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Chris Hadfield on space, tech, New Zealand and more (listen)

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield - in New Zealand for IBM Think - chats with Idealog about what role small nations like New Zealand can play in space exploration and the space industry, how technology is changing space exploration, how private businesses are disrupting things, a technology that has really surprised him, and more.

Big budgets. Big projects. Big dreams. Big nations like the US, Russia and China.

Those may be some of the stereotypes about space, be it space exploration or the space industry. But according to Chris Hadfield - the retired NASA astronaut famous for, among other things, his cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" while aboard the International Space Station - countries like New Zealand have an important role to play. In fact, they can also be at the forefront of innovation.

But that's not all. Private companies - including New Zealand's own Rocket Lab - led by entrepreneurs willing to take risks are also disrupting the space industry like no time before. And while some members of the public may be growing anxious over the fact it's been more than 40 years since humans last visited the moon, we're on the cusp of some incredible achievements - and sometimes forget to take into account that humans have only been exploring space for a few decades, whereas previous ages of exploration lasted hundreds of years.

Hadfield, visiting New Zealand for IBM Think, spoke about this and more. Have a listen below, and consider this question that comes up: when was the last time you saw a horse walking around in the middle of Auckland?


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