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How centuries of sci-fi sparked spaceflight | Alex MacDonald

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Long before we had rocket scientists, the idea of spaceflight traveled from mind to mind across generations. With great visuals, TED Fellow and NASA economist Alexander MacDonald shows how 300 years of sci-fi tales — from Edgar Allan Poe to Jules Verne to H.G. Wells and beyond — sparked a culture of space exploration. A fascinating look at how stories become reality, featuring a goose machine sent to the Moon.

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27 Comments on How centuries of sci-fi sparked spaceflight | Alex MacDonald

  1. Long Legs Legs // 18th April 2019 at 1:39 am // Reply

    It’s amazing how all of the best things start with a good imagination.

  2. Chuck's Astrophotography // 18th April 2019 at 1:40 am // Reply

    It’s amazing in the history of science how so few people have pushed the human race forward, but when they did it was in a major way.

    • And even more people have pushed in minor ways.

    • Peace be with you. Godspeed. // 18th April 2019 at 4:39 am // Reply

      When they own the public teaching centers and teach you their lies and entertain you through TV programming your entire life… Then make you believe they are amazing with fake awards so you idolize them… Reseach the first video of the astronauts being interviewed right when they returned from the “moon.” Do you think they are acting like they just went to the moon? Let me know once you view the video..ok? Having Discernment will set you free.

    • +Peace be with you. Godspeed. Sounds like you need some psychological help. I feel sorry for your situation.

    • +Peace be with you. Godspeed. Faking the moon landing would have been a much bigger challenge than just going there at the time…

    • Florin-Daniel Rada // 18th April 2019 at 2:42 pm // Reply

      +Peace be with you. Godspeed. Just buy a telescope and look at the moon, if you look very carefully, you can find the lander and other things that have been sent to the moon and used ON the moon since then.

  3. Even comic book writers.. If anyone is old enough to remember Flash Gordon.

  4. Bryan Teh Su Yang // 18th April 2019 at 2:20 am // Reply

    Stories are not just human imagination, but they’re references and ideas that keep pushing humanity foward

    • Nah they are just stories that we interput in anyway we want only actual geniuses use it as a way to push humanity forward but they are still stories we should credit the people not what “story” they read that lead them to do what they did

    • And ideas are just human imagination until you actually do it

  5. It’s all Operation Mockingbird anyways

  6. I really liked that. Thank you.

  7. Mike Hagarty // 18th April 2019 at 5:13 am // Reply

    Stories Help develop dreams, & people love to follow their dreams!

  8. Stefan Nikola // 18th April 2019 at 6:15 am // Reply

    You have really cute little ears, by the way.

  9. Your Favorite Lifecoach // 18th April 2019 at 6:18 am // Reply

    It’s always been like this.

    Storytellers inspire scientists.

  10. Jules Verne was legit a great science fiction writer, including his works that basically predicted how submarines would works.

  11. Yes! Let’s tell more stories that inspire and encourage, instead of all these recent cautionary tales of horror that are originally meant to frighten children into obedience.

  12. Jarrod Brecht // 18th April 2019 at 10:41 am // Reply

    I think I remember this talk from 30 years ago.

  13. Geostationary orbit was something first thought of by Arthur C Clark. So I suppose he’s the father of sat nav.

  14. “sci-fi” is a derogatory term in the Science Fiction community, as it refers to poor media, not the written featured work in this talk. It makes many SF fans cringe.

  15. TED talks aren’t what they use to be, they should do a talk about organizations giving talks and sticking to bias.

  16. Miles Coverdale // 18th April 2019 at 3:25 pm // Reply

    Nothing ever grows from dull people. Only those who imagine to dream a dream sow the seed of what is, and what shall be, and the seed grows.

  17. “You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?”
    – Terry Pratchett

  18. Make Brooklyn // 18th April 2019 at 3:50 pm // Reply

    Has NASA even tried geese? I think not!!

  19. Even Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge.

  20. *in the grim dark future there is only war.* *There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods* *WarHammer 40k*

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