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SpaceWaves: Seven trips out of the atmosphere (with video)

Dooner & The Dude talk to astronaut and Ad Astra founder Franklin Chang-Diaz.

Dooner and The Dude discuss going to the stars with Franklin Chang-Diaz

How sustainability and democracy will be essential for commercial space expansion.

Many people dream of going to space once in their lives, but Franklin Chang-Diaz has left Earth’s surface seven times in his career as an astronaut. 

He answered some questions from a very curious Dooner about what it’s like to have the privilege of leaving the atmosphere. 

“Being in space is a total sense of liberation of things that we are accustomed to on the ground,” Chang-Diaz says. “You feel very powerful but at the same time very weak.”

His first trip was in 1987 and through the decades he has watched a planetary transformation. 

“Earth has changed, and I was there to witness it,” he said.

Chang-Diaz believes changes need to continue to expand human presence in outer space, and those changes need to be focused on sustainability and democracy. 

He says space opportunities “have to be available to the whole planet and not just a select group of club members.”

Chang-Diaz is also the founder and CEO of Ad Astra, a company that literally translates to “to the stars.”

Ad Astra builds its sustainability through use of renewable energy, including solar power and hydrogen cell technology. 

Chang-Diaz says space success depends on more than learning what technology works and doesn’t; we must learn to live and survive. 

“Humans need to be cared for and made sure they’re healthy, so learning about how space affects our long-term survivability is very important.”

F3: Future of Freight Festival


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

Kaylee Nix

Kaylee Nix is a meteorologist and reporter for FreightWaves. She joined the company in November of 2020 after spending two years as a broadcast meteorologist for a local television channel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kaylee graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2018 and immediately made the Tennessee Valley her home. Kaylee creates written summaries of FreightWaves live podcasts and cultivates the social media for FreightWaves TV.