In a conversation with SSPI’s Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla, The Overview Effect author Frank White talks about his new book, The Cosma Hypothesis, which asks the question: “What is the purpose of human space exploration? Why has humanity evolved to the brink of become a spacefaring species?” He also shares the idea of the “human space program” as a central project that will engage all of us in the process of becoming “citizens of the universe.”

Frank White has authored or coauthored numerous books on topics ranging from space exploration to climate change to artificial intelligence. His best-known work, The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, is considered by many to be a seminal work in the field of space exploration. The book is now part of the Overview Trilogy, which also includes The New Camelot and Frank’s latest work, The Cosma Hypothesis.

Since the first edition of his book on the subject was published in 1987, “the Overview Effect” has become a standard term for describing the spaceflight experience. His work is the inspiration for many creative works, including NASA’s “Down to Earth” series, which was nominated for a Webby Award. A film called “Overview,” based largely on his work, has had nearly 8 million plays on Vimeo.

Frank is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and a Rhodes Scholar. You can learn more about him and his works at




This podcast series is sponsored by

SSPI’s Better Satellite World campaign is made possible with the support of our corporate partners