Hello from space, I'm NASA astronaut Ron Garan aboard the International Space Station. I've been here for about three months now together with five colleagues from four different nations. Thank you for letting me join you at TEDGlobal 2011 where the conference theme is the stuff of life. And we interpret that up here on the ISS as how can we use this orbital research facility to improve life on Earth? And how can we use the orbital perspective to inspire people to make a difference? On one of the space walks that I've been privileged to conduct, I really got a feel for that orbital perspective. I was 30 metres above the space station, with the Earth hanging in the blackness of space 350 kilometres below. As I looked down, I was struck by a sobering contradiction. On the one hand, I saw this incredibly beautiful fragile oasis, the Earth, on the other, I was faced with the unfortunate realities of life on our planet for many of its inhabitants. Those that don't have enough food to eat, clean water to drink, those that face poverty and conflicts. We have created a website at fragileoasis.org to share this orbital perspective. And we believe that an important response in the challenges facing our planet is international cooperation. And that's what we're practicing every day up here on the International Space Station. The ISS is truly a global asset, the result of 15 nations working together, sharing planning, technology, scientific advances, and the talent of its people. We recently celebrated a decade of continuous human presence off planet. We're learning how humans can exist in the extremely unforgiving environment of space, where resupply from home is difficult and costly. What we do here will improve life on Earth. Over the past decade, we have conducted more than 600 experiments, producing advances in medicine, environmental systems, materials, and our understanding of the human body, our planet, and the universe. Let me quickly grab the camera and fly you through some of the research modules that we have here on board as I tell you more. We are presently in the Japanese experiment module, also known as the JEM, where we have this airlock where we could put experiments out into the vacuum of space, to be placed on this external platform out these beautiful windows out here. And you can see the Japanese robotic arm as well, that places the experiments out into the vacuum of space. The JEM also has several experiments racks. We'll talk about the first one here, which is the The at the moment is being used for a protein crystal growth experiment, which could lead to advancements in medicine, and was recently used for a fluids experiment, which investigated the Marangoni convection effect. An improved understanding of this phenomena can have numerous applications, including improved silicon chip manufacturing, higher quality materials, improved medical diagnostics, and advancements in micro and nanotechnology. The CYBO, or cell rack, is presently conducting plant growth experiments. In the unique micro g environment of the space station, we can better understand how gravity, light, and water affect how plants grow, which may help us grow crops more efficiently, especially in the arid and drought affected regions of the world. The JEM also has two of our many freezer facilities that we have on board, to store biological and other samples that must be kept frozen to preserve the science. We're now flying starboard across the forward edge of the space station towards the European module known as Columbus. This rack contains the geo flow experiment, which is helping us to better understand the Earth's inner core, which could help us predict natural disasters such as volcanoes and earthquakes better. In Columbus, there's also many facilities dedicated to the study of biology and the human body, including two human research facility racks which contain medical diagnostic equipment, biolab and the European physiology and cultivation modules. Some of the experiments in these facilities will look at how to grow plants in harsh climates and poor soil, and explore methods of boosting the human body's immune system. We're now flying after the space station towards the US lab. In the US lab, there's a number of express racks that can be configured for a wide range of experiments, more freezer facilities and a laboratory glove box facility. This is the combustion integrated rack, which is used to create a controlled combustion environment that includes a pressure vessel and advanced diagnostics. Some of the benefits of micro gravity combustion research include fire safety and prevention, both on spacecraft and on the Earth, pollution control, and increased fuel efficiency. This is the fluids integrated rack which is used to perform fluid physics experiments in micro gravity and contains a microscope facility in a sealed glove box. Some of our fluids experiments investigate how fluids behave near the critical point, which could lead to advancements in clean energy production and clean methods for eliminating hazardous waste. I'd like to show you inside the WORF, the window observational research facility. Although we can't open it up right now because we have an experiment ongoing in there called ISSAC, the International Space Station Agricultural Camera. This camera takes frequent visual and infrared pictures of vegetated areas around the Earth. This camera takes images frequently enough to evaluate rapidly changing conditions of crops in areas which have a short growing season, and provides valuable information that farmers can use to optimize crop growth and increase food production. Beyond it's initial agricultural focus, scientists also plan to investigate how a quick response Earth sensor, such as ISSAC, can be used to study a number of rapidly changing phenomena around the planet. For measuring how glaciers are changing, to the potential applications in helping to monitor conditions following natural disasters. Technologies developed and demonstrated here on orbit will help alleviate some of the issues humans face daily on the planet. One example has to do with water purification. As we fly aft through the space station towards the Russian segment, I'll tell you all about it. One of the challenges of our technology on the ISS is that it needs to be sustainable. Which means it needs to be easy to use and work for long periods of time without maintenance or resupply. Applying this sustainable engineering approach, a group of NASA engineers volunteered their time and developed a water treatment system for communities in Rwanda, where they also need clean water with limited training and resupply. That project led to a project in Kenya providing household scale water treatment systems for 4 million people. It is the largest water treatment project of its kind in the world. I'm entering the MRM2 research facility in the Russian segment. Here in the Russian MRM2 module, this experiment is investigating how electromagnetic fields can affect the structure of crystal growth. Here in the Russian service module, there's a number of scientific experiments. In the Lada experiment, investigators are evaluating different methods of growing wheat and vegetables using hydroponics. Here in the Russian segment, there is also a great deal of photo equipment that's used for Earth observations through these great Earth facing windows. We look at things like the human impact, the effect of human impact on the environment, on the atmosphere, on pollution control. There's also an experiment called Yugsalka, which evaluates the human impact on the Earth's atmosphere. These are just a small subset of all the research that's been conducted aboard the International Space Station. Other research is leading to things like new emergency sutureless wound closure and disinfection, breakthroughs in the understanding and the protection against bacteria such as Salmonella. The treatment of osteoporosis and skin disorders, and the development of a NASA bioreactor, which is being used in laboratories around the world for research into things like cancer, regenerative medicine, artificial organs, diabetes, AIDS, vaccine production, and infectious disease. Thanks to the cooperation of the 50 nations of our International Space Station partnership, research is being conducted aboard the ISS that simply cannot be done on Earth, and is making a big positive impact on our world. Thank you for letting me share the orbital perspective with you. See you on Earth in September. Goodbye for now.