Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sophrosyne's Salon: "NASA Looks at Virtual Worlds"

I love space and astronomy. So much so that a series of my RL artwork is based upon NASA/ESA Hubble photos and astronomy/theoretical physics concepts. So today's salon in Extropia Core about NASA and its presence in SL was very interesting to me. The speaker was Universa Vanaltern, who works in the Strategic Communications office at NASA HQ in Washington, DC.

She spoke about how NASA is using its CoLab as a way to experiment and collaborate by giving scientists, employees, entrepreneurs, and engineers from all over the world a place to work on projects. The Space CoLab group is open to all, and the CoLab is open to visitors, especially on Tuesdays, when there is a welcome at Noon SLT.

"Education is about inspiring the next generation of explorers," Vanaltern said. She spoke more about the challenges of making space exploration important, NASA's projects, and how NASA has helped create innovations that have been helpful in other fields such as medicine. But to me, one of her most interesting statements was about investing in the future for mankind: That NASA gets 6/10 of 1% of the federal budget, yet the usual advice is that one is expected to give 10% towards your retirement/future planning.

I love the idea of NASA being present and able to use SL as a medium for collaboration. If you would like to come to one of Sophrosyne Stenvaag's salons, they are usually held at 1 PM SLT on Saturdays. You may also check her blog or the Extropia Core main site for future events.

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