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NASA Invites Public To Discuss 'What Matters Next' At TedxNASA

Event Hopes To Bring Scientists, Artists, Musicians, Engineers, Others To The Table

NASA is inviting the public to join agency leaders and innovators from a variety of fields on November 4 to discuss "What Matters Next." Discussions and presentations on the theme will be the centerpiece of the second TEDxNASA, a daylong event modeled on the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conferences that bring together leading thinkers to create a dialogue on important global challenges.

NASA's Langley Research Center and the National Institute of Aerospace, both in Hampton, VA, are sponsoring TEDxNASA at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in nearby Newport News. It is free and open to the public and will be streamed on the TEDxNASA website. Registration opens on October 11 and runs through October 24.

"At TEDxNASA we're able to bring together artists and engineers, rocket scientists and musicians," said Lesa Roe, director of Langley. "Together we can create extraordinary conversations about what matters next and ideas to help us meet world challenges."

More than 20 top speakers -- focusing on education, innovation, family, technology, literature and art -- will share inspiring and thought-provoking stories at TEDxNASA, as they do at a full TED event. The challenge of those presenting is to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less, based on the theme. NASA's Chief Technologist Bobby Braun and Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington are among those slated to speak.

Green will present at the same time NASA's EPOXI spacecraft is flying by and snapping close-up images of comet Hartley 2, more than 11 million miles away from Earth.

Last year's TEDxNASA event attracted international best-selling author Mitch Albom, Carnegie Hall humorist and guitar virtuoso Mike Rayburn and Virginia Tech robotic pioneer Dennis Hong, among others.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to "ideas worth spreading." Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. Conference presentations are made available for free at



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