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Space for Humanity with Rachel Lyons




Rachel Lyons is a key advocate of the space movement. Lyons is the Executive Director of Space for Humanity, a non-profit organization which aims to use the spaceflight experience as a way to expand our perspective on Earth. By sponsoring crews of the next generation of leaders to go to space to experience our earth as a floating whole, connected planet, Space For Humanity’s goal is to train citizen astronauts to be able to share their experience and turn that new perspective into action in order to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. Under Lyons’ leadership, Space For Humanity has received public support from some of the space industry's most prominent and influential leaders including Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, more than 10 astronauts and other industry leaders. During her tenure, Lyons has cultivated a highly engaged online community of millions across the globe. Rachel is the former Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space--USA, the world’s largest student-run space non-profit, enabling students from all over the world to get involved with space. Rachel is a prolific public speaker and former radio host, and has been featured in outlets including Cheddar News, Ars Technica, ABC News, Washington Post, Yahoo! Finance, and has spoken for thousands at more than 50 events around the world. Ultimately, Lyons believes that if we, as individuals, take on a grander perspective, we can contribute to greater societal change. She works to expand her perspective every day through leadership training, spending time in nature, learning about space, and even dancing. It is her wish that people from all over the world understand we are part of something much greater and in turn use that perspective to treat each other and our planet with more kindness and understanding.





Connect with Rachel: spaceforhumanity.org



Episode Transcript:


[00:00:00] Tim Chrisman: Hi, welcome to another edition of podcasts for the future. I'm joined today by Rachel Lyons from Space for Humanity. Rachel is a key advocate of the space movement. I recently met her at a space symposium over the summer, and she is an absolute, a phenomenal. Leader and just a great human so I'm excited to have her here to interview and chat.

[00:00:41] And so, Rachel you know, she has a fairly Accomplished background for the relatively short amount of time that she has been doing what she's doing. And I think that speaks to the quality of person and what [00:01:00] she brings to the table. She's. I'll just go through some of this here. Rachael's currently the executive director of Space for Humanity which is a nonprofit that aims to use space flight experience.

[00:01:13] As a way to expand our perspective here on earth, they are doing a lot of work sponsoring crews of next generation leaders to actually go to space and experience what it looks and feels like to see earth as this. Connected planet ultimately space for humanity's goal is to train citizens, astronauts, to be able to share their experience and turn that perspective that they got in space back.

[00:01:43] Around when they get home to solve some of the world's biggest challenges, it's a pretty inspirational and aspirational mission and goal. And it's exciting to see that since Rachel took over space for humanity they've seen really an explosion of public support and their [00:02:00] profile raising as she's been able to bring in a lot of the.

[00:02:05] Sort of household space names to endorse what they're doing from Richard Branson to Jeff Bezos, along with I think you're up to 10 astronauts who,

[00:02:17] Rachel Lyons: uh, on the advisory board we've got, we've got six astronauts. Um, yeah, but I think we're celebrated amongst a lot of astronauts, which is.

[00:02:27] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. And Rachel is the former vice chair of the board of directors, of students for the exploration and development of space in the U S if you're not familiar with this, this is the world's largest student run space, nonprofit.

[00:02:42] That is really an entry point for a lot of students all over the world. To get plugged into space. This is been around for quite a while now, and is sort of served as that gateway for multiple generations of space leaders. And Rachel's Not only [00:03:00] prolific, but really F and good public speaker who even with our radio host.

[00:03:05] And I'm going to want to hear more about that in a second. And, uh, she's been you know, all over the news from cheddar to ABC news, Washington, post Yahoo, finance, and more Rachel believes that if we, as individuals take a grander perspective, we can contribute to sort of great societal change. And she works to expand her perspective every day through leadership training, spending time in nature, learning about space and even dancing.

[00:03:34] And it's her wish that people from all over the world understand we are a part of something that's much greater and in turn, use that perspective to treat each other and the planet. With more kindness and understanding it's it's truly awesome to have you here, Rachel, and yeah,

[00:03:54] Rachel Lyons: it's so good to be here, Tim.

[00:03:55] Thank you so much. And thank you for that introduction.

[00:03:58] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. So, [00:04:00] you know, the, you know, in your bio and in the introduction, there talked a little bit, you know, you were part of this, um, student run space, nonprofit. Got involved in leading that, but that doesn't really talk to why space? Why did you get into space and then

[00:04:22] Rachel Lyons: yeah, absolutely.

[00:04:24] Um, yeah, so thank you again. It's it's so great to be on here. I'm just like, yeah. It's, it's so much fun to talk about all of this stuff and especially with YouTube. Um, so I discovered my love for space as a 19 year old. Um, before that it was never something that interested me. I didn't even, I actually didn't even know what it was.

[00:04:46] I don't think I did not fully understand that we live on a planet and what that meant. Um, and I was with a childhood friend of mine who sat me down and. Told me, he wanted to show me a documentary about [00:05:00] space. And I was like, why would I want to watch the documentary about space? Yeah, exactly. I was like boring, you know?

[00:05:08] And, um, we ended up watching the first episode of Neil deGrasse. Tyson's cosmos, so great. It's so good. And in this episode, Neil chose the scale of the universe, which I'm sure whether it's in this video or another. A lot of people have seen this one where we started the earth and then we go out to the.

[00:05:29] Yeah, we go out to our solar system and not to the galaxy and the local group of galaxies. No, no, no. Out to this observable universe. And I'm just sitting in my, on the couch, like literally wide mouth, like what the. Heck is our existence. Right. You know what it is, we come from like that grain of sand and that cosmic galaxy, like it's, it's still, um, unfathomable for me when I'm present to it, [00:06:00] you know?

[00:06:00] Yeah. So, um, Yeah. So it just suddenly everything was different for me, you know, like my whole perspective on reality changed. Like I wouldn't, I it's like, just imagine like looking at like the lens that I then was able to look through when I was present to the fact that we live on this planet floating in this like seemingly infinite universe, you know, it's in suddenly.

[00:06:23] As a human, I had this relationship to all humans because I saw that we all share this planet together. And I saw that our planet, this thing it's so special and it's so beautiful and it's fine, it is fragile. And we must take care of it. It was like, fundamentally my worldview changed. And so then because of that, so much of my behavior changed as well.

[00:06:45] Um, and. I immediately went into aerospace engineering. I was going into my junior year at the university of Miami and it was like, I want to build rockets and spaceships, like let's do it. And so I just switched into that major. Um, [00:07:00] and then I was lucky enough to discover CEDS, which is short for students for the exploration and development of space.

[00:07:06] And that's actually how, like my space career started, you know, I just went and literally the first meeting I was in, I was like, I wanna, I like ran for like a board position. It's like, didn't get it. You know, it took me to create another year to do it, but

[00:07:20] Tim Chrisman: whoever. First selection that you lost it. Have you ruined?

[00:07:25] Rachel Lyons: I know. Yeah. Trust me. We, we kicked him out once I was on the leadership part. Yeah. Um, and yeah, and then it was just there that I, like I learned about this thing called the overview effect at that first conference, Frank White spoke and he's this incredible space philosopher. Um, Heart. My Harvard educated, um, has interviewed more than 40 astronauts, including ones that were on the international space station, um, about their experience and about the cognitive shifts that they had.

[00:07:56] And, and so it's like I learned about this thing, the overview effect, which, [00:08:00] um, I then was like, oh, okay. That's what happened to me. Yeah. You know, like that kind of cognitive shift is what happened to me. And, and so just for anyone who doesn't know what the overview effect is, it's been when astronauts go to space and they look back and they see this beautiful, fragile, glowing blue ball of life in our infinite universe, you know, it's like in one angle, they see this planet and then everyone else had just seen to infinity and star.

[00:08:28] It, it changes them forever and they come back down, completely changed people because fundamentally their worldview has shifted and therefore like their belief systems have shifted and their behavior shifts. And a lot of times they have this new found passion for humanity and this new found passion for our planet.

[00:08:44] Um, and it's demonstrated in their behaviors. Some of them start non-profits. Some of them work on an initiative specifically to get political leaders in the space. I'm going to show him, sorry. He's running X prize foundation, which is all about. Moonshot solutions to our greatest challenges. Yeah. You [00:09:00] know, and it's because they see the planet and they see all of our greatest challenges from the actual context that they're happening.

[00:09:06] Tim Chrisman: Yeah, no. And, um, from what I've read, it's, it's almost, it's even like neurochemical change in the brain that it's, you know, it's most akin to people having sort of that near death experience where they realize the fragility of life. And in this case, it's, you know, realizing that this boat we're on is a lot smaller than we thought.

[00:09:31] Um, and we really all are on this together.

[00:09:36] Rachel Lyons: Yeah, 100%. Yeah. And I mean, and there's like psychologists that study it as well. Like I've worked with some of the researchers, like for, for example, this one, his name's David Hayden, and he's on our advisory board and he's, he's, um, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins now doing really, really fascinating psilocybin research actually.

[00:09:57] And it's interesting because he, he specifically [00:10:00] studies what he calls transcendent experiences. So it's basically experiences where you, um, like, feel like you feel like you're part of something bigger than yourself. You know, it's, it's like, like seriously perspective, expanding very, it says and like the overview effect, as well as all the other things that he studies, many of them have.

[00:10:21] You know, similar cognitive or psychological quality to them, they all have these deep, deep feelings of awe, which is something that is like, can be so expensive for someone because the, one of the qualities of awe is feeling like you're part of something bigger than yourself. So you can get that when you're on top of a mountain, when you're on an airplane, when.

[00:10:42] You know, meditating, whatever it is that gets you there. And then what also does, is it causes you to reframe your current mental schema. So basically it's like you're having inputs that you don't have like structures in your brain to make, to make sense of it yet. So it like it [00:11:00] literally from, from the neuro neurological level, and I'm not a neuroscientist.

[00:11:04] Forgive me if anyone, um, um, it literally like you, I do believe on our physical health, like you're literally expanding your brain.

[00:11:16] Tim Chrisman: Yeah, no. And it very much sort of issues in that childlike sort of. Ability of your brain to start adapting and remolding. Some of the pathways is what it seems to do. And so, so with space, for humanity, you're trying to essentially create a pipeline for people to be able to do this, uh, you know, get this overview effect almost in mass, is that.

[00:11:44] Rachel Lyons: Exactly. Yeah. So, um, yeah, that's exactly what we're doing. And we're at this incredible moment in human space flight, as I'm sure everyone listening is aware of, you know, Richard Branson just went to space a few months ago. Jeff Bezos just went to space a few months ago. [00:12:00] Um, worldview stress, her balloon company just announced that they're going to be flying again.

[00:12:04] Um, we have space perspective, which is another stratospheric balloon company that's going to be flying. Um, the inspiration for mission just went to space with space X, the Axiom one. Michigan is about to launch and that has a few civilians in it as well. Um, we are just at this crazy, crazy moment and, and it's funny, cause I was thinking about it.

[00:12:23] I was like, okay, it's a crazy moment in human history. Yes. But it actually feels bigger than that because what other species do we know of? That's. The frickin planets, you know, literally this insane moment in the history of like life that we're accomplishing that like we're able to physically, um, leave this pennant and physically go just, you know, in, into the cosmos, which we're already part we're already in the cosmos by the way.

[00:12:47] But you know,

[00:12:49] Tim Chrisman: it definitely feels like we're just sort of sitting here on the beach and we finally are getting to. To move when in fact, right. We're already hurdling through the [00:13:00] cosmos and surprising ourselves that we're not running into things. Um, we're not driving.

[00:13:06] Rachel Lyons: Yes, exactly. It's a good thing. We're not driving the planets.

[00:13:08] Um, so yeah, so we're just, we're at this incredible moment in, in technology that it's allowing for this. And the other thing about this amazing moment is that like we can, we can really, really utilize it, um, as a way to. Um, as a way to, uh, what's the word con contributes to the common good, you know, which, which space for humanity.

[00:13:32] And I'll get to the mission in a moment. It's, we're not about addressing the symptoms, you know, like we're not the way that we, um, Measure our success is not by the number of homeless people that are, you know, fed in the shelter on a Saturday night. None of that's all important. You know, it's not about, it's not like a simple statistic that you can measure in a day.

[00:13:52] What it's about actually is, um, we look at it from a systems change perspective and [00:14:00] looking at the earth as a complex system that it is, and looking at what's the root of all of these challenges that are occurring. On this global scale. Yeah. You know, climate change, access to education, poverty, clean water, all of it, you know?

[00:14:15] Um, and so, and so fundamentally what we believe it's, it's that Einstein quote that you can't solve, the problems you've created, but at the same level of thinking that's created them. Yeah. So we want people to expand their thinking so that they can actually see, oh, We live in a planet like we need to, we need to act like it.

[00:14:33] We need to, we need to treat other human beings as our brothers and sisters, as their neighbors, as our friends, we need to treat this planet with, with the respect that. Like that it needs in order to sustain life. Right. You know? And, and so I believe that by us all expanding our perspectives, having our beliefs change from that and having our behavior change from that, that's how we can create greater [00:15:00] change.

[00:15:00] Right. And, and, and from a systems thinking perspective, this is actually like a proven thing. It's correct. Yeah, which we can get into if we want to, but there's like, I've been reading on it. It's called leverage points and it's like, it's basically the, the largest way to create where small shifts can lead to greater change in a complex system are by transcending paradise.

[00:15:22] It's by shifting the mindset and that's exactly what we're doing. And it's a long-term thing. Like I said, we can't measure it in a day. This is something that is, I believe can, um, create a long-term promising future for our species. Yeah,

[00:15:40] Tim Chrisman: no, and I think it was Archimedes that said, um, give me a lever and a place to, uh, Um, move it and I will, you know, move the world because, you know, as you said, with those inflection points, it's a hundred percent of the time, us believing it's not possible.[00:16:00]

[00:16:01] You know, whether it's a small kid thinking that they can never be insert what they want to be all the way up to adults trying to transition. To new careers at every junction. It is us thinking we can't do it or knowing that there's a path.

[00:16:18] Rachel Lyons: So, yeah. And, and us thinking that we can't do it, that's us being stuck in a mindset.

[00:16:23] Yeah, bitch. I was just talking to one of my friends about this, um, this quote that she was saying, it's like, if you can't solve it, then think bigger. Basically. It's like all of our problems exist in a mindset. And if we actually expand our mindsets a lot of times, We can either see one come up with solutions or two is when you look bigger, those problems aren't even exist.

[00:16:44] You know what I mean? Yeah. So anyways, just to circle back to space for humanity's mission, um, I go on lots of, lots of tangents with you, Tim. I think it's great. Yeah. Thank you. Um, so [00:17:00] basically what we're doing as you were saying before is we're going to be sponsoring people that are leaders in their community.

[00:17:05] Specifically people that, um, have, are passionate about solving some of our greatest challenges so that they can go to space and have this, um, you know, consciousness expanding your perspective, expanding experience. Yeah. And then, and then come back down and use it as a way to fuel causes that they care about and, and, and, um, forward.

[00:17:26] But they care about in the world and of like what I said before, this realization that I had, my ultimate goal is. Everybody on our planet actually knows and understands that simple fact that we live on a planet and they understand all the things that that means. And then they can use that themselves to like create greater change with their community and, and, you know, and, and have that shift their mindset.

[00:17:50] Yeah. And all of that, but that's my ultimate goal is like, we're not going to send everyone to space though. I think in the next 10 years, probably most people in the [00:18:00] world will have known someone who's been in the space, which is pretty crazy to think about it is, um, w so we can't send everyone, but we can help, like, have everyone have this perspective.

[00:18:13] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. Well, and so you mentioned sort of. Choosing or having these leaders, these people who can be anchor points for their communities, um, how do, how do those, how do you choose those or how do those, um, leaders get select.

[00:18:30] Rachel Lyons: Yeah, totally. So, um, we are, we are like a fellowship program, so, so that's what we're yeah, that's what I would compare us to, like, we're not a contest around competition.

[00:18:43] It's like more like a fellowship program. Um, so basically you apply on our website and which applications are currently open as, as, as of the date of us recording this era currently open space for humanity.org/apply. Yeah, perfect. [00:19:00] Perfect. It's a good reason. Um, so, so, um, yeah, we've had almost 4,000 people apply and since our founding for more than a hundred countries and nation.

[00:19:12] Um, the only requirement is that you speak English because that's actually required from the specified providers at this moment. Yeah. Um, but ultimately what we envision is sponsoring a full cohort of people. So depending on the flight provider, that would be six to eight people. Um, I imagine it being the most inclusive group.

[00:19:31] You know, that humanity has to offer, like from all different religious backgrounds and economic backgrounds and educational backgrounds and passions and communities and locations, just all of it. Yeah. Um, having this like unifying extraordinarily unifying experience together. Um, and then they'll come back down and they'll implement their social impact programs.

[00:19:56] And we also have a training program before to support them and like really [00:20:00] figuring out how does this perspective feed into what I care about. So how can I, can I use this as a way to create change afterwards? Um, Yeah. So that's, that's kind of, that's what the program I would.

[00:20:13] Tim Chrisman: And I would think that sort of the pre-work is maybe more important, uh, than anything else, because, you know, whenever we have those existential realization moments where we fall back on what we know, and if you already have.

[00:20:33] Sort of that base there, that seems like it would be a great, great way to make sure that what you intend is what you're going to do.

[00:20:41] Rachel Lyons: Yeah, totally. Yeah. So, um, I mean, and that's one of the most important parts. So for the psychologists that have started the overview effect and something I've talked to Frank White about the person who coined it, um, he says that like there's specific kinds of personality traits that make someone more susceptible to.

[00:20:59] More [00:21:00] transformative experience and like, and like with any intense experience you need to prepare before. And so one of the biggest personality traits that makes them a more susceptible to it is openness. So that's something that we're, that's something that we're going to support people in, in kind of in being able to create an open mind.

[00:21:17] And I think it's also just an important thing to have in general, because it makes you like more accepting of others. So that's one thing that we're going to be looking at. Um, and then, you know, the, the other thing that I think we're going to be keeping in mind as we train them, um, hold on. I lost my train of thought.

[00:21:37] Um, we were talking about personality. Um, I'm forgetting right now, but maybe it'll come back to me, but yeah, that's the biggest thing is like looking at. What's that makes them more susceptible to this and how can we support them in having this mindset, um, and preparing them for it before it happened?

[00:21:55] Tim Chrisman: No that's and, you know, being able to put that cohort together, then [00:22:00] insurers, you know, you've got this banned for life.

[00:22:04] Rachel Lyons: Um, And that's another thing is like, we want this to be like a, like a, uh, interconnected community, you know, like, like a mutually supportive community, you know? And like maybe one of them cares about ending climate change. And one of them wants to give kids access to education in their city. And one of them is like pollution in my city is not working.

[00:22:21] I mean, we, you know, when you stop it, by the way, we we've had people apply from all of these rhymes from all different countries. Um, but it's like they can all support each other and. In carrying out their goals and, and making all of this happen. Yeah,

[00:22:37] Tim Chrisman: no. And you mentioned earlier, uh, something that I've actually was asked last time, I was interviewed that you mentioned the part about the homeless person and it does seem to come up in this probably have been stewed too, when you're being interviewed.

[00:22:51] Somebody thinks I ha got you. Why are these rates? People go into space instead of helping homeless people. Um, and I think the way you're talking about an [00:23:00] organizing this cohort is, is, you know, in many ways how a lot of these community organizers look at solving some of these problems, you don't, you know, you can get more of an impact by standing up a system that will help hundreds rather than.

[00:23:20] Um, not bailing out, but sort of going one by one. Um, and I think that really is the promise of space is that it has this potential to rewrite the systems we have and deliver the resources that are needed at the same time.

[00:23:39] Rachel Lyons: Yep. 100%. I love that. I love the way that you put that. That's exactly it. Um, yeah, I think it's, that's a big thing for us.

[00:23:48] It's like people are like, yes. Are you going to go. You know, are you, are we going to trash this planet and then go and trash another one? Or, you know, like whatever they want to say about it, which the reasonable grounds, but it's a very reasonable [00:24:00] and it's like, it's not an either or thing. Like people ask me what my favorite planet is as, as a defined space woman.

[00:24:09] You know, if you asked me what we're here at planet, and I will tell you immediately that is. Yeah, I love it here. It's incredible. We've got, we've got, we've got to have an, another, a planet, you know? Yeah. Pretty great. Over here. You know, you look at the other ones

[00:24:24] Tim Chrisman: come back.

[00:24:26] Rachel Lyons: Exactly. I'm like, please I'll have a say here.

[00:24:29] Um, so I am not, I would not be interested in this if it meant that it would be, you know, um, impacting us in a negative way. Like yes, there are, um, environmental. Um, costs of putting rockets space. We need to be thoughtful about, we need to be careful about that. And I think that by having more and more people have this experience, having it, you know, open, open our mind more and more.

[00:24:55] I think that that, that, that impact. Um, to [00:25:00] not be measured at the moment. And I think that it's, it's bigger than what we can possibly imagine. Um, and you know, I think about which, you know, I don't know, we maybe we've talked about this when we first connected. Um, when we first went around the moon and we came back around the other side, Apollo eight, you've got that Earthrise image.

[00:25:20] And for the first time ever societal. As I said, like, as a civilization, we saw the earth has a marble in the sky. You know, we S we saw the earth from the context of the moon, which is still really, really close, actually think about it from a cosmic lens. Um, and many historians say that that actually sparked the monitor and environmental mood.

[00:25:41] And, you know, within, within three years, the environmental, the environmental protection agency was founded, or if they was founded, uh, leading a number of the leading organizations in the modern environmental movement were founded, um, a number of acts specifically around preservation of the environment we're in now.

[00:25:58] And, you know, that's like all [00:26:00] different passwords, you know? Like that's like, that's like government, that's like private industry. That's like something that's like more communal or if they very communal, like, that's like all those things that we're now creating the system around preservation of the environment.

[00:26:12] And that's from the spark, from that image. So I am totally with you. Um, w I don't think I need to tell you or anyone that so many of the systems that we've created are no longer working and they were created, like with fundamentally different values that. I would hope we're growing out of the civilization that actually don't serve any of us.

[00:26:38] They don't serve humans and they don't sort of the planets. And if we can look at those values and, and shift them into something, that's actually, um, I don't know. I'll say like in, like in, I I'll say inspiring though. That's not exactly the best word for it, but like something that is sustainable, then we can shift those systems as well.[00:27:00]

[00:27:00] So,

[00:27:02] Tim Chrisman: No. And I think, you know, your example of Apollo eight, the, you know, the Earthrise image. You know, a very common objection to anything in spaces, almost rooted in this idea that we're strapping bundles of cash on the top of a rocket and shooting it into space and like, cool. We just wasted billions of dollars.

[00:27:21] Um, but even if the entire Apollo program only yields. That photo, which then spawned this environmental movement, w would that not then be worth it. But in fact, that was only one of dozens of spinoffs and that happens with every single one of these missions that we've seen over the decades. And so, you know, as we've entered this commercial age where people are going, it's exciting to think, what is that impact that.

[00:27:53] Because nobody looking at that image for the first time, but oh, the EPA is going to stand up. Good idea. [00:28:00] Um, but that's sort of the position we're in now trying to think through, well, what foundation can we lay? And it sounds like, you know, space for humanities trying to do that. Um, yeah. Sort of seeing around the corner and laying that funded.

[00:28:16] Rachel Lyons: Totally. Yeah, 100%. And I would also say, you know, I mean the narrative right now, um, around this billionaire space race is that it's like a big like billionaire ego ego show. And there's some hilarious, I just watched an ethanol thing. I don't know if you've seen, have you seen it? It's funny. Oh my God. Oh my gosh.

[00:28:37] It's so there is, I mean, there's so much there. These arguments and these thoughts about it being like a billionaire ego, just to call boys' club, whatever is very, very reasonable, you know? And I think my request to the people, my requests, if I could make a request to the people who are saying this is like, look bigger, you know, like, look bigger, look [00:29:00] and see what's.

[00:29:01] I just, I want people to know. Like have a whole possibility for this to be something larger than an ego egotistical space race, you know?

[00:29:13] Tim Chrisman: Well, and, and so there's, you know, if most people, if they have billions of dollars and they want to get in a competition, they're going to get into competition. Okay, cool.

[00:29:26] Whatever. Yeah. And so I think the question. If it is just an ego thing. Cool. Is, you know, why do we care about the motivations? If the end result is something that's useful, um, you know, or Orville and Wilbur Wright, might've been in a competition to see which of them could fly their plane better. We don't care when we're flying New York to LA right now,

[00:29:53] Rachel Lyons: which is, I've seen things that said that we're literally in the golden age of air flights, where basically [00:30:00] anyone, anyone can afford to.

[00:30:03] Um, fly across the country or even across the ocean. And the a hundred years ago, it was something that only the top 1% and the 1% could do. Exactly. So,

[00:30:11] yeah,

[00:30:12] Tim Chrisman: no. And I mean, within decades of air flight taking off. Fairly mainstream. Um, and so we're already seeing that where, when like, uh, Nooshin sorry, and others went, that was tens of millions of dollars bordering on a hundred million dollars a person.

[00:30:32] Now that's come down to a couple hundred thousand. So, um, that, that just tells me if I'm okay. Writing coach class by the end of this decade, there's a good chance I can get to space, uh, on a weekend sale. Yeah,

[00:30:53] Rachel Lyons: exactly. And think about how. I think about how positively my life is impacted because I have [00:31:00] access to air travel, you know, and like, I can go, I can go anywhere in the world right now and it, and it can take a bit to get, you know, across the world.

[00:31:08] But I literally, I'm able to keep in touch with my family who lives across the country from me. And I'm able to see them a couple of times a year and, you know, do do trips to help forward things that I care about. And. Um, I think about Richard Branson and Virgin galactic, and then their ultimate goal is to do point to point travel, to being able to take off from a space port and New Mexico and land and in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

[00:31:33] Yeah, the space part over there. And. And, you know, it's like, you can get across the world and less than an hour and yeah. In a measurement, that'll be like, when, when that is something that's more accessible, maybe we're 10 years away. Maybe we're 20 years away, maybe it's 50 or a hundred, but, um, yeah, I think it also, like, it brings us closer together.

[00:31:54] You know, to, to be able to travel to parts of the worlds that [00:32:00] I might not even consider, you know, because it's because it feels so far away that now it's like, oh, what if I was able to afford a ticket and being able to go over there and actually like, you know, I'm dreaming now. Like what if you could take a weekend trip over, across the world and then come back because it only takes an hour to get there, you know?

[00:32:20] Tim Chrisman: Well, and, and so much of the rest, everything else we do is enabled by sort of the logistics capacity of even if you want to save those richer people that have been flying. Most of the planes taken up by cargo, wait, uh, you know, moving our mail and stuff. And so, you know, while you're doing your trip there and back, uh, my Amazon box is being delivered in an hour, so that's pretty cool.

[00:32:45] Um, You know, even if you don't want to use it, you're going to benefit from it.

[00:32:52] Rachel Lyons: Yeah, totally. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And we're definitely benefiting from this stuff right now. It's pretty amazing.

[00:32:58] Yeah.

[00:32:59] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. [00:33:00] So, you know, you were talking about you, you had this experience in 19 changed sort of the course of your life.

[00:33:08] Where were you headed before that?

[00:33:14] Rachel Lyons: I was just basically headed where society told me to. Like, honestly, it was like, it was a very stereotypical, like, I don't know, I want to say American, but, um, I've lived, lived, uh, yeah, lived a pretty, um, Like blessed life. I would say, like, I was able to, I got good grades in high school. I got into the school.

[00:33:37] I wanted to go to, you know, I was like good at math and science. So I was like, okay, I guess I'll be an engineer, but I didn't even like know about, you know, I didn't even know what that meant. And I still don't even, I'm like, I'm so glad I'm not an engineer. I'm like, they give it to the end of the day.

[00:33:53] Tim Chrisman: You got the degree feels like I'm an

[00:33:55] Rachel Lyons: engineer.

[00:33:56] I do have the degree, but I've never worked with an engineer. So I definitely can't pass as [00:34:00] one compared to, you know, the brilliant people that are actually spaceships. Yeah. Um, anyway, though, so I was basically in the moving towards the direction of, um, like I was like following the steps of what I was good at and what society told me to do, which is go to school.

[00:34:17] Get a job is going to make you money, you know, like stay in the job. Maybe like work yourself up in the courier. Yeah. Have a family do all those things that they told me to do. I was, I was really well on my path to doing that. And then I discovered space and like suddenly. Like in my, like, it just like all the paradigms that I existed in began to unravel.

[00:34:39] I was like, oh, I actually don't need to do what I was told to do or whatever else is doing. I don't need to like go. And yeah. It just, everything shifted. And, um, and it's, it's amazing the amount of freedom that, that it creates in my life to, um, let myself not be that.

[00:34:57] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. Well, and I think it's really. [00:35:00] And inspirational to others.

[00:35:03] Looking in seeing that, you know, an engineer running a nonprofit is not a stereotypical thing. Um, And so being able to say from your own lived experience, look, you know, why do you have to do this? Why can't you do that? Um, and sort of modeling that has, uh, has got to be a, sort of a useful part of what you're doing.

[00:35:36] Rachel Lyons: Yeah, totally. Yeah. I mean, I I'm in sorting too because I did try and stick myself in the engineer box for a long time. And, um, but I think my openness is what's like led to my. Like led me on this path because I ended up taking like totally non-traditional internships, you know, like I was like a living intern for one [00:36:00] of my biggest inspirations and helped her take care of her kids and like helped her with like a couple of projects.

[00:36:05] And that was while I was in college. And while all of my, all of my colleagues at school were like, you know, building rockets and, or like 3d printing machines or like things that I thought that I wanted to do. But, um, Yeah. I like opportunity comes in so many different shapes and forms and, um, I would not have ever guessed that this was going to be my path and I'm so, so grateful for it.

[00:36:30] Yeah.

[00:36:32] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. Um, and one of the things you said yes to as being a, a radio. DJ radio announcer radio hosts, but

[00:36:44] Rachel Lyons: yeah, was, I was a host and you're not, you're not having to Lego. Yeah. Um, I was, uh, I was a host and a DJ. Okay. Um, so two separate things. I was never, again, never well-practiced as a DJ, but. I, [00:37:00] that was the one thing like, so me discovering my love for space basically like unlocked passion in general, like it stopped making me think that I needed to like fit into like a specific social circle, which is kind of like, can be not always, but can be like, Conforming.

[00:37:15] Um, and yeah, and, and so it made me just like, kind of like go off and become a little bit more of an individual and start discovering things that I loved. And one of those things that I just ended up going a lot deeper into was music. And I. Um, yeah, I've always, I've always loved singing, always loved music, but I never really fully went into ad and I ended up running the radio station at my school and, um, had multiple radio shows had started deejaying a little bit.

[00:37:46] I was DJ space race. Okay. Um, yeah, so that, that was very fun. You know,

[00:37:51] Tim Chrisman: I'm writing down a note to look up YouTube for DJ space rage.

[00:37:55] Rachel Lyons: Okay. Yeah, we have, I dunno if you'll find much I did, I do have a SoundCloud, but I don't [00:38:00] even know if I had any of my own stuff on there. Um, my space. Yeah, exactly. Like my space.

[00:38:05] Um, and yeah, and then I had a show called. Planetary funk. That was just like, you know, I would just play, but this was kinda my way of bringing the overview effect to people. It's like, we can have those kinds of perspectives shifting experiences in so many ways. And so what that goal of my show was. Was, I would like go to like, you know, different, I would put like indigenous music from like tribes around the world, or like go specifically to like regions in Europe or like, even like some like weird, you know, music from Russia and, um, kind of like talk about like a little bit of the history behind the music and like what the instruments are and, um, have it be a way that I could expose people to other cultures when they're just like driving.

[00:38:52] To work. Yeah. And that's another kind of like part of the overview of factor or like something similar to a lot of people say that they have that experience from [00:39:00] traveling and from, from going to other, other cultures around the world. And so I think experiencing, um, the way that these cultures express themselves is something that I can do sitting in my seats in the middle, you know, in Colorado and like have such a feel for what this.

[00:39:19] Culture might be. Yeah.

[00:39:21] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. That's true. Um, and music is really as a really good way to do that. Uh, cause there's something sort of primal, uh, about hearing music that's different from ours and sort of being able to understand and know why it is and uh it's. Yeah. So definitely when you sit down and think about it, a strange vehicle for the emotions that it yields, but.

[00:39:53] Rachel Lyons: And then like, that's a common human exactly. Like how amazing is that this common human experience that we have of [00:40:00] like experiencing emotions, we all can do it, you know? And then in this, yeah. Apparently we can all do it. Um, um, and yeah, and like, we can experience those emotions through these kinds of music as well.

[00:40:14] And it's just like, it's a way that we all can connect also.

[00:40:17] Tim Chrisman: Yeah, no, it's, uh, it's pretty cool. Um, Yeah, I'm trying to think if there was more, I don't think that's a pretty much sums up, um, sort of you're changing the world, uh, after your world was

[00:40:34] Rachel Lyons: changed. Um, I like that catchphrase

[00:40:39] Tim Chrisman: pretty solid trajectory there.

[00:40:41] Um, yeah. And, uh, I mean, as far as challenges worth doing the idea that you're. Building cohorts of people who can turn around and transform their communities. [00:41:00] That's pretty F and inspiring.

[00:41:02] Rachel Lyons: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. And, and I would say that like, um, it's. It's easy for me sometimes as an individual, it'd be like, how do we solve all of these challenges?

[00:41:16] You know, like being like, oh my God, look at the fricking state of the world. Like I don't, like, I don't even know how to exist here. And, um, and there's also like, yeah, I don't, I, I also find immense inspiration and knowing how much. You know, one, one person can actually create ripple effects and that's what, that's what we're doing.

[00:41:38] And that's what a lot of astronauts are doing. And, um, yeah. And, and that's what the system change theory says as well. You know, so I think, I think that as individuals, we, we have to do what we can to help, to help open people's minds. And, and the big thing about this is that I'm not about polarizing, [00:42:00] like I'm not going to push a political.

[00:42:02] Narrative on any end of the spectrum. I'm not going to join for the most part. You know, maybe there's something that I want to speak out about, but I honestly still it's still have not fully done that. Like for the most part I'm, I'm not, we're not taking part in any sort of polarizing conversation. I'm not interested in making anyone wrong.

[00:42:19] I'm just interested in opening people's minds so they can even see. The polarization that is happening, you know, like they can see if we get bigger than we can see the us versus them that is happening. So that's like the ultimate goal of this is just to help people see bigger. And I think that in turn will cause much greater change.

[00:42:39] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. Yeah. No, that's awesome. That's really cool. Um, yeah. Thanks for being here today, Rachel. Yeah.

[00:42:46] Rachel Lyons: Thank you, Tim.

[00:42:47] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. Again Rachel Lyons. Head of Space for Humanity. Thanks. And we'll talk again soon.

[00:42:54] Rachel Lyons: Thank you.





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