GreenBiz Tech Talk Explores Future of Sustainable Space Travel

GreenBiz Tech Talk Explores Future of Sustainable Space Travel

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 9:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

OAKLAND, Calif., September 22, 2015 /3BL Media/ - GreenBiz Group will host a collaborative discussion among NASA and business leaders on the role of emerging technologies for sustainable, long-duration spaceflight. In two sessions at GreenBiz’s annual VERGE conference, NASA will reach beyond the aerospace industry for ideas on providing such necessities as food, energy, water, and building materials to astronauts traveling to Mars and beyond.

VERGE, the flagship of a global event series produced by GreenBiz Group, looks at how technology accelerates sustainability solutions across industries and sectors in a climate-constrained world. VERGE 2015 will be held October 26-29, 2015 at the Fairmont San Jose. Additional speakers and agenda sessions are being added weekly to the event website:

At this year’s event, astronaut Cady Coleman and Jason Crusan, director of Advanced Exploration Systems with the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA, will challenge the VERGE audience — which includes Fortune 500 companies as well as tech start-ups — to come up with the innovations NASA needs to sustain life in deep space and invites them to “Ideate with NASA” on how sustainable technologies and processes are helping to enable the journey to Mars and beyond.

“We hope to collaborate with the nation’s best innovators – people with different ideologies and influences to help us ideate on what it will take for us to sustain life beyond Earth,” said Crusan, who leads technology and innovation approaches to new flight and system capabilities for human exploration. “We’re seeing non-traditional industries become a part of the solution and there’s a transfer of knowledge that bodes well for both space and Earth.”

Despite accomplishments in low-Earth orbit, space missions are still constrained by the need to re-supply and replenish spacecraft from Earth. Leaving the Blue Planet presents a host of challenges that stretch the definitions of concepts like supply chain management, logistics, and sustainability. It requires that astronauts grow their food, filter water, generate power, and build structures on distant planets and moons using indigenous materials.

A VERGE workshop, “The Trajectory to Sustainable Space Exploration,” will bring together representatives from NASA and private-sector companies to address the space program’s technology needs for sustainable sources of air, water, food, and recycling for long-distance human space exploration. It represents a unique opportunity for both large and small tech companies to “Ideate with NASA” about how to solve pressing problems associated with deep-space travel.

“The absence of gravity changes the lens through which we look at a lot of things,” said Cady Coleman, an American chemist, former United States Air Force officer, and current NASA astronaut. A two-time space shuttle veteran and International Space Station resident who logged 159 days in space, Coleman will help lead the “Ideate with NASA” workshop on Tuesday afternoon. “Making things sustainable, whether on Earth or in space, is very technical in nature, but we hope to glean what we can from sustainably focused groups of experts to better understand how we can take our discoveries from space and apply these to life on Earth.”

“In talking with Cady and Jason, it is clear that, if we wanted to go to Mars tomorrow, it’s already possible,” said Joel Makower, Chairman of GreenBiz Group. “The challenge and the opportunity for the tech community is to apply its unparalleled innovation capabilities to making space travel sustainable. Those innovations will, in turn, help make things more sustainable here on Spaceship Earth.”


GreenBiz Group’s mission is to define and accelerate the business of sustainability. It does this through a wide range of products and services, including its acclaimed website and e-newsletters, GreenBuzz and VERGE; webcasts on topics of importance to sustainability and energy executives; research reports, including the annual State of Green Business; the GreenBiz Executive Network, a membership-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability executives; and conferences: the annual GreenBiz forum and VERGE.

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