Monthly Archives: February 2012

LAUNCH: Innovating the Way We Create

Upcycled waste becomes Robot Art

Upcycled waste becomes Robot Art

The amazing LAUNCH core team from NASA, USAID, State Department and NIKE is gathering in San Francisco to host a brainstorming session with thought leaders in the field of “sustainable waste” — creating less and creating more value from existing and future waste. We call this brainstorming session, LAUNCH: Big Think. Waste is a huge issue for long duration human spaceflight. Engineers at NASA are grappling with ways to creatively design closed loop systems that use waste as feedstock for additional needs. A simple example is using wasted package material to line module walls as radiation protection on orbit.

On the plane, I read the book “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things” by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. What a great summary of the state of waste for the past, present, and future. Even the book is printed on “technical nutrient” (synthetic paper) rather than wood pulp or cotton fiber.

The book promotes a vision of eco-effectiveness rather than eco-efficiency. The prevailing winds of eco-efficiency rely on a notion of doing less harm. Eco-effectiveness pushes a “do NO harm” approach to how we create products and services for the future.

The authors use the ant as a model for how humans could exist on this planet —

“all the ants on the planet, taken together, have a biomass greater than that of humans. Ants have been incredibly industrious for millions of years. Yet their productiveness nourishes the plants, animals, and soil. Human industry has been in full swing for little of a century, yet it has brought about a decline in almost every ecosystem on the planet. Nature doesn’t have a design problem. People do.” — Cradle to Cradle

For the LAUNCH: Waste forum in July, we’re sifting through the innovation space around waste — reuse, remake, recycle, upcycle, net-zero, closed loop, cradle-to-cradle, etc. to determine where we should focus our search for ten innovations. From the perspective of the Cradle to Cradle authors, we should aim to eliminate all waste products by ensuring discarded products become feedstock for new valued processes.

“To eliminate the concept of waste means to design things — products, packaging, and systems — from the very beginning on the understanding that waste does not exist.” — Cradle to Cradle

I’m intrigued by the conversations we’ll have tomorrow about the waste innovation space — and hopefully a better name than LAUNCH: Waste which, let’s face it, kinda’ stinks (pun intended.)

In the end, this is the kind of world I’d love to live in — one with trees and birds and flowing streams. Stay tuned.

Mosaic forest art from DFW airport.

Mosaic forest art from DFW airport.


Filed under innovation, LAUNCH

Very Spacey Social Media Week in DC

This week was social media week around the world. How cool to participate on the Breakfast Kickoff Panel, and our NASA Tweetup with Space Station Astronaut Ron Garan. Here is a snapshot of DC Social Media Week chatter: a little space on Earth.

@skytland tweet

DC Social Media Week Kickoff

Peter @Corbett3000 kicks off DC Social Media Week

Social Media Week @GoogleDC tweet

Social Media Week @InTheCapital Tweet

Social Media Week @jnetter tweet

Social Media Week @yourdailyphil tweet

Social Media Week @Isaldarriaga tweet

DC Social Media Week Panel

Fellow Panelist @AlliHouseworth + Moderator Bonnie Shaw @bon_zai

Social Media Week @AlliHouseworth Tweet

DC Social Media Week

Fellow Panelist Ryan Hill @Hirshorn

Social Media Week @R_Steinbach tweet

Social Media Week @SMWWDC tweet

Social Media Week @bon_zai tweet

On Tuesday, NASA hosted three Space Station astronauts: Mike Fossum, Cady Coleman, and Ron Garan. They debriefed NASA Headquarters employees, met with Members of Congress and staff, and split off for separate events. Cady and Mike when to an event at the Air and Space Museum while Ron hosted space tweeps at the NASA tweetup at NASA Headquarters in downtown DC.

NASA tweetup @Astro_Cady Tweet

@AndreasSchepers Tweet

NASA tweetup @NASAhqphoto Tweet

NASA tweetup @schierholz Tweet

NASA Tweetup @andresdavid Tweet

NASA tweetup @bethbeck Tweet

NASA tweetup @Astro_Ron Tweet

NASA Tweetup @KelleyApril Tweet

NASA tweetup @bethbeck Tweet

NASA Tweetup @Sig727 Tweet

NASA tweetup Crowd. Photo: NASA/Carla Cioffi

NASA tweetup Crowd. Photo: NASA/Carla Cioffi

NASA tweetup @Astro_Ron Tweet

NASA Tweetup @datachick Tweet

Thanks for letting me share a few highlights from a great week! And a real treat for me: trending in DC during Social Media Week!

Social Media Week @TrendsDC tweet

Leave a comment

Filed under astronaut, Fragile Oasis, NASA, social media, tweet-up

Happy Space LUV Day!


Robots are red.

Robots are blue.

I’d LUV a personal robot or two.

How ’bout you?

Remember to spread the Space LUV today!

Happy Valentine’s Day


Filed under Uncategorized