Welcome to another episode of The DNA Of Purpose Podcast.
For those of you who have been following this podcast for quite some time, you would know that I have been on a mission since day one to unpack purpose from every perspective possible, and 87 episodes in I think it is fair to say that I have done exactly that. Nonetheless, there is one perspective that I have left uncharted until today and one of the reasons for that is because only a handful of human beings have had the privilege of seeing themselves and the world from space or more specifically from Saturn.
Today, I am feeling incredibly honoured to interview not only a globally renowned planetary scientist but also an extraordinary human who through both trial and transformation has pathed the way for women all over the world to pursue careers in science and technology. She has worked alongside revolutionary scientists such as Carl Sagan, with whom she collaborated on the world-famous Pale Blue Dot image of Earth taken in 1990, and her name is synonymous with the planet Saturn and the travels thereof the Cassini spacecraft from 2004 to 2017. In 2012 she was named one of the 25 most influential people in space by Time magazine, and this is only one of many accolades.
Her name is Carolyn Porco and she is an American planetary scientist who is renowned for exploring the outer Solar System, beginning with her imaging work on the Voyager missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in the 1980s. She also led the imaging science team on NASA's Cassini mission in orbit around Saturn. This was a monumental moment for women in science and one for women of influence. The kind that ignites human progress.
Carolyn was also the founder of The Day the Earth Smiled,a first-of-its-kind event held in 2013, during which the Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn's shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its main rings -- and, in the background, our home planet, Earth, while people the world over celebrated. This image was not only a personal reprise of the original Pale Blue Dot, which she dedicated to her colleague Sagan [https://youtu.be/fzdkzkfGnko], but one that enabled all of humanity to see ourselves through the vastness of space, feel connected to each other and all of life on Earth, and appreciate the significance of our own existence and the place to which we belong.
In today's conversation, Carolyn and I traverse through so many layers of understanding the universe from a scientific perspective but also understanding ourselves at a deeper level through the eyes of space. Carolyn is a scientist first, and thus honours her research as sacred, yet at the same time, her insights and wisdom are full of soul. And while it may seem obvious to think a woman who has spent a lifetime observing the wonder of space would be the first to advocate human inhabitants in space, the exact opposite is true. In her words when it comes to Earth, there is no planet B. We must care for our home.
So without further delay, I am beyond privileged to introduce you to today's guests. The one and only Carolyn Porco.
Twitter - @carolynporco
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