Syfy recently aired a series of advertisements with the tagline ‘let’s imagine greater,’ celebrating the type of people who inspire their programming content and viewers–the curious and creative individuals who see the world a little bit differently.
One of the ads features Ariel Waldman, one of PSFK’s SAN FRANCISCO 2011 conference speakers. Four years ago, Ariel was a graphic designer fascinated by space exploration. Today, she lists NASA as a former employee and is one of the most influential people in Silicon Valley. How did Ariel, who didn’t have a background in science, make the jump from graphic design to working for NASA? Simple. She was inspired by a documentary she saw on space exploration and sent an email to NASA. Her email landed her a job at NASA’s CoLab, and she has since used her curiosity and imagination to create Spacehack.org, a site that allows anyone to explore the universe:
From mapping dark matter, competition engineering and self-made satellites (that actually make it to space), Ariel has created a place for her fellow space disruptors to explore, research and contribute to our understanding of the universe, without needing a PhD.
Spacehack.org and Ariel Waldman are disrupting space exploration, making a previously ‘elite’ job only available to those with advanced science degrees open to anyone excited and curious about space. She has created a collaborative environment that is pushing the boundaries of science, encouraging everyone to share her passion for learning by participating in space exploration.
Ariel explains Spacehack.org in the videos for Syfy below (find even more videos on the ‘Let’s Imagine Greater‘ website):