Nicole Stott is an astronaut, aquanaut, and artist, and author of Back to Earth: What Life in Space Taught Me About our Home Planet – And our Mission to Protect It (Fall 2021). From the moment she left Earth and looked back at our planet, she realized how interconnected we are and knew she had to do everything within her power of influence to help protect our shared planetary home.
Nicole enjoyed a twenty-eight-year career with NASA as an engineer and astronaut. In preparation for spaceflight, she earned the title aquanaut following her time as a crewmember on an 18-day saturation dive mission at the Aquarius undersea laboratory. As an astronaut, she crewed two spaceflights and spent over one hundred days in space aboard the International Space Station. Some personal highlights of her time in space include performing a spacewalk (10th woman to do so), flying the robotic arm to capture the first free-flying ISS cargo spaceship, working with her international crew in support of the multi-disciplinary science onboard the orbiting laboratory, painting a watercolor, and of course the view of our planet out the window.
Since retiring from NASA, Nicole combines her spaceflight experience with her artwork to inspire creative thinking about solutions to our planetary challenges, to raise awareness of the surprising interplay between science and art, and to promote the amazing work being done every day in space to improve life right here on Earth.
On her post-NASA mission, she co-founded the non-profit Space for Art Foundation, which creates space-themed art therapy projects with hospitals and refugee centers around the world and is on a mission to unite a planetary community of children through the awe and wonder of space exploration and the healing power of art. The Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, recently honored the Space for Art Foundation with a $1 million grant to help further their mission of space, art, and healing, and “help invent the future of life in space.”
Nicole maintains an active presence in the human spaceflight community – as a senior technical consultant and on the boards of several space companies, and she is sought out for her commentary on the current events in the spaceflight industry.
Nicole Stott is a frequent speaker on a broad range of topics and has addressed diverse, global audiences ranging from the Vatican to senior leadership at Fortune 500 companies to students of all ages.
Back to Earth
Based on her book of the same name, Nicole shares the insights she gained from over three months living and working as part of an international crew on the International Space Station. In all of the complexity involved with leaving Earth on a spaceship, living and working on a space station for even a short period of time, and returning safely back to Earth – the most compelling lessons Nicole brought back to Earth were the simple ones that remind us what we all share in common and have the power to help us overcome our most challenging problems; both on and off our planet.
Life in Space
Nicole discusses the path that led her to NASA and becoming an astronaut, the life-changing realizations she had in space, and how those lessons have guided the decisions she’s made here on Earth. She delights audiences with a first-hand account of one of the most exciting careers in the world and discusses the fascinating intersection between art and space. Working together with her international crewmates, Nicole learned the value of teamwork, and in this inspiring talk, she gives audiences a new perspective on how to work together in any environment – reminding us that we all live in space.
eARTh from space
Inspired by the view of our home planet through her spaceship windows, Nicole painted the first watercolor in space. In this talk, she shares the magic of painting with watercolors in an environment where everything floats, and presents fascinating insight into the human side of astronauts in space, a concept that she refers to as “putting the human in human spaceflight.”
Off the Earth, For the Earth
All of the work we are doing in space is ultimately about improving life on Earth. In this illuminating talk, Nicole shares examples of historical space exploration milestones that have brought us together as an international community, like the iconic Apollo-Soyuz handshake and the Shuttle-Mir program. But for Nicole, there’s no better example of this than the International Space Station program. Nicole shares the awe and wonder of spaceflight, not only through the view out the window, but from the standpoint of the science and international partnerships that are paving the way for exploration further off our planet, but more importantly for the benefit of all life on Earth.