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The Power of Revolutionary Thinking: What Today's Scientists Can Teach You About Driving Innovation In Your Organization

09/22/2005 7:00 PM Georgia Public Television
Alf Nucifora, Chairman, Nucifora Consulting Group; Marketing c; Robert Cassanova, Director, NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) ; Dava Newman, Sm '89, PhD '92, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems; Bradley Carl Edwards, President and Founder, Carbon Designs

Description:
"You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights."


While Dr. Seuss may not have been a direct inspiration, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" seems especially suited to these four "brainy and footsy people" with exceptional reach.

Take Bradley Carl Edwards, who is designing a space elevator 62 thousand miles long, made out of a three-foot wide ribbon of carbon nanotubes, with one end attached to earth and the other sticking out in space. Send up solar panel satellites and you've got a constant, inexpensive supply of power for the world.

And there's Dava Newman, who is working on a spacesuit made out of liquefied polymers and electro active materials. Her "shrink-wrapped" Biosuit system is intended for "extreme explorers" on multi-year missions to the moon and beyond, who need second skins to augment human performance and minimize bone and muscle loss typical in low gravity environments.

Or Penelope Boston, whose investigation of our planet's harshest caves is leading to models for human habitation in subterranean lava tubes on Mars. Deploy "microbots" to reconnoiter for danger and signs of life in these deep and dangerous places, suggests Boston, then develop life support mechanisms in preparation for human colonies on other worlds.

Are these merely flights of fancy? Robert Cassanova thinks not. His NIAC serves as incubator to these "really good revolutionary ideas," which he believes stretch the imagination but that will also end up as credible technologies.

Host(s): Alumni Association, MIT Enterprise Forum

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MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

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