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The power of creative constraints - Brandon Rodriguez


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Imagine you were asked to invent something new. It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size. That kind of creative freedom sounds so liberating, doesn’t it? Or ... does it? if you're like most people you’d probably be paralyzed by this task. Why? Brandon Rodriguez explains how creative constraints actually help drive discovery and innovation.

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When we look back at the brief history of space flight, it is amazing to think how far we’ve come in just the past few decades. Think back to the Ranger missions in the 1960’s. It took numerous attempts for NASA to correctly target satellites toward the moon, where success just meant taking some pictures before crashing into the moon's surface. Yet in only a couple years, we were able to advance from barely being able to crash into the moon, to walking on it. In 1969 the first moon walk was completed by the crew of Apollo 11, wherein Neil Armstrong famously stated, “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.”

A few decades after the Apollo missions, we began sending missions to Mars. While the moon is roughly 240,000 miles from Earth, Mars is on average 33,900,000 miles away--over 140 times further than we’ve ever sent astronauts. Yet each year technology gets more and more advanced. First, we sent robots to Mars, such as the Viking landers. These sent us high resolution photos with details about the planet's surface that helped us design more complex machines to be sent in the future. These included the Mars Pathfinder and Curiosity rovers, the latter of which is still driving and performing analysis of Martian rocks. With each new mission, a new feat is accomplished. Even now, NASA is constructing the next rover to Mars, targeting a 2020 launch, which will begin the Mars Sample Return program: a series of missions where NASA will collect Martian rock samples and launch them back to Earth for analysis

What was unthinkable yesterday may be possible tomorrow. As we advance science and engineering via new and innovative thinking, we change the boundaries of what can and can’t be done. It just takes creative thinkers, capable of understanding how to manipulate the boundaries of science and technology.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Brandon Rodriguez
  • Director Bálint Farkas Gelley
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Producer Bella Szederkényi
  • Designer Máté Muszka
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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