by Dr. Dava Newman, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems

My motto for teaching aerospace biomedical engineering at MIT is “Love, Act, Discover, and Innovate”, and this motto has guided me in my own life.

I grew up in Helena, Montana, and I LOVED learning, sports, and nature. After watching the Apollo astronauts, I dreamt that one day I would explore the world. I ACTED by attending Notre Dame and majoring in aerospace engineering. Afterwards, I went to graduate school at MIT and became a professor. Now I have the dream job of teaching engineering, I have trained astronauts and cosmonauts, and I have flown four space-flight experiments in space.

In our latest INNOVATION at MIT, I have helped create a spacesuit for Mars exploration, a second skin called BioSuit™, which, remarkably, is inspired by giraffes and armadillos.

Regarding the Vendée Globe I have DISCOVERED that space flight and sailing have much in common. Both activities take place in extreme environments, and as an astronaut or sailor you need to have all of your food, spare parts, navigation, and communications onboard. You must keep your heart, bones, muscles, and senses healthy, and you have to be creative, resourceful and find unique solutions during emergencies.

My dreams have come true. I hope you will dream, love, act, discover and innovate, too!