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SXSW Moments: May the Fourth

The Forrest Four-Cast: May 3, 2019

As May the 4th comes around to be with us once again, our thoughts naturally turn to galaxies far, far away — and what we might envision to make our own little blue dot a little more space age. Much to learn, we still have.

The Promises and Perils of New Space
Man landed on the moon 49 years ago. Since then, human space exploration has been largely centered on unmanned scientific exploration and Space Station development. The space industry is now poised for massive disruption due to falling launch costs, technology innovation and high levels of private funding. “NewSpace” is the private, commercial approach to increasing access to and utilization of space, while dramatically lowering the cost of both. Dr. Tom Markusic, CEO of Firefly Aerospace, an Austin-based rocket company, presents a wide-ranging discussion of NewSpace, which includes an overview of how rockets work, how “stuff” gets to space, the perils of being a space entrepreneur and the incredible promise that awaits humanity in our exploration of the stars.

From Dust to Dinos and Back Again!
The universe is full of cataclysmic processes, including the creation and destruction of planets — even without the involvement of a Death Star. Yet, this might not be as detrimental to the organisms on those planets or moons as one might guess. Astrobiologists, geologists, and astrophysicists are all thinking through this complication in planet evolution, trying to reconcile them with panspermia (the idea that life exists throughout the universe), evidence of the Cambrian explosion, and the menagerie of exoplanets we see in our Galaxy. Listen as a panel of scientists trying to answer these questions with computer simulations, lab experiments, and space telescopes discuss challenges and future of the field.

Austinpreneur: Space Exploration For All
This live recording of the Capital Factory Austinpreneur podcast features special guest Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society and “the Science Guy,” Richard Garriott, one of the private astronauts from Soyuz TMA-13’s mission to the International Space Station, and Molly Cain, former Director of Venture at U.S. Homeland Security. Moderator John Frémont of Hypergiant leads a conversation about commercial space travel and where the business opportunities are in the future.

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Death to Roadways: Ending Traffic with Flying Cars
No road-based solution will ever be sufficiently scalable, clean, quiet or fast enough to solve the extent of today’s mobility issues. But because of solutions NASA, Bell and other innovators are developing, we soon will solve these problems from the sky. This panel reveals an everyday, air-based transportation system built to manage traffic and shows how private and public companies are collaborating to ensure that the public adopts air-based mobility solutions without fail.

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Drone Racing League CEO/Founder Nicholas Horbaczewski

Off to the Drone Races: The Future of Unmanned Flight
AI expert Robie Samanta Roy and the Drone Racing League CEO/Founder Nicholas Horbaczewski discuss how they’re accelerating AI innovation and shaping the future of autonomous transportation, delivery, disaster relief, and even space exploration — all through futuristic sports competition in the Artificial Intelligence Robotic Racing Circuit.

Shooting Stars: How NASA Works With Film and TV
What’s your favorite space movie? NASA may have played a role in its production. This session covers how (and why) America’s space agency works with Hollywood to provide assets, locations, and technical expertise to select entertainment projects, including “The Martian,” “Hidden Figures,” and “First Man.”

More Memories from SXSW 2019
Change is Coming
Urban Mobility
It’s Time for Sports!
Saving the Ocean
Military Matters
Women’s Health
Social Media Power
Telling New Media Stories
Motherhood
Marvel’s Magic
Future Health
Women in Tech
Growing Unicorns
Thriving at Work
Making a Difference
Fighting Fake News
Disaster Response
Hacking Democracy
Pete Buttigieg
Kara Swisher
Arlan Hamilton

Do these audio recordings inspire you to get involved in a SXSW session next year? Enter your forward-thinking speaking proposal for March 2020 via the SXSW PanelPicker. Speaking proposals for next year’s event are accepted via this interface from July 1 through July 19.

Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.

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Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.

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