Exploration as an Expression of Our Humanity with Adam Steltzner

Adam Steltzner, an engineer from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory joins us to discuss his new book the Right Kind of Crazy and lessons in creativity from landing spacecrafts on Mars. 


  • Going to the edges of what we might be capable of
  • Making a significant internal identity shift 
  • Searching for what’s wrong to find what’s true 
  • Managing fear in high-stakes situations 
  • The power of bringing in outside perspective
  • The right kind of crazy vs the wrong kind of crazy
  • Why our fear of failure is more debilitating than the failure itself 
  • Establishing objective distance from your ideas
  • Rebuilding your confidence after a significant failure
  • Why exploration is a gesture of who we are


I want to make sure I don’t stop trying for fear of failing 

In an organization it’s very important to separate the ideas from the people who hold them. 


The Right Kind of Crazy


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For 10 years,  Adam Steltzner led a team of engineers inventing, designing, testing and retesting the revolutionary “sky crane” landing system that successfully placed the Mars rover, Curiosity on the Martian surface in 2012.  Since then, he’s been awarded honors ranging from the Smithsonian’s American Ingenuity Award in technology, to GQ magazine’s Spaceman of the Year.

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