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Britain's first astronaut Helen Sharman to host Zero Pressure podcast with focus on global security

Saab and Imperial College London are launching the Zero Pressure Podcast, which will examine how science and technology are playing a leading role in solving the complex, interrelated global challenges we face both now and in the future.

The Zero Pressure Podcast will be hosted by Helen Sharman CMG OBE, the first British astronaut. Helen will welcome pioneering minds to the discussion and jointly with them explore topics on the cutting edge of science and technology.

Conceived of by Saab and the Institute for Security Science and Technology at Imperial, the podcast series will have a particular focus on security. It will look at protection for individuals, nations and the whole Earth from both cyber and physical threats, with the discussion spanning from space and aerospace to deep ocean technology.

The Zero Pressure Podcast will also shine a spotlight on how science and technology can support global resilience and enable greater social and environmental good, over the long-term. The role ground-breaking technologies can play in addressing and solving the global challenges of today and tomorrow will be a central theme of the podcast series. And the insights and experiences of the thinkers and doers who are leading the way in developing these technologies will feature throughout.

Helen Sharman said: “I’m delighted to be invited to host Zero Pressure, an exciting new podcast series that will explore how science and technology can help to address the pressing global issues we all face. I look forward to welcoming a wide range of guests with fascinating life stories and experiences, including globally renowned experts and fellow astronauts. We will be sharing insights and examining how cutting edge scientific discovery and technological development can shape both the future of our planet and this part of the Universe."

The inaugural podcast will be a discussion about Space in 2050 between the first astronaut from the UK and the first astronaut from Sweden.

Helen will welcome Christer Fuglesang, who became the first Swedish astronaut in December 2006 when he flew as Mission Specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery’s voyage to the International Space Station. Now a professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Christer will share some of his experiences and views on the future of space exploration, security in space, and much more.

The two astronauts will speak about their experiences of being in space. They will also examine issues including what developments we are likely to see in science and technology that will enable further space exploration and how that might impact us on Earth? What are the likely legal and political connotations of the new space race? Will space become more accessible and more commericalised and if so what kind of regulation might we need to support this? What about the impacts of our actions on space itself? Are there responsible space solutions?

Petter Bedoire, Saab’s Chief Technology Officer said: “How innovative technology and people can shape the world is very much what we at Saab focus on, so we are excited to be collaborating with Helen and Imperial College London on the Zero Pressure podcast. As dialogue and debate lead to a better understanding of the challenges we collectively face, we encourage anyone with a similar outlook to enjoy the podcast and join the conversation.”

Professor Deeph Chana, co-director of the Institute for Security Science and Technology at Imperial College London said: “Security is a global challenge which is impacted by emerging and disruptive technologies, both in terms of new problems and solutions. Engaging new and diverse audiences with the big issues around security and resilience is absolutely essential to finding the right solutions and forging global cooperation. The Zero Pressure podcast is exactly the sort of thing we need to drive forward this mission.”

Listeners will be encouraged to engage with the Zero Pressure Podcast and take part in the discussion via Twitter (@ZeroPressurePod).

We look forward to you joining us for our discussion on space in 2050 to kick off a series of insightful conversations.

From this Thursday, you can listen to the podcast here, as well as on your preferred podcast platform.