For astronaut Ron Garan, living on the International Space Station was a powerful, transformative experience—one that he believes holds the key to solving our problems here on Earth. It gave him what he calls, the orbital perspective.

In his new book, The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles, Garan conveys what it was like learning to work with a diverse group of people, in an environment only handful of human beings have ever known.

  The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College is hosting its eighth annual international conference from Thursday, October 15 to Friday, October 16 on Bard’s Annandale-on-Hudson campus.

The two-day conference, “Why Privacy Matters,” asks: What do we lose when we lose our privacy? Reading on Kindles, searching Google, and using cell phones leave a data trail of intimate details. Governments and businesses track our comings, goings, and doings. The conference will include many knowledgeable speakers on the subject including (via satellite) NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden. 

Here are some questions to be answered: Why do we willfully participate in the loss of our privacy? How is it that we rarely register its loss? Do we simply value privacy less? It is time to ask why privacy matters? How can a right to privacy and a meaningful private life exist today?

We are joined by Roger Berkowitz and David Brin.

Roger Berkowitz is Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College and Associate Professor of Politics, Philosophy, and Human Rights.

David Brin is an American scientist and award-winning author of science fiction. He has served as visiting scholar at NASA in Exobiology.

  Legendary "space statesman" Buzz Aldrin is a vital advocate for the continuing quest to push the boundaries of the universe as we know it.

As a pioneering astronaut who first set foot on the moon during mankind's first landing of Apollo 11--and as an aerospace engineer who designed an orbital rendezvous technique critical to future planetary landings--Aldrin has a vision, and in his new book, Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration, he plots out the path he proposes, taking humans to Mars by 2035.

A talk at Berkshire Community College Saturday will focus on NASA’s search for life beyond Earth and the age-old question of “Are we alone in the universe?” The speaker is Professor John Delano of the University at Albany. A member of the school’s department of atmospheric and environmental studies, Delano has served as principal investigator in NASA’s astrobiology program and as associate director of the New York Center for Astrobiology.

  William Cohen served as Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton from 1997–2001. He was a member of the US Senate and Congress for 24 years - representing Maine. He has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal and is the author of The New York Times bestselling Dragon Fire.

Drawing from his years of dealing with international crisis and defense planning as well as his interest in NASA's continued research on asteroids, Cohen now creates a sweeping, all-too realistic political thriller entitled Collision.

Jim Bell, planetary scientist and professor in the school of earth and space exploration at Arizona State University, tells the phenomenal story of the Voyager spacecraft expedition in his new book, The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission.

As a scientist whose career has been closely tied to the mission from its inception, Bell delivers a detailed account of the ambitious human stories connected to Voyager and explores the mind-bending scientific accomplishments of humanity’s greatest space mission.

10/29/14 Panel

Oct 29, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Editor of The Daily Gazette Judy Patrick, and political consultant, Libby Post.

Topics include:
White House Hacking

  Much has been written about Neil Armstrong, America’s modern hero and history’s most famous space traveler.

Yet shy of fame and never one to steal the spotlight Armstrong was always reluctant to discuss his personal side of events. Here for the first time is the definitive story of Neil’s life of flight he shared for five decades with a trusted friend – Jay Barbree.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A NASA Astronaut aboard the International Space Station spoke with students from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY live via Skype.

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from RPI in 1987, spoke Friday with students at his alma mater. He was floating miles above the Earth.

"RPI, I hear you loud and clear! Welcome to the International Space Station," said Mastracchio.

    The Dudley Observatory in Schenectady has a great program coming up next week at the Proctors GE Theater as part of their Skywatch Lecture Series.

Just this past summer the rover, Curiosity, landed on Mars. That project has ties to this region. Dr. Laurie Leshin of RPI is an integral part of the project and she'll present an insider's view of the mission and share some of the exciting results to date at 7:30pm on Tuesday 1/22 at the Proctors GE Theater.