite one. Ok! 
MC: That’s right, so as I just told his name totally faded away, he said it was like swimming. 
CC: The time that I feel like: “oh, I’m there, I’m back in space” is when I was just recently in the ocean, diving, and you know how it is like when you’re down in the ocean and you’re diving. You’re down in the water and you feel the waves, you feel it, and when you’re moving with the current, like that, that’s when I felt just weightless.

MC: Ok, so you can try that at home, go into the surf, go with the wave, I mean that’s a brilliant analogy. 
CC: I was also scuba diving so I was able to just really kind of hang out there, I wasn’t body surfing and being at the sort of whim of the waves. 
MC: It is funny you mentioned scuba diving because I was just going to ask you: now that you done space, I mean you kind of done space.

CC: Not done yet! 
MC: Of course not! But have you considered ocean exploration?

CC: Exploration is, you know, like a spectrum. I mean it’s a spirit; and I think it’s a spirit that people have. My dad actually worked in diving and salvage in the Navy. So when met a man at the time, he first he got into the sea, in these habitats, he was designing those habitats. So, in my family it kind of makes sense to do these things, and there are so many similarities between suits that we were using for underwater and suits that we would use for space.

CC: And when you think about it, it’s just about that you’re wearing something and you’re using tools that will help you operate in an environment where you can’t just take that helmet off, or take these gloves out.

MC: Right! I also heard that when you are doing the floating you lose any calluses on your feet, and you get calluses on top of your feet? 
CC: Yes.

MC: Is this because you do monkey things with your feet?

CC: Well, it’s more like we have all sorts of railings, but we call them handrails, around on the space station to grip on to and move. But when you want to stop and you want to be in one place, you just tuck your toes under one of those and that’s how you stand. 
MC: Sounds perfect! 
CC: So you do actually lose the calluses on the bottom of your feet, and then on the top you would get some calluses. 
MC: So you can reverse pedicure. 
CC: Exactly. 
MC: I like that! Was there anything else that when you were on space, did you ever see, and you know what I’m talking about, did you ever see anything you didn’t expect to see? 
CC: You have been reading on the internet? 
MC: I know! Right? The internet! I mean, there are videos of this second of you going. Can I say it? 
CC: Of course. 
MC: I’ve seen an unidentified flying object.

CC: So if you have the complete sentence? I actually I think you can even see this on one ... 
MC: They said it cut out because you went to the “secret channel” and you discussed it with them (Houston) and none of us are supposed to know. And the answer is?

CC: The answer is that we were … they asked us to switch cameras and we thought that they did. Because on the ground the simulations that just be like instant, but it happens like in about a minute and a half and they said: we switched cameras, and meanwhile we thought they switched. So we had that camera pointing, everywhere embarrassing that you could think of, and my partner out there, that we were on the night shift together was just mortified. And he launched himself down the module. But this is our first day on space and we were not very good at it.
MC: You’re not sure of your footing? 
CC: And so he bounces off the ceiling and i said “we have unidentified flying object” and it is not very good. Then I went back to work and I spent an hour putting something together, the glove box, actually, and if you see all the channels and videos it’s very clear what happened. 
MC: But at what point did you find out that you started conspiracy theories?

CC: It was really a while later. It was a while later. 
MC: Were you still up there or had you come back down? 
CC: Oh, we’d come back down. 
MC: Oh, ok.

CC: I’m proud of me, I learned something; I probably learned not to make that kind of joke. 
MC: Some things aren’t really funny sometimes.

CC: Actually, well you know, I’m proud of making people think. It’s good to make people think about what’s real, what’s not, and where your imagination could take you. Our imagination can take us to those places, and I’m a big science fiction fan. 
MC: So am I. Oh my…
CC: I mean, it’s this world that you thought was the future and then so many of the things that we have right now, they are from that future.

MC: Well, it’s like you go Vandenberg Air Force base, you drive around there and there’s nobody there, but all of a sudden it’s lunchtime and you are going to a building that is full of people, and those people were in different buildings, they’re underground, they’re everywhere, it’s a lot. But I did want to tell you, because I know time is short: have you thought about the 3D printer project and how does a 3D printer work in zero gravity? 
CC: So, first of all, I’m sort of an absent minded forgetful person. That’s why we have checklist and they save me all the time. 
MC: Ok, in theory, since you know about physics, how would a 3D printer work? 
CC: So, 3D printers work by depositing layer, after layer, after layer, right? And you were used to building an object from the ground up. Yet the element that it isn’t as obvious here on the ground is that there’s one layer down and then this other layer touches it and it’s much more sticky and so that’s how you can build. 
CC: But down here, gravity actually does play a role, where you’re going to have things that have the stress of gravity. Just like us, you know, gravity makes my hair come down like this and not big like you see it in those space pictures. I am shorter down here, because of this gravity on my spine, same thing would happen to 3D printing., That’s why we’re working with it up there to understand how does it work, what are the effects that we don’t understand, that we don’t necessarily see down here.

MC: Would be a great way to replicate parts if you need the parts.

CC: There are certain tools that we use all the time and I’ll tell you the most important tools you have up there. There’s a ratchet wrench. Every panel that kind of covers stuff in the space station so that it’s not floating everywhere, it’s got these like little bolts and you just need one kind of universal ratchet. Everybody has one and there’s a spare one in the space station. If you lose yours, then you’re using the spare, and you’re on dangerous territory because especially if you lost the first one you might lose the next.

CC: So you really have to keep track of your tools, but the fact that I would have a way to save myself and print an extra one really means everything to me. The other two things that you need: you need a pair of scissors, to open your food and you need a spoon. So when you lose your scissors, you lose your spoon or you lose your ratchet wrench, those are the three things.

MC: You are in deep trouble. 
CC: I mean, its not dangerous, but it’s like, you know. 
MC: Every day, what am I going to do now? 
CC: It’s like, wow, I can’t do that, I’m going to do this, and boy, you’d better not touch somebody else’s spoon.

MC: Aside for being an astronaut, you did something that I admire and I just think is the coolest thing, being CAPCOM.

CC: Oh, I loved that job actually. 
MC: I think that is an awesome thing. You want to tell people what being a CAPCOM is? 
CC: Well, you’re the interface at Mission Control between everybody that works at Mission Control and the people up on the Shuttle or up on the space station. Because you’re, as an astronaut or a person who is trained to do this job and probably works really closely with the astronaut office, then you understand a little bit about what they’re going through up on orbit, and you also understand how the machine down here, the mission control is working.

CC: And so you know, it gets to be 3:30 and on the schedule up in, on the space station Cady is supposed to look, let’s say, Scott Kelly, is supposed to have started something and everybody is waiting to cut their things that are waiting and getting timed and all those kinds of things.

CC: First of all we would’ve explained to Scott: this starts exactly at 3:30 and you need to do it right then. Not everything is like that but we actually do tell the crew when it depends on that. So, everybody’s looking and we don’t see any sign that’s Scott turned that valve. Right? And the flight director will say: “Well Cady, why don’t you call and remind him.” So you know, we just saw him go around the corner into Node 3, where we all have all out exercise equipment and the bathroom. So I say we give him like 5 more minutes unless you know, we are going to like, make an announcement and go find him.

MC: And word CAPCOM comes from “capsule communicator” from the Apollo and Gemini missions? 
CC: Because you’re the one who is communicating with the capsule.

MC: It’s really cool.

CC: It’s a neat place to be really because you feel like you really accomplish two missions: the ground mission and the crew mission.
MC: And you’re pretty much the conduit.

CC: Exactly. 
MC: You have to give the news.

CC: That’s right. 
MC: So tell me, why Mars? Because Mars is there, Mars is red, Mars is fabulous, but why do we want to go to Mars? 
CC: First of all, I’ll say that I just don’t think that we were designed as humans to stay in one place. You know, I don’t think you could keep people on this planet. They’re always going to be looking forward and looking further. Mars is a very logical destination in terms that it’s really the next closest place that is the most like a place that we could really settle and be. So then it’s a question on how are we going to get there and we call this the “Journey to Mars,” its got a formal name. 
MC: I have a Journey To Mars bumper sticker, so I’m there! 
CC: And the steps I will tell you were frustrating and slow. There’s a reason why we’re not going to Mars right now, and it’s because we’re not ready. I mean, the water recycling equipment up on the space station, the air recycling equipment, break more often than you’d want them to break if you were six months away without a lifeboat, right?

CC: The reason is not because they were designed poorly, but because we’re operation an environment that is very strange and puzzling. A lot of things are different and that’s how we actually find out how things really work. You know, we’re finding out what to look for, what’s really what we want to do and so that we understand how to make recycling for, you know, up in space so that we can reuse our water. But actually it’s really important information down here on earth as well.

CC: All the things that we need to do, not all, but many, for that Journey to Mars; recycling water, and air, and learning how to grow plants in a place that is not easy to do so; those are all actually earth problems as well.

MC: And the moon is, you know, we’ve kind of done the moon, it’s no good anymore? 
CC: Well, in going to Mars, it makes sense… 
MC: Could have just intermediary stop? 
CC: It absolutely could. Basically we’re smart enough about space to know that we need life support that’s going to work, we need space suits that are going to work, we need vehicles that are going to work. Almost doesn’t quite matter exactly what that destination is, but we know the most logical nexts. We’ve also a plan more accommodating for the fact that if we find out that, you know, we’re ready to go even further than say the moon. The moon is a really attractive place in terms of, basically its three days away, and I mean the space station is you know, an hour and a half away in terms of being able to come back home.

MC: And Mars is? 
CC: And Mars is more like six months. And so I want to make those mistakes or learn that we need to redesign these systems. Right now on our test being the space station, but also then further out into the solar system or even lower orbit. So the big plan that is not always, I think, very clear, is that NASA is taking the things that we know how to do, which are getting people and stuff up and down to a space station in orbit around here in a place we can test technologies. We know how to do that, so we are transferring those responsibilities to our commercial partners, who are, I mean, stuff up and down that are already doing tonight.

MC: Yes, yes. 
CC: We have our orbital supply ship the Cygnus; and bringing all sorts of supplies plus new experiments.

MC: Well, it’s so cool, when I was at Kennedy Space Center that a launch pad is used by a certain teams … and I found it interesting that there are two teams when you have a launch with a commercial package; there’s your people or the Air Force and then there’s the company that sponsors what’s going up. 
CC: Well, there’s a launch pad operating team, but even in a bigger picture you know we’ve transferred that responsibility for getting stuff up and down to places like Space X and Orbital Sciences. But we’ve also made contracts for them to build ships or capsules to go up and down with people, so that’s what this is all about the space station, right? But we were talking about the Moon and Mars and in order to go to those places we need a different propulsion system, we need a different capsule. That’s what NASA is working on, is the Orion capsule, and the space launch system. It’s a big, big rocket to get us further.

MC: We were there for the first tests at Kennedy Space Center. 
CC: Were you? 
MC: That was amazing, how are we doing on time? 5 minutes? 
CC: So we should maybe take a few questions? 
MC: I have, because we changed the camera I don’t know where the question button went, so I’m really sorry … but I did have a question, personal … watch the movie Gravity? 
CC: Ok. 
MC: All right. Sandra Bullock is being bounced around. She’s been knocked around. She’s on a tether crashing into things. Next thing we see, she’s coming out of the water half naked and stands on the sand. She has no bruises on her body whatsoever and it was at that point the movie totally lost me because I thought, do you not getting bruises in space?

CC: So, we have to unpack that a little bit. 
MC: Ok.

CC: First of all, even though, in that movie there are some laws of physics that are not correct. Ok? 
MC: Ok.

CC: And I mean, just the fact that the Hubble Space Telescope, the Space Station, the Chinese Space Station (which we don’t have yet), they’re not all in the same place and you can’t actually just use the amount of the propulsion you got like in a fire extinhuisher to get there, I mean, that’s not correct.

CC: But what I loved about that movie is that I think space is a magical place and I loved the fact that we are, you know, in low earth orbit, just really 250 miles at up and looking down and we are in space and I don’t get to bring the people that I love up there. Other people don’t get to experience it and that was a very visual movie.
CC: I felt like they actually, first of all they showed they we’re in space which I think that is not always well known. Second I think they showed what that view looked like, and a little bit about what it felt like to have that view. I loved the fact that the heroine was a woman, in the beginning, you know, there’re some things that I would’ve done differently, but you know what, she wasn’t a trained astronaut person in the movie, right?

MC: Right.

CC: Then, if you noticed through the movie, she was just tougher and tougher, and if it didn’t work this way she looked around, she’ll find another way, and I want girls to see that. Now, back to the bruising and about getting bruises.

MC: Ok.

CC: In a big space suit, you know, that actually is bigger than you, and so you’re probably not going to get bruises, except that, where the joints are we’re always coming out of that space suit pretty beat up. Really, just because it’s a suit and that’s one of the technologies were looking at, is how do we have a space suit that helps us instead of one we have to muscle around. 
MC: Bubble wrap, I’m telling you, bubble wrap! 
CC: We will take that into consideration. But then even in space. I have to tell you that I actually I did get to talk with Sandra Bullock, when I was out of space.

MC: I know you did! She was your pen pal – or your Skype pal!

CC: It was just really neat to be able to share what that environment was really like; so that she could then share it with everybody else and just show that we’re real people up there, that we’re people with families.

MC: Well, I think you proved here that you are real people and we have somebody here, Steve Broback, who is the founder (along with Jason Preston) at DENT and he is going to come here, yes? 
SB: I’m coming around, ok.

CC: I just wanted to show the sign here. I love that we’re here at the DENT conference which is, you know, well, I’ll let Steve to explain exactly. 
SB: Well, we’re here in sunny Sun Valley, Idaho and I don’t want to block the logo.

CC: I love these quotes around ... 
MC: I’ve been taking pictures of them and I’ve been making them my morning thoughts.

CC: And we were thinking about making them together and I love dangerous ideas, and we’ve had a lot of really great ones. 
MC: So Steve, have you ever had a question for Cady? 
SB: Oh, all the time, we did our little adventure down the Florida. 
MC: How about one you want to share? 
SB: Oh, tell me about: do you think you might be able to come to our next event? She knows what that is. I’ll go: I’ll do a self-serving question, how about that?

MC: So, internet! 
SB: So, yeah, we’re hosting a new event so I had have planned on asking Cady. 
MC: What kind of event is this, Steve?

SB: Well, I’m glad you asked, Marsha. So, our DENT conferences are about making a DENT universe, that was named after the Steve Jobs phrase, and because we had an opportunity to work with various folks in various space related fields, we’ve decided that in September we’re going to take over the Innovation Hangar in San Francisco for a couple of days, to host DENT Space. Which will be an event significantly dedicated to commercial space flight.

CC: What I love about this is that, first of all, you can’t say you’re going to do space and then you have to just NASA there. It’s about a bigger family of capabilities and of companies.

MC: It”s ideas. 
CC: But if it’s about space, it’s actually about earth, and it’s something that I’m really proud of. The things that we do, like the osteoporosis research that we do, could benefit millions and millions of people here on earth. Understanding what liquids was really wanted to do, it affects everything that it involves flow through a pipe that we don’t understand and that this flow through you factory pipes, it’s flow through our pipes. It’s a way for us to show what the future is doing and then it’s also a way for us to show why it affects us in a more day to day basis. I think we are looking forward to helping you guys to show off. 
SB: Oh, we’d love to have that help.

MC: I will do this again, and have the right camera working and everything. 
SB: Ok, sounds great.

MC: We had to spin this (camera) around at the last second, so, there is a plan B? 
CC: We were great with plan B, right?

SB: The innovation hangar is at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and the rest of the details, it’s in September, I think it’s on 21st and 22nd, we reserved and all these details can be found at 
MC: and we’ll be tagging this video so that you’ll be able to go there and find how you can meet. The great thing about the DENT conferences, I’ve just wanted to say this, is that you’re here and nobody is pitching you. Everybody is here to share ideas and talk to people. 
CC: It’s as stunning and cooperative. I mean, I came really for help. You know, and I’ll pitch actually something that we are doing in two weeks, on April 23rd and 24th is Space Apps Challenge. This is where NASA puts out like, last year it was 35 challenges, 35 things that we need help with, that we can’t do by ourselves, actually doesn’t make sense to do by ourselves.

CC: And it’s actually a sort of a strategy to get people to realize that they could be part of solving NASA problems. We are actually as NASA, a leader in crowdsourcing for solutions to problems, for even analyzing data. So you know, I think it’s going to be a really amazing weekend. Last year when they did this Space Apps Challenge there were a hundred and sixty cities in sixty different countries. Eight or 10,000 people around the country working on these 35 challenges, and the people that came up with ideas, I mean, it is not who you think.

MC: And what is the website so people can look at them? 
CC: I would go @SpaceApps on Twitter, and at NASA International Space Apps Challenge. And you’ll see the sort of projects that you could be working on, you don’t have to wait until April 23rd to start, but it’s a weekend where they’ve established sites all around the world. People come together and it’s very inclusive, of especially women and minorities. Where there is somebody at each one of those sites that really cares, that when somebody walks in that hackathon that they find a team to be a part of.

MC: So this is an opportunity for anybody who loves space, you have a passion and an opportunity to get started. 
CC: You can show us some of the solutions? 
MC: Yeah, sure. 
CC: That would be a great thing.

MC: But you know, crowdsourcing doesn’t always work very well, the British government crowdsourced the name of a new ship, and 70% of the people on the internet voted to name it "Boatie McBoatface." Why?
Steve: Wait. You don’t like that?

CC: So what we’ve learned at NASA is that you have to be careful what choices you offer. Because seriously, if you want to make some decisions based on the data you have to get people, to give people choices that help you make those decisions.

MC: I think "Floatie" would be a good name for the ship.

CC: I’m going to abstain.

MC: So I want to say goodbye from DENT and thank you for joining us Cady Coleman, say goodbye. 
CC: Bye! 
MC: Steve! 
SB: Thanks! 
MC: And we’ll see you in September at DENT Space. Bye bye! 
SB: Thank you!

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