Products from Space - Interview
Products from Space - An interview with Kevin Cook as heard on the American Airlines (AA) Executive Report.
AA: While you are up there in the air sitting comfortably in your seat, remember that many of the innovations and technologies we enjoy on Earth today were made possible through our investments in space exploration. And that's the area where our next guest is the foremost advocate. We are now joined by Kevin Cook, Director of Space Awareness Programs for the Space Foundation. Kevin welcome to the show!
Kevin: Well thanks for having me. It is a pleasure to be here.
AA: Kevin, how has space exploration had a positive impact on our everyday lives?
Kevin: Well, that's an excellent question and I am glad that you are asking it. Space technology has not only impacted but improved the quality of our lives here on Earth. For example, everything from GPS navigation, which everybody uses nowadays, to clothing products, to safety grooving on our runways and highways, medical improvements for Lasik eye surgery, heart implants and valves. Even on the aircraft our listeners are sitting in right now, they're enjoying safety and efficiency provided by space technology. For example, Fly by Wire technology, which allows the pilot and co-pilot to safely navigate; satellite voice and data communications links; television and internet access for the passengers on board.
AA: Now, how does the Space Foundation raise awareness for space exploration?
Kevin: Two major programs that the Space Foundation engages in that are directly involved in promoting space technology are The Space Technology Hall of Fame and The Space Certification Program. The Space Technology Hall of Fame is a scholarly recognition program. The goal there is to recognize individuals and the organizations that have successfully taken space technologies and adapted them, in some cases, to provide products and services that improve the quality of life on Earth. The certification program was created as a result of the success of the Hall of Fame. A number of the companies that are recognized for their efforts in The Space Technology Hall of Fame really want to make sure that people out there understand that they are using space technology. And the certification program provides them with a seal that identifies their products as space-based technologies improving their lives.
AA: What would happen to scientific research if space programs ceased to exist?
Kevin: Well, research and science would certainly continue but the space program really provides inspiration that isn't found elsewhere. In addition to the unique technologies and products and services that result, the space program really does give young people, as well as older folks, a lot of inspiration and an urge to continue and to do things bigger and better. I think that's hard to calculate but it's a really important part of why space exploration is important.
AA: Kevin, it's been a pleasure speaking with you today.
Kevin: Absolutely, thanks for having me!
AA: Kevin Cook is Director of the Space Awareness Programs for the Space Foundation. Find them on the web at spacefoundation.org.