fear of failure

I was sorry to see the SpaceX failure today.  Obviously.  One thing that I like about the space community is that generally speaking, engineers pull for each other, whether they be American, commercial, Russian, other foreign, or government or whatever.  OK, I don’t know any Russians, but I assume they also like to see successful American launches, too.

One thing I hate about rocket launches is that no one notices or cares when launches are successful, but when one fails, you hear one of the following: Why are we wasting money on space exploration?  This is too dangerous!  We should be paying for food for the hungry instead.  Commercial space is a failure and can never succeed!  Drives. Me. Crazy.  You cannot succeed if you’re afraid to fail.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of listening to the man who I find to be the most inspirational speaker on the topic of space.  By the time he had finished talking, I was thinking, “Space is our future!” – just like the bumper sticker.  My dismay at the troubles of global warming and racism and gun control and everything else wrong with this world was put temporarily on the shelf as I reflected on the bright and exciting future of space exploration.  This crash does not really dim my excitement all that much.  (Time and the mundane challenges of daily life will do that quickly enough.)

I re-watched Blue’s launch video with my daughter this morning.  How high, Mama?  she wanted to know.  I tried to explain to her that it was much, much higher than the plane we’d taken to New York, but I’m not sure she understood.

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