Welcome Sarah Cruddas. We are in the Deutsch-Amerikanisches Insitute’s library. And Thanks for having me! it’s a pleasure to talk to Sarah Cruddas today. I have a couple of questions about space at the Festival of Learning and how space is related to learning. My first question is – if I had a child, a 6 year old. Would it be a viable option to land on Mars for that child? Something I like to say, and it sounds like science fiction and this is why I love space exploration, is: All the stuff that sounds crazy now becomes true. And all the stuff that we can’t even imagine that becomes true also, and you only have to look back to the history of the last century to see all these things which are seemingly impossible 100 years ago and they create our reality No one could have imagine the world of cyberspace we live in today for example. So one of the things I like to say to schoolchildren – and even though it sounds crazy it’s true – is that the first person to go to Mars is probably in school right now So watching this perhaps is a little boy or girl and they’re going to be the first human being to set foot on Mars because the way we’re progressing in space exploration at the moment, we’re looking at returning to the moon and then learning on the moon how to survive on another world how to fend for ourselves so to speak and then the next targets go to Mars. And realistically by the time that happens, that little boy or girl in school will then be an adult So there is some child out there who is going to be the first human being to set foot on Mars and I just think that’s an absolutely incredible thing and any little boy or girl who is interested in space they can – don’t count yourself out because you never know what life has in store for you! If you believe in what you’re doing and if you work hard and if you’re
passionate it could be you who becomes the first human being to go to Mars. Nothing is impossible! Would I be able to fly to the moon within my lifetime? Perhaps! I think what is so interesting about this new space industry or new space era we’re now entering. So we had a space race and that was between two superpowers and it was essentially a war. And the moon and space was almost a battle field because these two superpowers were trying to say: We can do a big thing well. And that big thing was space. But now it’s about lots of people. Space is no longer about two superpowers. It’s about pretty much every country on earth. And then people, as well as entrepreneurs, very wealthy people as well with visions. So change is happening faster than you can realize or faster than you think it might be happening. So it’s feasible, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility, that perhaps we could have tourism trips to the moon within our lifetime. And that would change everything, because that sense of perspective that sense of visiting another world and not only just seeing that other world but being able to look back at Earth and see our Earth and see it almost so small that you can cover it with your thumb. That’s going to change people. And it will change people for the better to have that experience. So I’m optimistic that within your lifetime, within our lifetime that could potentially happen. There is a lot of disruption and a lot of things going on that is beyond space research and that’s happening here just around us in our everyday life. And it has to do with digitization and it has to do with technology it has to do with change that has to be learned by those who may or may not go to space, but certainly by all those who are affected by new technology in their daily lives and working lives. What do you think is has the biggest impact on on life on Earth for our daily lives. When it comes to space exploration what’s the feedback situation from space frontiers exploration into our lives? What do you think is the greatest impact of space travel on Earth. Probably that’s the best way to put it, yes. That’s a great question. I think, obviously this huge scientific benefit beyond teflon pans and the cliches that we hear about, it’s an acceleration of technology of course which again this technology but you know going to the moon tought us how to do a big thing well and to work together as a team and it’s inspirational as well. The generation that built the world we live in today were inspired by the moon landings. And actually, if you take away all the advance in technology and the curiosity and all the great things we’re doing in terms of that, it’s the inspiration for me which is the greatest thing to come from space exploration. And actually it’s those images of Earth from space and realizing you know you can now see that we’re a spaceship or a planet and everything you know. We’re all in this together and everything, who is on this one planet and we now have photographs to show that. 60 or 70 years ago we didn’t have those photographs. So for me it’s that perspective shift that being able to view the fact that we are all on a planet. This planet has no borders from space and that we can see ourselves in the darkness of space and know that we’re almost insignificant really in terms of the grand scheme of things and so much out there that we can’t even begin to imagine. What is the biggest effect of this perspective change, because obviously not everyone can have this perspective change, when you say you look at a blue planet from space and it’s only a very selected group of people. Well only a few people have seen that with their own eyes but we’ve all seen the photographs. And you can measure the value that seeing those photographs has had on our society. You know it’s inspired people seeing photographs of space, of the earth inspired me to care about space. When I was growing up and everyone today or many people today have at least seen a photograph of the Earth from space. So we can’t measure that. But it’s hugely inspirational. We can’t measure exactly what that inspiration is but we can’t count it out either. You know art and inspiration and all these other things we don’t think of. They go hand-in-hand with the exploration and the technology that comes from space. So you’re envisioning a democratization of space perspective also, as I can see. Yeah. So one of the organizations I work with, it’s a great organization. It’s called Space for Humanity. And the goal of Space for Humanity is to essentially democratize the access to space. And what that means is you know today 600 or so human beings are flown to space and they’ve all been elite people so they’ve been either people in the military or scientists. But what happens when we send people at your eye or people from across the world into space. People who might not be a high net-worth individual people who might not be highly educated in STEM subjects, just sending ordinary people, who are still extraordinary in their own way. How would they communicate their story. How would they inspire their community about what they saw. So space isn’t just the few, space is for the many. You know we’re all in this together and if we’re going to progress forward as a species we need to continue to be in this together. So the idea of Space for Humanity is to send – as a long term goal – 10000 people into space. How would they go back to their communities? How would they tell the story they saw? How would they better their community? Because actually we think of space exploration as being about going to Mars, going to the moon, advancing this new frontier and it is. But actually the main reason we´re going to space is about us or us and it’s about Earth. So we’re sending more people into space. We’re going to have more people who come back and they appreciate what we have here on Earth because earth is the best planet. Find me a planet which is better than earth! Is there another planet that could develop as another habitable zone for species comparable to what we have in biological spectrum. Anything you can imagine is out there. So we are detecting earth-like planets elsewhere in our universe. Mathematically we’re not alone in the universe. So I have one last question. We are today striking against massive climate change and the implications of industries going beyond their possibilities of extrapolation of the effects of their industrial impacts. And we’re sitting in the library and we’re thinking about space and space exploration. How do you think space exploration would have a positive impact and benefit, how could we benefit from space exploration interms of an environmental perspective. Well, we go into space to protect Earth. That is the main reason we do it for all of humanity. And hopefully people will see more of that as we progress in this century. And it is without scientific doubt, that our planet’s climate is changing and humans are involved in that change, but actually much of the data we’ve been able to glean has come from sending satellites into space and looking back on Earth and observing our Earth. So the fact that we know scientifically, that our climate is changing so much is thanks to space technology. And actually, as we move forward in space exploration the thing we need to do most is protect Earth. So first of all going back to the images it says images which show us the earth is a spaceship and our earth is incredibly fragile and you know you can see this thin blue line and that’s how our atmosphere and that’s it. And we need to protect it. So it´s that perspective shift, which comes from space exploration, that we’re talking about. But it’s about utilizing space technology that we have available to us today to work to try and protect Earth’s climate. We’re not going to Mars long term for example because we are going to destroy the Earth and we’re going to destroy Mars and pollute that as well. We’re going to Mars because of curiosity. It is no different to what we’ve done on Earth. But the reason we go into space is about protecting Earth. So we’re looking at potentially in the future moving some of the manufacturing which is done on earth into space perhaps into orbit around the earth. And then you’re taking those industries which are bad for our planet and you’re moving them elsewhere. There’s a lot of possibilities that can come from space exploration. And I appreciate sometimes as there is this argument we shouldn’t go into space because we should be concentrating on looking after Earth. But imagine if Columbus hadn’t sailed to America 500 years ago. Imagine, if humans hadn’t left their caves, we’d just remained as prehistoric cave people. We’re always going to have that innate curiosity, that urge to go out and explore. But what comes with that is technology and that technology can be utilized to help protect Earth. So we are in a dark and a serious and a grave situation today and we need to take climate change seriously. But the data and the information we’re getting from space can help with that. If I gave you an unlimited amount of money and you could you could invite technology specialists and scientists and people who really know their stuff and you could gather the best group you can imagine. What would be your personal vision of space exploration maybe during the next 50 years. What would be the big steps and the goals and the visions maybe also the moral implications that come with it and ethical implications that you would promote and what’s your personal idea. You know there’s so many possibilities. I would like to send a spacecraft to Europa. Europa is this icy moon of Jupiter where we think is a liquid ocean underneath, a liquid water ocean and if there is, there may even be life there. So I’d like to send a serious robotic scientific investigation, then multiple robotic missions there to prove conclusively: Is if their life on Europa? I would of course like to send human beings to Mars back to the moon. And I think when we look at space exploration today we’ve got nations which might not get on so well together on Earth collaborating in space. You only have to look at the International Space Station. So I’d like to see people from across the world, from all walks of life all types of industries working together in space, because actually so much good for humanity has come out of space exploration and we see so much much collaboration that we don’t see on Earth. So I’d like to see that continue. And competition is healthy. Competition drives forward innovation. So perhaps, if you had unlimited money you’d have almost like a prize incentive, just like when Charles Lindbergh came became the first person to fly across the Atlantic. He was competing in the Orteig Prize. And then when SpaceShip 1 became the first commercial spacecraft to get to space, they were competing in the X Prize. So we’ve always had these prize incentives so I think it’d be great to have another prize incentive for space exploration, because competition is good for innovation. But really what I’d like to see is international collaboration between countries on Earth that might not get on Earth but can work together in space. And then realize that actually instead of being a planet made up of multiple countries we’re one planet and we need to work together. That’s our home. Yeah. I just kind of want to add as well with the climate and the situation and you look up endangered species in our own planet and what we’re doing to some of these species as well, such as rhino poaching in Africa. Actually we’re utilizing space technology. Satellites in space are helping with protecting endangered species and protecting illegal hunts. Space gives us a perspective that we’ve never had before. So it’s easy to lash out at space and say: What are they ever done for the world? But in the same way you can’t get angry at art for example, because art has done so much to the world. Space is that next layer and it’s what makes us human to to go to space. So we’re doing so much in space to benefit our own species and other species. And I’d just like to say that – you know scientists are good people. They could earn a lot more money working in other industries, but they choose to work in science, they choose to work in climate science or space science because they’re doing it for the good of our planet and the good of our species So thank you very much Sarah Cruddas. Thank you for having me. I’m happy to have talked about space and space exploration and I think the greatest thing is, if we talk about things and if you think about space and think about new technology and think about new options is that it sparks new questions and it sparks new ideas for new frontiers to explore. And you’ve been the greatest help, we could have had in exploring a new way of looking at Earth and looking at space and look up, right? Yeah. All of us can just look up and appreciate space and I think space is one of those things that is free. It’s just there, even in a bright city with bright lights you can still see the moon and that can spot curiosity and just you
know stay curious and and keep on wondering what is out there. And we talked about it with the Festival of Learning, the theme is lifelong learning and actually there’s no greater way of life-long learning than learning about space because it continues to evolve and it continues to inspire. And it’s something throughout our history as a species we’ve been curious about. And it involves so many different things. And everything we know changes constantly. You know 20 years ago we haven’t even discovered planets orbiting around other stars and now we know, that there are more planets out there than stars in our universe. We can’t even begin to imagine what’s to come in the future. I wonder what we were going to be looking at with that. Thank you for having me. Thank you, Sarah Cruddas. Thank you!