Cultivating Diverse Perspectives in Space Exploration

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On the Space to Grow podcast, Astroscale’s Chris Blackerby and Charity Weeden bring their compelling experience and expertise to map out the technology, international policy, and scalability that will define the next generation of space exploration.

 

To dive into diversity in space, hosts Chris Blackerby and Charity Weeden of Astroscale welcomed former NASA administrator, retired Marine Corps Major General, and astronaut Charlie Bolden to the show.

In speaking about role diversity in industry, Bolden said, “NASA has a need for every profession imaginable.”

With a mix of people that have different opinions and viewpoints, diversity of ideas can blossom. “It behooves you to hear as many disparate voices as you can. They may see something you don’t see, leading to a better idea. It’s much better than working only with those that think, act, and look like you,” Bolden shared.

He believes that NASA has become good at accepting diversity of thought, something learned through international relationships. Listening to their partners and making room for their concepts translates to improvements and achievements.

However, Bolden does believe that NASA and all organizations can do better in race and gender diversity. He’s reminded of this pursuit toward inclusion by words from the constitution’s preamble, “in order to become  a more perfect union.” “It admits we aren’t perfect. To work toward that, we need to establish equity practices to afford equal opportunities to everyone,” he added.

Another unique area of space diversity is bringing the private sector into the conversation. “Letting industry take a leading role in planning and design and giving them a seat at the table is important. We told the private sector what we needed. They came back to us with a plan and paid them to do it,” Bolden noted.

With so many different versions of diversity, there’s no doubt the future of space sustainability will need it.

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