MJ MARGGRAFF
Wisdom in the Mountains

Wisdom in the Mountains

These days my mind seems to wander always to my dissertation. There isn’t a moment when I’m not mulling over the challenges of isolation that astronauts will face on long duration space flights. I am working on a solution to demonstrate how a new AI (Artificial Intelligence) can be effective to improve their connectedness with their close family and friends. It is a problem of significant importance to the lives…

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The Perfect Mother’s Day

The Perfect Mother’s Day

Last weekend was Mother’s Day. My daughter, Annie, and I decided to spend it together do something we loved: we went to the Sierra to go fly-fishing. Since she was a little girl, we have been fond of the ‘Range of Light’ mountain range. It was dubbed this by conservationist John Muir for the way the light blankets the mountains. For Annie and me, the beauty of this spot keeps…

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Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

To all my readers, it is not a shock to hear me say that the best experiences of my life have come to me when I left my comfort zone. When I was a “stay at home mom” and I decided to take flying lessons I knew there’d be some uneasiness but the joy of flight was exponentially greater than my fears. When I was finally a pilot and decided…

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Preparing for Far and Away

Preparing for Far and Away

A Risk that cannot be ignored One of the most significant health risks facing humankind is not a physical danger but an emotional one. It’s likely you have all experienced this risk at some point in your life. The risk is loneliness. While it is prevalent in our societies on Earth, nowhere is loneliness more profound than in Space. Impaired cognitive functioning Over the past decade researchers have discovered how…

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The Power of Play to Create the Next 100,000 Hours

The Power of Play to Create the Next 100,000 Hours

In our generation, time dedicated to work will amount to about 100,000 hours, hours that make up about 48 years of work. These hours define our lives and often translate into more than an income. During that time we are ‘at work’ we find out about ourselves: what we value, who we want to work with and who we don’t. It can be a time of creativity or a time…

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A Dream Realized

A Dream Realized

As a pilot and presently a doctoral student, I have long been fascinated by space. Currently, I am researching issues on the impact of isolation on long-duration space flights and new tools to address isolation’s effects. There are many challenges astronauts face when trying to solve the ultimate question: Are we alone in the universe? Yet in the process of exploring that answer, the astronauts themselves experience extreme isolation. While…

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The Mars Dilemma

The Mars Dilemma

According to NASA administrator Robert M Lightfoot Jr., Mars remains the next great goal in space exploration. At a conference in Dublin, Lightfoot went on to say that “Right now we’re working on trying to get there in the 2030s, with crew. We’re building off what we’re doing in the International Space Station – we’re using that to do research on humans and the technologies we’ll need to go further into…

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Why We WILL Go To Mars

Why We WILL Go To Mars

Humankind is by nature curious, and that curiosity has led us far from home to explore new worlds. Making new discoveries means taking risks, but as Martin Buber says: “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” Nothing will be truer than our journey to go to Mars. Our exploration to our neighboring planet will lead us to discover not just a new world, but a better…

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From Star Struck to Space Games – How Childhood Dreams can fuel your Future and STEM Students’ too

From Star Struck to Space Games – How Childhood Dreams can fuel your Future and STEM Students’ too

I’ve been a stargazer since I was a kid. We all look up at the stars at night, but it’s how we feel about them that makes us different. For me, the stars are what made my dreams happen. Inside, I am still the kid on the front lawn of my parent’s house on a summer’s night, looking up with a smuggled (he would have said ‘no’) pair of my…

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Want to Help Your Stress?   Get a Charismatic Deviant

Want to Help Your Stress? Get a Charismatic Deviant

After my first semester as graduate researcher I am proud to present to you my most surprising discovery: charismatic deviants. It turns out that they are essential for our survival. This is as true for our life on Earth and, I propose, for space life too. The nature of my research is on isolation. My focus is how isolation impacts astronauts when confined inside a spaceship taking a very long…

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