What life in space teaches astronauts about solving challenges on planet Earth | The TechTank Podcast

Astronaut Nicole Stott, STS-128 mission specialist waves as she pauses during the mission's first spacewalk with the International Space Station's solar panels as a backdrop as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station in this NASA handout photo taken September 1, 2009.

The future of space is here. NASA is preparing to return to the Moon and is planning to have missions to Mars. Private space companies are sending ordinary people into Earth’s orbit. Meanwhile, space telescopes are generating new insights about the universe. All these developments raise interesting questions about the future of space exploration and how to use the knowledge we are gaining to improve life on Earth.

On this episode of the TechTank podcast, host Darrell West is joined by astronaut, artist, and author Nicole Stott to discuss her new book, “Back to Earth: What Life in Space Taught Me About Our Home Planet – And Our Mission to Protect It.” Inspired by insights she gained in space, Stott offers essential lessons in problem-solving, survival, and crisis response that Earthbound readers can practice to make change.

A 28-year veteran NASA astronaut, Stott completed two spaceflights and logged 104 days living and working in space as a crew member on both the International Space Station (ISS) and the Space Shuttle. Now retired from NASA, Stott is a co-founder of the Space for Art Foundation, where she combines her artwork and spaceflight experience to inspire creative thinking about solutions to our planetary challenges, to raise awareness of the surprising interplay between science and art, and to promote the amazing work being done every day in space to improve life right here on Earth.

You can listen to the episode and subscribe to the TechTank podcast on AppleSpotify, or Acast.

TechTank is a biweekly podcast from The Brookings Institution exploring the most consequential technology issues of our time. From artificial intelligence and racial bias in algorithms, to Big Tech, the future of work, and the digital divide, TechTank takes abstract ideas and makes them accessible. Moderators Dr. Nicol Turner Lee and Darrell West speak with leading technology experts and policymakers to share new data, ideas, and policy solutions to address the challenges of our new digital world.