I am sat at home watching BBC news and seeing Sir Richard Branson face the worlds media.
There is no doubt that the accident regards Virgin Galactic on 31st October was a tragedy. I am sure many people are thinking of those affected and the families of the killed crew member.
The pilots and the entire Virgin Galactic team make up part of the small community of Space Tourism and Exploration companies. These are some of our pioneers of the 21st century,
Without pioneers, we’d progress at a much slower pace as a civilization. That’s a big term, civilization, but it is appropriate. The select number of entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and more besides are helping us all progress society and ourselves taking us to new boundaries.
We can’t see it yet but in years to come I hope we will see the results and appreciate the risks, time, energy and commitment devoted by these teams. Imagine the day when space travel is the norm, when the technologies developed during this process may be used to increase the speed of commercial passenger jets or we discover much more efficient and cleaner fuel which allows costs to come down, everyone to have a flat bed on long haul flights….it sounds lie fantasy now but without pursuing big goals we’d never get anywhere.
I look to the past, the people such as Christopher Columbus, Ernest Shackleton and Yuri Gagarin, all going beyond the boundaries of their times. All (and many more of course!) had huge impacts on both society but also on what we, civilisation, realised what is possible with the redefinition on boundaries.
With any new venture comes risk. Before Columbus, Shackleton and Gargarin others went fourth, explorers, test pilots and alike supported by talented teams. Many died in pursuit of the goal, without them though, we’d be much less well developed. They are giants which no one knows and with little credit. With exploration such as space travel comes the greatest risk, the possibility of death. Yet, it is human nature to venture fourth, to seek answers, to explore and to develop the entire human race.
I for one, hope all space exploration and tourism companies continue to push the boundaries even in the face of such adversity. We need them. We need the pioneers.