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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

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Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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NASA Wants Your Advice on Getting to Mars

April 18, 2012, 10:00 AM

What's the Latest Development?

'Have a good idea about Mars exploration? We'd like to hear about it.' That tweet came from NASA's John Grunsfeld who, in light of some humbling budget cuts coming in 2013, is helping the space agency cast a wider net when it comes to attracting new ideas. The new Mars Program Planning Group (MPPG) wants ideas from researchers, government and industry for how to reach Mars cheaply. "This is a two-way capability open to anyone," said Doug McCuistion, director of NASA's Mars Exploration Program. "We want to hear from anyone who has an idea, not just the establishment."

What's the Big Idea?

NASA's goals for Mars is to move towards having a human presence around the planet in 2030s. Due to expected budget cuts, however, NASA has already pulled out of two European-led missions to the Red Planet planned for 2016 and 2018. "The MPPG is reluctant to speculate about what form the new missions will take, including whether they will begin with an orbiter or a lander, but the hope is to begin launching no later than 2020." The agency currently has two Mars missions in progress: The rover Curiosity is expected to touch down on the Red Planet in August and the orbiter MAVEN is scheduled for launch next year.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


NASA Wants Your Advice on G...

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