What's a nice lady like you doing in (a) space like this?
Esther Dyson tells tales of her cosmonaut training. Recently returned from five months at the Yuri Gagarain Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow, she comes equipped with photos and stories - and a willingness to answer questions.
Following on President Obama's call to "begin again the work of remaking America," Maker Faire 2009 was organized around the theme of Re-Make America. Held in the San Francisco Bay Area, Maker Faire celebrates what President Obama called "the risk takers, the doers, and the makers of things."
Esther Dyson is an active investor in a variety of start-ups, focusing on technology. Her portfolio of private space and air travel investments includes XCOR Aerospace, Space Adventures/Zero G, Icon Aircraft, Coastal Aviation Software and Airship Ventures. She has flown weightless on Zero-G four times, but hopes to go up again soon.
She is also the organizer of Flight School, an executive workshop for start-ups in air and space. It's in hiatus for 2008, but will resume in 2009.
On the IT side, her investments have included Flickr and del.icio.us, both sold to Yahoo! and Medstory, sold to Microsoft. Currently, she sits on the boards of 23andMe, Meetup, WPP Group, Eventful.com, Evernote, Boxbe and Yandex, the leading Russian search company.
Dyson sold her business EDventure Holdings, along with its Release1.0 newsletter and PC Forum conference, to CNET Networks in 2004; PC Forum and Release 1.0 played key roles in the early development of the PC software marketplace and the commercial Internet. Dyson left CNET at the end of 2006 and (with permission) has resumed doing business under the name of EDventure Holdings.
Esther Dyson describes the five months she spent training to be a cosmonaut and details her experiences training in the wilderness, using the shuttle's ancient operating system, and wearing a massive and uncomfortable spacesuit.
Philanthropist Esther Dyson explains why she decided to train as a cosmonaut in Russia for five months, despite the hefty price tag. She recounts tales of going to the NASA cottages for dinner, only to hear space doctors share stories about the effect of weightlessness on blood flow.
Esther Dyson answers an audience member’s question on how to get in to an astronaut training program without $3 million to spend. Dyson suggests excelling in math and science in high school, then going on to study engineering or medicine in college.