Dava Newman

25/10/2018

Exploring Space For Earth: Earth’s Vital Signs Revealed

On Thursday, 25 October at 10:30 AM Dava Newman, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will be at Fabrica for a lecture entitled “Exploring Space For Earth: Earth’s Vital Signs Revealed”.

Recent space science missions to Pluto and Jupiter, the discovery of thousands of exoplanets, and orbital missions to monitor Spaceship Earth will be highlighted. Humanity will become interplanetary, and is on a journey to Mars. We are closer to reaching the Red Planet with human explorers than we have ever been in our history. Space agencies, academia and industry are working on the technologies that will enable human “boots on Mars” in the 2030s. We are testing advanced technologies from solar electric propulsion to cutting edge life support systems, advanced space suit design, to the first crops grown in space, the journey to Mars is already unfolding in tangible ways today for tomorrow. However, Mars is not ‘Plan B’. Spaceship Earth, our pale blue dot, is the most magnificent planet to inhabit. Earth is speaking to us – are we listening? The past two years have been the hottest recorded on Earth since we began measuring global climate for the past 140 years. Hundreds of gigatons of ice have been lost in Greenland and Antarctica, and levels of trapped greenhouse gas have reached over 410 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Earth’s vital signs tell a story of a planet in trouble, threatening sea-level rise, ocean acidity and plastic pollution might have disastrous implications for the health of communities worldwide. Actions and solutions to help regenerate to Earth’s oceans, land and air are discussed. The collective actions already underway shine a light on a healthier future between humanity and our home planet.
Professor Newman offers an orbital view of planet Earth’s interconnected systems through supercomputer data visualizations and stories to demonstrate risks, actions and solutions.

Professor Dava Newman, former Deputy Administrator of NASA, is the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Harvard–MIT Health, Sciences, and Technology faculty member in Cambridge, MA. Her research expertise is in multidisciplinary aerospace biomedical engineering investigating human performance across the spectrum of gravity. She is a leader in advanced Space suit design, dynamics and control of astronaut motion, leadership development, innovation and Space policy. Newman was the principal investigator on 4 spaceflight missions. Best known for her second skin BioSuit™ planetary EVA system, her advanced spacesuits inventions are now being applied to “soft suits” to study and enhance locomotion on Earth.