Radio Cade

Space Pod: The Privatization of Space

October 21, 2020 Tony Gannon Season 1 Episode 100
Radio Cade
Space Pod: The Privatization of Space
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Radio Cade
Space Pod: The Privatization of Space
Oct 21, 2020 Season 1 Episode 100
Tony Gannon

A public private partnership in Space. What does that look like in Florida, the rest of the country, and the world? Part two of our series on the renaissance in Space Exploration features Tony Gannon, the Vice President for Research and Innovation at Space Florida. Tony reveals how our new space ecosystem pairs NASA, with billionaires, and corporate space mavericks, to yield an extensive infusion of innovation and capital…transforming the future of space travel and dramatically reducing government costs.

Show Notes Transcript

A public private partnership in Space. What does that look like in Florida, the rest of the country, and the world? Part two of our series on the renaissance in Space Exploration features Tony Gannon, the Vice President for Research and Innovation at Space Florida. Tony reveals how our new space ecosystem pairs NASA, with billionaires, and corporate space mavericks, to yield an extensive infusion of innovation and capital…transforming the future of space travel and dramatically reducing government costs.

Intro :

Inventors and their inventions. Welcome to Radio Cade the podcast from the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention in Gainesville, Florida. The museum is named after James Robert Cade, who invented Gatorade in 1965. My name is Richard Miles. We'll introduce you to inventors and the things that motivate them, we'll learn about their personal stories, how their inventions work and how their ideas get from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Richard Miles :

Astronauts landed on the moon 50 years ago, and we have never stopped looking toward the stars, imagining what the future holds far beyond earth, launching into Radio Cade's Space Pod, and step inside the future of humanity's journey into deep space. Meet the innovators and visionaries who are charting a bold new course to the moon. Then to Mars and beyond discover the revolutionary technology that will get us there and see how it's already transformed life here on earth. Today, I'm speaking with Tony Gannon , vice president of research and innovation at Space Florida. Tony reveals how our new space ecosystem pairs NASA with billionaires and corporate space mavericks to yield an extensive infusion of innovation and capital transforming the future space of travel and dramatically reducing government costs. Welcome to Radio Cade, Tony.

Tony Gannon:

Thank you very much, Richard. It's an honor to be on your podcast.

Richard Miles :

So Tony, before you tell us about getting to space, tell us about getting to the United States. You were born in the UK, you're raised in Ireland. You've spent some time in Spain and France. How on Earth did you end up in Florida?

Tony Gannon:

That's a great question. And I'll try and be very brief for the sake of your audience, Richard. So I have that mixed background, which made me set aside diverse in nature. And so when my wife and I decided we were getting married, of course we couldn't do that in any logistical fashion. We decided we would go to Florida, have a vacation with some friends and get married while we were here. My wife's twin brother lives here in Cocoa Beach, Florida. And it seemed like the occasion of marriage, what an ideal situation. So we did that. Got married, and while I was here, my wife often jokes . She said, I think I became a widow overnight, but I was space widow, because I literally spent two weeks every day going up to the space center, absolutely enamored with the space program about what could be achieved, but really having no idea that I could ever be a part of it. But I think a love was born my heart for it. And I said, I , somehow, I'm going to work out a situation whereby I can work in the future in the space industry.

Richard Miles :

It's a great story. And I know that you wrote that you witnessed the 1969 moon landing, I presume as a child and that made you want to play some sort of a role in the space program. And then of course, as anyone who's seen the great Apollo 11 documentary or other similar movies back then, of course, getting to space, the moon was something that only governments did. And now that's a totally different story. If you could give us a little bit of a history lesson, when did private companies , I mean, they've always had a role right, as, as contractors and suppliers to the government, but when did they start taking the lead in certain areas? What were some of the early milestones with respect to privatization and what do you expect to see over the next decade? So in other words, past present future, how did we get to now and where do you think we're going?

Tony Gannon:

Richard, that's a very comprehensive and that very smart question. I'll do my best to make my response and the way that I see it personally, the Space Shuttle program, of course, which followed shortly after the Saturn V or the moon program was very, very costly. According to my memory, it was something in the region of $500 million dollars to send a space shuttle into space. And that does not include a payload and one could easily have a payload in the cargo bay that costs three quarters of a million dollars, be a satellite, be it , some observation component are indeed products of the international space station. And so the federal government and close contact with NASA decided we need to introduce commercial industry to this program because we are heading up a federal program that is going to get costlier and costlier, and it doesn't seem to have any end. And so in the instance is perhaps of recognizing one of diminishing public participation in the program and we've been to the moon . And so people felt well, it's all done now, but no, there was a commercial element and it could turn into very productive industry, the powers that be at the time. And I must say with great reluctance of many people in the industry, they decided they would commercialize the space industry. And so NASA essentially sent out RFPs requests for proposals, from companies that have been developing the thought along the same lines let us build design rockets that meet NASA specifications, but it'd be our rockets . So, SpaceX would own the rocket. They would send eventually astronauts into the space. They would communicate with the space station. They will do all of this kind of work in space, but they were not just the only one. And so that commercial thought, which met with so much resistance at the early stage really was very farsighted. It was the true answer to commercial space that we take to federal element out of it let them provide some funding, but we let the industry be driving the industry. And that was the commercialization of space exploration.

Richard Miles :

And that is really, I think what's captured the imagination of a lot of people, particularly in the last few years, as we see the fruits of that investment, right? That incredible videos of the SpaceX rockets, landing on platforms over the ocean and stuff like that. I think everyone, all of a sudden realize like, wow, this isn't just small stuff. This is actually the major components of all the stages, right. Of getting liftoff. And then actually once you're in space. What's clear though, is this is probably not going to ever be just a private thing, right? Or is it, is there a potential where let's say 20 years from now, or even 10 years from now, is there going to be an equivalent of United Airlines, American airlines saying, okay, you want to take a trip up to space. Good. Here, go online, buy your ticket, or is it always going to be something to do with a government mission, government funding? What would you say?

Tony Gannon:

It's going to be a mixture. It's funny. You should say that, that the thought has crossed my mind. As you were mentioning about it being massive prior to our federally driven program, then you have the introduction of all of those commercial space companies. And we always mentioned SpaceX first, pretty obvious reasons, but it can be said not as mission itself changed . And now they're being challenged with, you might say the expiration of distance space. And so the recent launch we had from Cape Canaveral and SpaceX, rocket owned by Elon Musk and company has on board, a NASA Mars Explorer with little helicopter on board , which is a NASA entity. But here we have privately owned spacecraft, launching a mission to Mars on behalf of NASA. I mean that in itself, is amazing. It's so challenging, but it's also so exciting. I had the pleasure. I was watching. I won't mention a local TV station some weeks ago, but I saw the chief scientist who had worked on the helicopter on the Mars mission. And she was discussing how for the first time ever a craft, be it , a drone will be launched from a Lander on planet Mars and explore sections of Mars and take videos and send it back via satellite back to Earth. It'll probably take about 8 to 10 minutes for that signals to get back to planet Earth. But I mean , that is the ultimate. Here we are. And exploring in a drone planets , Mars gone into all of us caves and caverns the turning data. All the trucks will pick up for the first time, which something I have thought a long time ago, listen to the sound of Mars, the sound of the wind. What is it like? And there are very, very strong winds on planet Mars. So that element is really exciting. I think the commercial elements would have probably overtake what NASA's mission is able to say. Bernie singularly focused on getting to Mars so we can have the near future. Just like you said, we don't have SpaceX astronauts. We will have Blue Origin astronauts, Virgin Galactic, or a Virgin astronauts and a whole range of companies. Boeing. Of course, I shouldn't forget with the Starliner. So we might have 10 different astronaut core for the moment. It appears to training through Houston and the NASA programs to meet those NASA standards. But who can say that in the future in 10 years time, that astronauts might not be trained in New York City and Washington DC , or even in Florida where the lanches take place from. So it is and you drew a great comparison with the airlines. We had the hedge hopping days of the 1910s and 1920s people trying and risky maneuvers in their flying machines. And then we moved on to commercial enterprise driven by that great challenge as guests of Lindbergh flying the Atlantic. And now we have in the future prospect of having a choice of companies who will fly us perhaps to the moon around the moon for a honeymoon, which would be ideal, or taking design for the locations such as Mars. So we live in a very challenging, but it isn't really exciting to think of such deeds what happens possibly within our lifetime .

Richard Miles :

Tony, you said something earlier that I think you put your finger right on it in terms of NASA has to focus on one goal. And it strikes me that probably one of the best things about privatization, at least of the participation in private companies is they have a lot more room to be creative, right? Where the government and I spent almost all my career in government. So I know this well, you identify your one big goal and that's where all the resources go. That's where all the thought and the planning go . And a lot of the smaller stuff, it's like, well, that's a distraction, but that's kind of the whole point of the market, right? Is you have a little company and they say, Hey, wouldn't it be great to make a drone fly on Mars or some sort of other thing that they know would probably do well in a space environment and is necessary in a space environment . And they devote all their efforts, creating that little thing in a way that the government would probably just say yeah, we don't have time to do that sort of stuff.

Tony Gannon:

You're so right Richard I'm not sure what government agency that you worked with. In a different life, I worked for a government agency in Ireland following college, and every document that I saw or read had to be signed about 10 times. And this was in the business development area, this was new technologies. I would like to mention if I may. And I think we play a fairly big role. I'm very honored in Space Florida, to be involved with a section of the community that comes up with this innovation. And I'll give you the examples Space Florida. When we were initiated 12, 13 years ago by our then Governor Bush, Jeb Bush in a very insightful manner, combining three existing agencies to one. So we're like to go to point, if you want to go to Florida, if you want to catch us up, involve commercially or federally in the aerospace program. And so what happened was we were dealing with the big guys, the Boeing, the Lockheed Martins, Harris corporation, now L3 Harris, Northrop Grumman, NASA of course, SpaceX, Blue Origin, the entire gambit of major companies. But I often felt in my heart and I spoke to our president Frank DiBello one day. And I said, no, we need to take care of the little guys too. Those young companies, which are formulated by very smart young entrepreneurs who come out of some of the colleges, like University of Florida, UCF, Embry Riddle, and a whole host all our Florida universities and indeed throughout the United States and to have great ideas, but how do they get those ideas to fruition that can assist in this great aerospace adventure that we're sitting on the threshold of? And so I thought one thing that all need and they all have in common is they need money. They need lots of money and we need to place our thrust in their enthusiasm and their determination to succeed. Many would fail, but let's give them a chance. And so about six or seven years ago, I met with a group, forgive me for jumping into this too quickly. I apologize on that. I said, how can I do this? I said, I need a team of investors who have the openness to say, we can't guarantee you anything, Tony, but we listened to these young entrepreneurs and we'll make our decisions that we, you know, and so we formed this partnership with the Florida venture forum space of Florida. And our capacity while we could do was put up a prize money. And we determined that that prize money will be a hundred thousand dollars per capital accelerator. And that we would undertake two of those accelerators per year. So with an investment of $200,000 over the past six years, we're at about $1.3 million investment into the companies. In other words, if you Richard had a company called ABC technologies and you won the accelerator today with Space Florida, chances are, you would receive an award of about $40,000 in second place. It's 30 and 20 and so forth. And so you have this exposure to the investors who are sitting around watching you. I'm not here to forward. It's been live now where on a webinar. And their listening to you and their thinking this young man or this young company, I was looking for $5 million. That's an extraordinary amount of money. I want to see their technology and it's the technology that will attract the investment and the investors. And I can tell you, this is an ROI that I can actually provide full details up to date. Over six years, over $460 million has been invested in those Florida companies during the last six years. With an investment of less than 1.5 million, this is what we can show. And this is fantastic. And yet when it's judged by California standards, it may seem quite small. I'd love to hear California investors say, you know what, I threw $50 million in here. I took $40 million in there. Hey, Darn-it, I lost it all but I threw $200 million into Amazon. And the sun is shining, the fact that the investors can talk in those terms. I mean, obviously I'm not in the same payroll as them , but is that investing community is really driving commercialization, entrepreneurship. And I think of great assistance to where I use. So I'll get off my bandwagon now and pass it back to you , Richard.

Richard Miles :

You know, at the Cade Museum, we also have a similar prize Cade Prize that we're not focused necessarily on a particular sector. Like you are on space, but basically the same stage, very early seed stage companies. And you're exactly right. I think that's been a game changer, particularly in a state like Florida, where the number of ideas coming out of universities is huge, but the capital to fund those ideas is relatively tiny. And then the management talent to take on the next level is also somewhat thin . So I think what you're doing is exactly right. Can you give some examples of maybe some companies that have come out of the Florida venture forum, the space related companies that are working on current technologies related to space.

Tony Gannon:

I should know Richard, I have no notes in front of me. So I'd go from my poor memory. I could say our last aerospace adventure, which was only in May and June this year, we had something in the region of 89 or 90 applications and actually the zero charge to apply. So we had that number 20 were selected to present the one success story that I'm particularly fond of is Censys Technologies who are located at the Microflex in Embry Riddle. And essentially they're working on drones, drone technology, and they have drones that test at the airport. There it's a wonderful location for them, but their CEO call me just about three weeks ago and said, Tony, I want to tell you a little story. Do you remember, we appeared in your venture forum collaboration, and we got second place. We'd love to have been first, but we got second. But more importantly, we got an investor interested in our company and within about a month, following their appearance in a webinar, they had investors of over $2 million. And when I read the press release that he sent to me and he copied our president Frank DiBello. I said, well , you've just made, not just my day, but my week and my month, because you have done exactly what we wanted to do for you. And I've often said, and that might sound like a cliche, but what we're trying to do in Space Florida is help those companies, those smaller companies in that supply chain that it's so competitive to be in. But think of the joy, the fact that the company down with maybe 8 to 10 employees, they get this enormous pint of blood in the arm said , you know what? We'd like, what you do. We like your management team. And we believe in your technology. Here's $2 million to be successful. That to me is phenomenal. I'd also If I meant mention not a company that participated in the Florida venture forum , but with whom Space Florida has had a very strong relationship with. And perhaps, you know, they call them Made in Space. They were the company who first installed 3D printer onboard the International Space Station several years ago. And coincidentally through my Florida Israel Innovation Partnership, I suggested to their management, you know what? You guys have got great industry going on. However, you need to build a manufacturer in space. And perhaps if you were to partner with another innovative 3D company, you might come up with some smart ideas you apply for the grant. And if our judges deemed that you're worthy, you might pick up 250, $300,000 dollars as an award to explore can you do this in space. They did. And they did successfully twice, which means they have achieved what $500,000. And now they are starting a program of manufacturing in space. So what was initially seen as being a gimmick, that they can build a little plastic container in space. Hey, how cool is that? Manufacture in space, but how about manufacturing for the purposes of generating revenue and building a company, expanding a company portfolio, that's really something else. And I'm very proud of what they have done, but it's not just me. It's been whole team or business development team led by Howard and Frank our two senior executives and I've been really happy to be a small part of that success story.

Richard Miles :

So not only am I familiar with Made in Space, but Aaron Kemmer, their founder is going to be also one of the interviews on this space series.

Tony Gannon:

But do please tell Aaron that I said hello.

Richard Miles :

I will, well lets go back to what you said about the partnership with Israel, which I think is Very exciting. We're chatting a little bit earlier about the book startup nation, which came out probably 10 years ago. So we were chronicling Israel's rise from being this quasi agrarian, semi social state. And then in the early nineties that creativity and innovation explode and the startup companies and so on. And it gives a whole bunch of different reasons for that. But I'd really like to hear what the Florida Israel Innovation Partnership looks like. What does it consist of and what sort of results have you seen from that so far?

Tony Gannon:

Thank you again Richard for allowing me to speak on this particular program. This is a program that's extremely close to my heart. I tell you what happened. So about eight years ago, our president Frank DiBello called me into his office and said, Tony, I'd like you to do something it's kind of unusual. I'd like you to write a speech for me. And I know Frank has a great rec on tear . He also writes extremely well. I'm very experienced. I said, Frank, do you think I can justify I'll do something for you ? He said, I just think you might come up with a different angle. And that was really probably from my research background , but also because I had taken a personal interest in the flight of Space Shuttle Columbia , on which as you know, amongst others, there was the very first Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, and Ilan of course like the other astronauts perished, but I've been very interested in this story and success. Frank's speech was to be presented to about 200 Israeli Jewish congregation in the Orlando area. So very supportive of Israel, but very supportive as you say, the startup nation theme. So I wrote a speech for Frank and I got some words through various interpretations in Hebrew. And essentially I wrote about Ilan Ramon about his success and what he dreamed and how important was to explore space in very simple words, but also the fact that several personal items that Ilan had onboard had survived that dreadful crash back down to where , including parts of his personal notebook and which he wrote in. And I kind of paraphrasing here and now he said today, I feel I'm a real man in space because I working here in space, I'm happy to return. And it was a very moving piece that I included in Frank's speech to this Israeli congregation. Well, apparently it was very well received. And within two weeks of that, Frank came to me and said, we're taking this a step four , I want you to go to Israel. I want you to come to Israel with me because I have this program, which has been generated to Israeli support and indeed through our governor, and we want to allocate $2 million per annum for a joint partnership, 1 million from Israel, 1 million from Florida, so that we can collaborate in aerospace, R and D two companies working together and typically award would be expected to be between 200 to $300,000 each. So it was really exciting. So I go to Israel and I'm sitting, looking at young Israeli men and women, and I'm absolutely not dealt with the technology out . And next to me alongside our president was Mr. John Carlos is like the number two guy in Lockheed Martin. So this guy is way above my pay scale, but we on really well. And he too could see something was happening. The very first company that walked in the door was a young man called Dr. Oren Milstein, who had graduated his PhD in California. And he's the CEO and cofounder of a company called StemRad from Israel. And Steve and his partners had come up with a very, very instinct form of radiation protection, which would be utilized in a military situation. And he wasn't sure where to go with it. And so we were looking at it and I said to John, I kind of kicked him on the back of his leg. I said, this could be of great interest to Lockheed Martin in the future radiation protection for astronauts. Why not use that as perhaps in a suit, one of the , be instinct to compare that to what the current radiation protect is like and then how it might improve. If you could incorporate the StemRad technology, it was successful. It was enormously successful. Lockheed Martin worked really hard, very closely with NASA in conjunction with this small company in Tel Aviv. Could they also have offices up in Haifa and they now Lockheed Martin are going to use that technology. And it's been sent into space I've tested and proven to be superior to the current radiation detection, kind of protecting the brain human brain human body, the vital organs, the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, the Capitec, those earliest of a human it's face. There's no, man. That was my first introduction to Israeli technology. And never, since I continue to be wowed by what I've seen and heard and been a part of. So we've now had our seven calls for proposals, typically three to four winners per year. And I'm happy to announce that in late October, I believe from memory it's the 22nd of October, we have the eight rounds for projects and we've had winners from all over the state of Florida from Miami to Tampa to Gainesville. I think the winner from Gainesville is called Micro gRx affiliated with the Innovation Center at the University of Florida. And Dr. Siobhan Malany I'm really trying to follow this in the back of my head is the CEO and Co founder . She did a wonderful job of her investigations into actually something that I can take care a great deal about is the aging process amongst us humans. You know , how do we detect, how do we take it up? How do we improve? How do we slow it down and utilizing space as a research vehicle? So they're just some of those windows from that program, but it has been very successful. And Richard, I apologize for talking so long. Other countries are watching it and they're saying, Tony, this is great for Israel and wonderful and congratulations. But what about me? And so in this period of time, both my presidents trying to battle, I know we've had certain amount of very friendly and jovial pressure from other countries recently, about six months ago at the OneWeb Satellites Facility, we signed an MOU with the Republic of France and a banking institution called BPI France to have a similar style program, which I am looking forward to seeing, being initiated in the spring of 21. Spain is chasing us for an MOU. Brazil has already signed an MOU in March just before we went under that curfew of Covid. Our president had signed down in Miami with the president of Brazil. And as I mentioned, Spain, but also Japan and certainly not least United Kingdom absolutely would love the idea to collaborate with us. And we are open to working with all of them.

Richard Miles :

That's amazing, Tony, it's all from one great speech that you wrote. So I got to say, when the Cade Museum gets big enough, we're going to hire you as a speech writer . That's this phenomenal results to get that sort of program going. And it's really a reflection right of again, it's not only governments and it's not just US companies now. It's this diversification of talent, but also risks . So that by pulling in companies from these different countries, whether it's Israel or Brazil or Spain, or the UK, you really are building this international supply chain of various thing . The market's doing that. And you're , it's not just governments doing that. So I think that's phenomenal because that's really what will make a lot of this sustainable.

Tony Gannon:

Yeah and Richard just like to briefly add. You reminded me in our last etcetera event in May, the winner was not from Florida, but it was a UK company that I had met two years ago in London. And I said to him , Archangel Lightworks sounds like communications company. Think about Florida. Don't forget about it. Sure enough. He applied and they have to indicate yes, if we, win we are considering opening up a facility in Florida, and now I've learned in the past few days that they are opening up, but they won the competition from United Kingdom, excellent company, great management team . They're now in negotiations with investors from fraud, that when they come here, they get a major boost. Can I just mention something? And it's on a personal nature sometimes when it's really personal, it drives you even farther . When I was on the Israel on that first visit and I finished the first five days when we were returning home, it happened to be the anniversary of the death of the Ilan Ramon and entire Space Shuttle crew. And I remembered that it was scheduled to come back Columbia, at 9:00 AM in the morning, which would have been 3:00 PM in Israel. And I just totally out of the blue. And it was almost like divine inspiration or something. I walked down to the beach, took off my shoes, socks and put my feet in the water. And I just said a prayer for the crew for particularly thinking about Ilan Ramon that evening, I got a call totally out of the blue from this lady. Her name was Rona Ramon . It was his widow. She called me out of the blue. She said, I heard as a crazy Irish UK guy working on this Israel program. I'd love to meet you. And we met the following day for lunch. It was almost like what's going on here. Something that sticks, but this program is going to be very successful, I can feel it in my heart.

Richard Miles :

That is a great and very touching story. Although I got to ask Tony, when are the Irish going to get involved? Come on,

Tony Gannon:

You are reading my mind , Uh , in Ireland , uh , as we have enterprise, Florida, here who do a wonderful job and the collaborate with so many around the country and did all the development agencies some weeks ago, I contacted enterprise Ireland. And ironically, when I sent an email to Dublin Capitol City, my email was deflected to Texas, to Austin, Texas. When I discovered enterprise Ireland have several representatives. And in the past three to four weeks, I've been in discussions with one of them. Now I mentioned his name, Steven Kell . And today we had a discussion and he's asked me to present to a group of Irish aerospace companies in October, probably about 11 to 12. I don't have a calendar in front of me. And he essentially wants me to talk about Florida and the opportunities for our aerospace companies. And they would be early stage, probably looking for investments anywhere from one to five million, it would be very competitive for them. But if there are not in front of investors, then they'll never gain. So it's only when to go up front and you say, okay, I'll give it a shot. I'll give it everything. And I'm hoping that in the future, yeah , something will come up. That was a nice pun there Richard.

Richard Miles :

I've gotta put you on warning here, Tony, we're going to hold you personally accountable. If the Irish are not in the game and somebody has gotta be blamed here. So,

Tony Gannon:

Hopefully we'll have Guinness beer and Jameson Irish whiskey, also on board, a future space shuttle mission would probably help us. And that's better than an aspirin or something of that nature in the long term , but in mild moderation.

Richard Miles :

I'm friends with one of the heirs of the Guinness family. And so we'll try to make sure that that's doable. Tony, last question, let's get visionary for a moment here. Where do you think we're going to be say 10 years from now in 2030 with regards to space exploration in general. And then as a sub question of that, where do you think we're going to be in terms of public private partnerships or the commercial part of space? So dream big here and assume that everything goes well in the next 10 years, where do you think that might put us?

Tony Gannon:

That's like a big hundred thousand dollar question or a hundred million dollar question I tell you what I'd love to see in the more short term is that it amazes me still that thinking back to the sixties, the 1970s, that if one were to fly from New York or Washington DC to London, it's an overnight trip of seven to eight hours. And here we are in the 2000 and twenties and it's marginally shorter. It's still five to six hours of a flight supersonic jets. I would love to see them operate. And I think perhaps Virgin Atlantic leading their efforts in their suborbital flights might be a pathway where we will see a group of airlines who all have these supersonic jets that might fly us from say, New York or Washington, DC to Canberra in Australia in four hours. That to me would be an incredible achievement. It would be under the general mantle of aerospace, but the technology that might be used in communications to enable that to happen, I think would be phenomenally of great benefit to mankind here on earth. Agriculture concerns me deeply. One all was assumes that when you come from a nation like Ireland , where it rains pretty much every day, but not all day, that water is never an issue and so I was saddened over the last couple of years to read that it is the pollution of water and the destruction on our agricultural processes vote in Florida. And also in Europe start accelerating at an alarming rate. I would like to see the space program take a bigger lead. And I think that it's coming up priority ever so slowly and to use this of drone technology and water purification system in identifying those areas of our planet on our state in particular, where the pollution exists and how do we stop that pollution. And undoubtedly University of Florida play a major lead in our state and indeed the entire country, the reputation of the University of Florida is beyond par. Likewise, when our Everglades Foundation in South Florida, as we're protecting that very fragile environment, to me, that's critically important. So I would say agriculture production of food, increasing the yields, watching our atmosphere, our environment, using technology to improve the information we have. And how would you say rectify the bad things that are happening on our planet? I think that's very, very critical if I could make a crazy wish for the future. Richard, I'd say something that always struck my mind. I think two things in particular, I think the ability to fly, I think there was some crazy guy flying over LA recently. It was about a couple of hundred feet away from United Airlines. That's not the kind of thing I'm thinking of something responsible whereby one could fly on short trips. I've given altitudes from point A to point B, which our own little backpack. I think that would be phenomenal. I'd love to see that. Just think of the doors would open up to you going down for a beer, are you allow it have one. Maybe one?

Richard Miles :

I would love that too, but you made a very interesting and important point. Tony is that a lot of the excitement around space when people read about space exploration and go, great, we're going to go back to the moon. We're going to go to Mars. A lot of the utilities actually going to be focused back on here on earth. It will improve our ability to observe the Earth much more accurately and make improvements to technologies here based on what we have in space. Like, as you said, the climate agriculture energy, this sort of thing's important derivatives of maybe the aspirational goal of making it tomorrow . But nevertheless, we should be producing downstream effects that we can use almost right away here.

Tony Gannon:

And Richard, I would just sort of add, and it might be sounding a little comic to things in the far distant future. We should bear in mind. One of them, I would love the ability to teleport. There is a University of private in Switzerland as working out so far and not getting there. They're moving objects about one centimeter, but the ability to teleport from point A to point B be at 5,000 or 500,000 miles, 50 million miles. That to me, would be absolutely phenomenal, I would say this is I'm quoting the words of our good friend from Cambridge, Dr. Stephen Hawking, whom I met actually about 14, 15 years ago. We didn't have a discussion, but a question I raised to his group was tell us about aliens. Would you like to meet aliens? His answer was very surprising he said I don't think we really want to meet aliens, but it's probably gone beyond that now, because those signals are going off into space for the past 100 years. Because I think in the long term, the aliens would be so far ahead of us that they would see us simply as protein, which is an alarming thought.

Richard Miles :

So Tony , you may have just caused me to lose a bet with my son. We've been arguing for at least 10 years about whether teleporting is possible or not. So I don't think I'm going to let him listen to this podcast or else you don't want to collect on his bet. And now I'm going to hold you accountable for three things, Irish astronauts, jet packs, and teleporting. And so when we do our follow up in 2030 podcasts, we'll see if you were right on any of those. Tony, thank you very much for joining me today on Radio. Cade it's been a great fun discussion, and I look forward to having you back on the show at some point.

Tony Gannon:

Richard, thank you very much. The honor was all mine. Thank you so much and good luck to the great work that you do .

Richard Miles :

Thank you very much

Outro:

Radio Cade is produced by the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention located in Gainesville, Florida. Richard Miles is the podcast host and Ellie Thom coordinates inventor interviews, podcasts are recorded at Heartwood Soundstage and edited and mixed by Bob McPeak . The radio Cade theme song was produced and performed by Tracy Collins and features violinist Jacob Lawson.