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The Invisibility of Inspiring Engineering re SpaceX

Monday 16 November 2020 - Filed under Default

Last night at 7:27PM EST, SpaceX launched a crew to the International Space Station, a first for a spaceship designed and operated by a commercial enterprise.

While I had seen a blip about the upcoming launch days ago, last night’s launch still came a surprise. Just hadn’t heard that much about it. What is wrong with this world, where an event that used to hold viewers in rapt attention gets so little coverage? Ok, it’s not putting a man on the moon but it is an important event, a potential ray of light in a time that desperately needs illumination. Sadly, news outlets are less excited about something like SpaceX where there’s no controversy. Not  enough eyeballs, no pitchforks, or reaffirmations of Godwin’s law come along with good news like SpaceX launching scientists, explorers into space.

Since nobody’s going to argue about getting astronauts into space, it’s no longer newsworthy. All the more sad because the event has potential to capture the imagination, to drive children toward math and science, and to provide hope and a demonstration that engineering can solve amazing problems. You want to learn about SpaceX and know it’s out there and use it to inspire your own creativity and effort towards accomplishing something great. 

The point isn’t to get discouraged by the state of a media environment that fails to inspire, but to understand how the market works in news. That better news won’t come from Fox, CNN, and Google. You have to sign up for it yourself. Anyone can publish to the internet, so everyone has now been gifted, you’re welcome, the responsibility to seek out good signal. Avoid inconvenient truths and harsh realities at your peril, but first and foremost, maintain your solid orientation in the world and put a little fuel in the tank along the way.

In regards to SpaceX and Elon Musk and these acheivements, how does he do it? What’s the formula? It’s probably worth studying because that formula is highly relevant to today. Ignore the billionaires and their toys murmurs. Getting a human colony up and running on another planet is a goal we should all be able to get behind. What Musk is able to do with his one-pant-leg-at-a-time existence wherein he turns oxygen and food into so much it just like blows you away, makes you want to be a student. To learn and apply those lessons which feels hard if you’re not building a spaceship but still.

I believe SpaceX will take us to Mars less as a deliberate testament to what is possible but because as Musk as said, it’s important for the species. But again, what is the formula? Inspiration. Perspiration. Maybe he found all of this expertise out   there, not motivated, mired in government bureaucracy, and he extracted it, rearranged it, and got it working.

Today astronauts can launch from the US again. NASA couldn’t do that for almost a decade but this team of brilliant engineers assembled under a commercial organization made it happen. While governments are failing to fulfill their promise, in large part because they don’t assert their sovereignty over corporations, but also because they have lost trust and continue to grow anyway on blank checks from central banks, companies like SpaceX are building the future. More power to ’em.

2020-11-16  »  David Sterry