Wanna learn more about space? Check out this talk from by astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who took to the stage at TEDxParis to talk the International Space Station, inflatable space hotels (no, really), and a manned mission to Mars.

Watch his whole talk here»

Fun fact to hold you over while you queue up the talk: The International Space Station has the same interior volume as two Boeing 747 jets, and can travel the distance between Paris and New York in 12 minutes.

Above: Pesquet at TEDxParis; NASA astronaut Nicholas Patrick takes a spacewalk (Photo: NASA); and astronauts at the ISS wave hello to TEDxParis.

Beautiful, bizarre images of Earth taken by the European Space Agency’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites.

These pictures are more than just cool: In a talk at TEDxBarcelona, Stephen Briggs — head of Earth Observation science at the ESA’s European Space Research Institute — tells the fascinating tale behind the satellite and explains how these uncommon images of Earth are more valuable than you think.

Watch the whole talk here»

Above:
1. Aragon and Catalonia, Spain
2. The Okavango River Delta, Botswana
3. Sand dunes, Namibia
4. The Great Salt Desert, Iran
5. Palouse Region, United States
6. Rural Kansas, United States

(Images via ESA)

Starlight + long exposure + the International Space Station = totally rad

TEDxHouston speaker Don Pettit’s photos from the ISS might have your Instagram feed beat. The cosmonaut’s beautiful images — seen above — capture the trails of light created by stars over a period of 10-15 minutes in captivating detail.

When down on Earth, the NASA flight engineer gave a talk on the fascinating physics of space travel, which we promise isn’t as daunting as it sounds.

Watch the whole talk here»

(Photos: NASA / Johnson Space Center, Don Pettit)

One small step for man, one giant leap for the career fair — meet a space archaeologist!

TEDxSydney speaker Alice Gorman might have one of the coolest job titles ever … space archaeologist. To have known that was a career option back in second grade!

Yep, Alice doesn’t research the things we don’t normally associate with archaeologists — clay pots or ancient weapons or old bones. Instead, she takes on the artifacts we leave beyond our planet: footprints, abandoned satellites, debris, even the American flag.

In her talk at TEDxSydney, Alice lets us in on some of the cool parts of her job, and explains just what space archaeology is all about:

In 1969, the Apollo 11 mission landed on the surface of the moon and changed the way we view the moon forever.

The moon has always been a huge part of human life: it governs the tides; it’s the light in the sky that we see at night; so many myths and legends are centered on the moon.

But now it’s a human landscape. Tranquility Base, where those astronauts first set foot on the moon, is an archeological site. They’ve left artifacts there; they’ve left footprints; we [can] analyze those footprints and artifacts to learn something about that very extraordinary kind of encounter with the landscape…

These artifacts and places, these are human, material interactions with the solar system, with the space environment … They remind us that space isn’t just empty and vast and black and dark and somewhere else out there. We’re actually part of it. We connected to the Earth’s orbit, to the very edge of the solar system.

Space archaeology is something that connects us to our past in space … and to our future in the stars. And that future is yours and mine to decide.

So, next time someone asks what you wanna be when you grow up, you can totally blow them out of the water (or outta this world). And if you’d like to learn more about the cultural history of space, check out Alice’s talk here.

(Above, thanks to NASA, the Earth as seen from the moon, Neil Armstrong’s famous lunar footprints, and Mars Curiosity
's first tracks on the Red Planet.)