Protecting Earth: An Astronaut’s Perspective | Rusty Schweickart at TEDxSonomaCounty

Merel Kennedy

July 3, 2023

In his TEDxSonomaCounty talk, B612 Foundation co-founder and Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart discusses the concept of “cosmic birth”, how humanity came into existence together, and how we must work together to protect the evolutionary future of life. Rusty takes us on a journey from the origins of life after the big bang to revolutionary technologies today that help ensure our future survival, so long as we can solve the complex challenges of collective decision-making.

During his Apollo flight, Rusty experiences a profound moment of self-reflection leading him to realize the interconnectedness of humanity from the dawn of the cosmos, to our future evolutionary survival – a process Rusty has termed “cosmic birth”. Humans are now at a presuppose where we have the intelligence, wisdom and technology to actively protect ourselves from existential threats, namely asteroids. 

Today, there are proven technologies that can help track asteroid impacts, such as the tools being developed by B612, and deflect asteroids, as demonstrated by NASA’s DART mission, but what is missing is global communication and collaboration. 

Ultimately, successfully mitigating the existential threat of asteroid impacts to enable our continued evolution depends on the collective decision-making of people from all around the world, and embracing our place in the community of cosmic life. 

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Merel Kennedy