Due to unforeseen circumstances, we’re running a backup show this week. Over Coffee® will be back with a new episode next Friday, June 16th. Meanwhile, in honor of the 2017 NASA astronaut candidates, here is one of our most popular interviews from Space Apps Pasadena 2016, starring NASA JPL IT Chief Technology Officer Tom Soderstrom.
If you’re running a startup, you have a lot of the skills required for planning a space flight.
At least, that’s NASA JPL IT Chief Technology Officer Tom Soderstrom’s perspective.
We had the opportunity to talk at NASA Space Apps Challenge 2016, in their Pasadena location. As teams of coworkers, family members and even strangers worked together, using NASA open data to “hack” literally any problem in the universe, Tom explained the parallels.
Tom, who has been involved with NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge since its beginning, in 2011, was onsite to serve as a consultant to the teams. He would also be one of the project judges, as teams presented their finished projects following the weekend-long hackathon.
And with him, Tom was bringing a background of not only expertise in space-related information technology–but in working with a number of startups.
Tom talked about his background, the Space Apps challenge, and some of the ways NASA’s vision for the future is sparking innovation we’ll see in our lives within the next few years.
On this episode of Over Coffee®, you’ll hear:
How Tom first became inspired to work as a scientist;
Why Tom was drawn back to NASA after working in industry;
Some surprising facts about patents and innovation;
How Tom first came on board with NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge;
Some of the innovations citizen-science teams developed, during 2016 Space Apps;
Resources Tom recommends to people from a non-scientific background, for learning how to program;
How an entrepreneur’s startup experience parallels the Space Apps Challenge, and NASA in general;
Tom’s projections of the ways NASA’s innovations are going to affect space travel in the future;
His “yardstick” for analyzing new, seemingly “crazy” ideas.
How a “crazy” idea became one of NASA’s most notable successes.
NASA Space Apps Challenge Global Hackathon – See the 2017 projects that made the finals, worldwide, from this 48-hour hackathon for the benefit of–the whole world! (This will also be the site on which city locations will be announced for the 2018 Space Apps Challenge, happening in April. Registration is free; you may want to bookmark their site and check back in early 2018!)
NASA Television – Live coverage of launches, spacewalks, astronaut press conferences and other cool space stuff!
NASA Datanauts program – NASA’s free program for citizen scientists–and everyone (including us arts people and storytellers) is welcome to apply! They’re currently accepting applications for their Fall class.