Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Destination: SPACE!

In recent years I have interviewed a wide array of people involved in the private space industry, including both pilots involved in the crash on Friday. Almost universally, they viewed themselves as pioneers at the dawn of an era of exploration whose apogee is beyond our generation’s imagination. Just as the Wright brothers did not have a precise image in mind of jumbo jetliners ferrying people around the world so routinely and so safely at more than 500 miles per hour that we have long since stopped considering it a miracle, we can’t really know where we’re headed in space.
New Savanna post, Child of the Space Age:
A bit over a decade ago I was working a trade show in Orlando, Florida. I decided to bag the last day and head over to Kennedy Space Center. After all I’d grown up watching satellite launches on TV and was curious about the place they had been staged from.

So I drove east through central Florida, which was much like a desert except that it had lots of plants. I arrived around noon. I parked the van wherever and walked past a parade of rockets on display and purchased a ticket for one of the standard tours. They took us through some launch pads, gantry towers, control rooms, and a Saturn V suspended from the ceiling of a long, low building. The physical scale was humbling, but it was more than that. Big is big – that Saturn was the length of a football field – but this earth and these buildings birthed journeys that took us to the Moon. That sacred energy was in this soil and these structures.

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