Daily Archives: November 23, 2009

Space: What’s NOT to Hope for?

At the NASA tweet-up down at the Kennedy Space Center for the STS-129 launch a reporter asked me a question that really threw me. Here, a week later, I’m still thinking about it. He asked:

“Do you think bringing tweeters here gives NASA hope for the future.”

NASA Tweeps Photo Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

NASA Tweeps Photo Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

Hope for the future? Really?

Why wouldn’t we have hope for the future? With or without Twitter in the mix?

What’s not to hope for?

Now, I get all the doom and gloom reporting about job losses with the end of the Space Shuttle program, and threats of budget cuts. Yes, the job losses are real. Yes, they are heartbreaking AND very frightening for those whose jobs are at stake. Yes, we’ll probably take some budget hits from the White House and Congress. We are, after all, in a squeezed economy…though we see signs of recovery. But none of this is new. We’ve faced all this before.

But, hope for the future? I simply can’t conceive the reverse.

We have a universe of questions out there to find answers to. We, as humans, are curious creatures. We’ll find ways to get the answers. It may or may not look like someone’s pet project. It may or may not fit on today’s calendar. Or even tomorrow’s.

But we, as a human race, WILL GO FORWARD. We will seek answers beyond our planetary borders.

NASA will play a role. What that role will be is determined by the President and Congress. That’s the way this works. But we’ll be a player, none-the-less. We’ll shape the debate. We’ll craft the solutions.

Again, what’s not to hope for?

Maybe what we need more than hope is to work harder to ignite that spark of passion in young and old alike to:

  • ask big questions,
  • never accept the easy answer,
  • stretch beyond even our wildest dreams.

Oh we have much to hope for! Humanity has many problems yet to solve. But some of us can’t sleep until we bridge the gap between imagination and reality. And, you know what? It’s not about you and me…or what we may want out of this life — fame, fortune, power, or simply survival.

Hope is about a better tomorrow…for all of humanity.

So the real question may be: what role will NASA and the international space community play in the future? (A HUGE one, I hope!) And, how can you and I take steps to get us there?

If you ask me, I want to: Be the hope! Be the change!

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi

Cross post on OpenNASA.

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Filed under culture, Earth, federal government, leadership, NASA, social media, space, tweet-up