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Psychology's final frontier: Staying sane in space


Astrobiology Magazine posts an intriguing report today: The American Psychological Association is looking seriously at the question of astronauts’ mental health. It’s an issue that has sometimes been swept under the rug, says the APA’s press release: Historically, astronauts have been reluctant to admit to mental or behavioral health problems for fear of being grounded. []

First look at Branson/Rutan's space terminal


Making private space travel possible and accessible to everyone has been a recurring topic at recent TED conferences, discussed by speakers such as Burt Rutan at TED 2006 (watch his speech), Peter Diamandis at TEDGLOBAL 2005, Richard Branson at TED 2007 and others. This week the first images of the central terminal and hangar facility []

A hard week for space exploration


This has been a hard week for lovers and dreamers of space travel — a frequent topic at TED. An explosion at Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites spaceport caused three victims. It was followed by a report on issues of personal safety at NASA, part of the unfolding story there. Space exploration is an inherent high-risk []

NASA: Back in orbit?


Worth a read: Fascinating Op/Ed piece in today’s Times by Carolyn Porco on the brightening future for human space travel, which has been faltering since the Nixon era. TED2006 speaker, Burt Rutan, had a lot to say about this in his TED talk, which provocatively began: “Houston, we have a problem. We’re entering a second []

National Design Awards


The 2005 U.S. National Design Awards were announced last week, with several of our TED friends among them. Congratulations to Burt Rutan (Product design), Stefan Sagmeister (Communication design), and Eva Zeisel (lifetime achievement). Well done!

Burt Rutan, space cowboy, to speak at TED2006


TEDsters: Prepare to be transported. Burt Rutan, the legendary aircraft designer, will thrill us this February in Monterey, with his plans to make space travel a reality. Rutan, who won the $10M X-Prize for SpaceShipOne — the first private craft to reach space — has now partnered with Virgin Galactic (an offshoot of Virgin Atlantic) []