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The contribution of email to space ideas


Why I decided to work on the space elevator
Marvin Minsky Scientist
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I think it was the thread of... saying, how can we... how can we make science fiction more real? How can we make space travel so economical that… right now only a billionaire can go on a ride or... I think... I think you can go into space for about $20 million, I forget.  Do you know, what the current price is? But the Russians will take you up to their... their station, our station. I’m not sure whose station it is. Right now the Americans are retiring the shuttle and we have no way to visit our space station except to pay the Russians presumably some huge price to go up on a... one of their rockets.

Marvin Minsky (1927-2016) was one of the pioneers of the field of Artificial Intelligence, founding the MIT AI lab in 1970. He also made many contributions to the fields of mathematics, cognitive psychology, robotics, optics and computational linguistics. Since the 1950s, he had been attempting to define and explain human cognition, the ideas of which can be found in his two books, The Emotion Machine and The Society of Mind. His many inventions include the first confocal scanning microscope, the first neural network simulator (SNARC) and the first LOGO 'turtle'.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: space travel, space, space station, affordable space travel

Duration: 58 seconds

Date story recorded: 29-31 Jan 2011

Date story went live: 12 May 2011