Space is saved
After the PR stunt that was Felix Baumgartner’s (really frackin cool) fall to Earth, there were a few things I thought about. The application of what was proven heading into safety devices for the next decade was one of those. Another was that I’ll most likely feel a tad bit better about drinking red bull. Maybe those alcoholic mixtures in bars that go with red bull will now all have space themed names. That’d be neat I guess.
The most important thought is that space matters again. Not in a small way, but in a big way. People were actually excited about watching, about talking about, and about just knowing that someone was going somewhere to do something that is seemingly impossible. That’s not to say the recent flyovers of a the casket of our previous generations of awe inspiring space explorations, the shuttle, was not awe inspiring. But this was different. Where the shuttle flyover was the closure of a chapter, the corporate sponsored jump was the opening of a new chapter. Imagine if each Space X launch had as much coverage, combined with as much if not more excitement. Imagine if the drivel that’s on network and cable news now had the opportunity to be replaced with talk about something that caused people to think towards the future, on a positive note, with nothing but awe and the want to understand more about.. everything.
NASA is doing cool things with robots, which is great in a way. But it doesn’t inspire awe in someone like seeing a person walk on the moon or dropping out of a capsule. It’s the same sort of thing when you see someone sink to the depths of the ocean, hit their their 70th home run in a season, or pulling a person out of a burning building. It’s the same sort of feeling you get when you see someone do something for others and not just for themselves.
Corporate sponsoring is not something new. Space is interesting and a national talking point again. Space is saved, at least for now.