How space technology can change life on Earth

Sure, we're looking beyond the planet to other worlds we may one day inhabit — but a lot of this technology we've developed can be used for the good of the Earth, too.

  1. 10:51
    Danielle Wood 6 space technologies we can use to improve life on Earth

    Danielle Wood leads the Space Enabled research group at the MIT Media Lab, where she works to tear down the barriers that limit the benefits of space exploration to only the few, the rich or the elite. She identifies six technologies developed for space exploration that can contribute to sustainable development across the world — from observation satellites that provide information to aid organizations to medical research on microgravity that can be used to improve health care on Earth. "Space truly is useful for sustainable development for the benefit of all peoples," Wood says.

  2. 11:55
    Lisa Dyson A forgotten Space Age technology could change how we grow food

    We're heading for a world population of 10 billion people — but what will we all eat? Lisa Dyson rediscovered an idea developed by NASA in the 1960s for deep-space travel, and it could be a key to reinventing how we grow food.

  3. 5:20
    Sarah Parcak Archaeology from space

    In this short talk, TED Fellow Sarah Parcak introduces the field of "space archaeology" — using satellite images to search for clues to the lost sites of past civilizations.

  4. 8:01
    Will Marshall Tiny satellites show us the Earth as it changes in near-real-time

    Satellite imaging has revolutionized our knowledge of the Earth, with detailed images of nearly every street corner readily available online. But Planet Labs' Will Marshall says we can do better and go faster — by getting smaller. He introduces his tiny satellites — no bigger than 10 by 10 by 30 centimeters — that, when launched in a cluster, provide high-res images of the entire planet, updated daily.