Exclusive Q&A: Introducing Inspiration4 civilian astronaut Sian Procter

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The accomplished geoscientist, educator, and artist is fulfilling a lifelong dream she shared with her late father as she prepares to join the first all-civilian crew heading into space. If you watched the Super Bowl this year, you may have seen an intriguing ad for SpaceX’s Inspiration4, planned to be the first-ever all-civilian space flight, which began soliciting applications for would-be space explorers during the big game. The flight will put four nonastronauts into low earth orbit on a multiday journey using SpaceX’s Dragon, the reusable spacecraft that has ferried crews to and from the International Space Station. The Inspiration4 program was founded in partnership with St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital to raise awareness and money for the children’s cancer research organization and includes four seats that represent Leadership, Hope, Prosperity, and Generosity. After a social media contest and rigorous evaluation process (for which Fast Company editor-in-chief Stephanie Mehta served as …

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The newest product made from captured CO2 is explosive

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As private space starts booming, the footprint of the industry could become massive. Making the rocket fuel from CO2 could help. When SpaceX launches its Starship rocket, designed to send crew members to the International Space Station, deliver satellites to space, and travel to Mars as early as 2024, each launch will emit an estimated 715 tons of CO2, roughly as much as 10 cross-country flights on a 747. If spaceflight becomes common—and if the rocket is also used for quick trips in place of jets on Earth—it could become a meaningful source of emissions. But rockets can also use zero net carbon fuel. Read Full Story

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AI coach and zero-gravity sex therapist: 5 jobs from the space workforce of the future

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As we get closer to the prospect of inhabiting space, the workforce will need to dramatically readjust. Humans have been living and working in space for decades. Ever since the first crew arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) in late 2000, we’ve accelerated toward the next era of the Space Age, in which we sustain new human activities—spanning research, exploration, and industry—in orbit, on the moon, on Mars, and beyond. Read Full Story

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