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Dream, reach, explore, Endeavour

Space research: fascinating, but not an especially good use of money with our own world full of hunger and unresolved needs. That’s how I would have characterized my take on space research early last year, before I read a couple of compelling posts on its merits.

Thanks to changes in thought and heart rippling out from my reading those posts, I knew enough to stand atop a roof and watch for the space shuttle Endeavour as it passed over my office today.


That shuttle was not so very long ago among the stars. It was among the stars because we have minds great enough to dream up, create and send not only technology but life into space. With minds out there great enough to accomplish these things, I cannot help but have faith that time will see many more wonders worked both in the sky and on our own home planet.

To do things, we must first dream them. As I stood and watched the shuttle fly by, I was heartened by the vastness of human dreams, and by the amazing impacts of our drive to see them come true.

And let us hope that all the other leaders in all the other fields look up into the night sky and ask, “What do I want?  Would I be happiest to see the stars from here on Earth, or to fly amongst them?”
— Kristina, “Want Versus Need…Stuff and Space

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  1. Andrew
    September 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Ah, but the technological knowhow we learn from going to space improves the lives of people by providing better technology and new scientific insights, which could lead to improvements in those problems! Besides, the problems with hunger have nothing to do with there not being enough food, but rather that the food doesn’t reach the hungry people who need it (mostly because of politics). …I would have said all of those things to Deb a year ago, haha. Space is awesome (in the most literal meaning of the word), and we really need to throw our best minds and resources into doing more awesome things up there. That could revitalize our culture, which has become mired in despair and cynicism. Let’s make Star Trek happen! haha

    • September 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      I would still prefer our best minds be guided by our best hearts to resolve food and resource distribution issues on earth, don’t get me wrong! But there is merit in this, too, and encouraging people to pursue the passions–apart from mere accumulation of wealth–to which they are innately drawn. That is where hope and progress converge.

  2. September 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Stephen Hawking has said we have about 2 centuries before we use up the land surface of the Earth. Then we have to go to space to have space to live. Or we all grow gills. Personally, I like the idea of floating in nothing better than floating in sewerage. (My rabid Trekkie background withstanding. 😀 )

    • September 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      Hey, what’s wrong with growing upward? I’ve always wanted to live on the 5,000 th floor! :p

      • September 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm

        Okay, fine – given the choice of living on the 5,000th floor or swimming in garbage, well, last one in is a rotten egg! (Actually, 5,000th – or even 500th – would be okay. 50th – we’ll talk. 5th? Only if there are no balconies or wide-opening windows! 😉 )

  3. September 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Wow, imagine my surprise to see a link back to that old post of mine. So happy you remembered it. And lucky you…I had to see the Endeavor via your photos.

    • September 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      I wouldn’t say so much that I “remembered” it as that I “remember” it. It comes up in my thoughts every couple of weeks, reminding me of the goodness of waiting to form my opinions until I actually have given enough thought to a thing to (yet) merit having one. You ignited my own urge to explore and to yearn even more for others’ successful exploration, and that’s something I’ll remember for many, many years to come. Thank you.

  4. September 22, 2012 at 3:59 am

    But the race to the moon empowered an entire generation Deb, it gave flight to imagination. I don’t disagree there a terrible things afoot, things we could and should be working on. But the generation that sent us to the moon, my generation were so engaged by this, turned away from war for a brief moment it didn’t seem futile.

    • September 22, 2012 at 7:41 am

      You’re arguing with a part of that ceased existing as was (thanks to a bunch of eloquent blogs like Kristina’s!) in June 2011. 🙂

  5. September 22, 2012 at 5:24 am

    This is what you commented on a post I wrote back in July, 2011. “Space programs seemed as distant to me as space throughout my life, so I was unmoved by the program’s conclusion until a few days after the recent launch. A couple of blog entries allowed me to see the matter in a new light, so that now I mourn the loss and wonder when we’ll next visit the “final frontier.” It’s wonderful to be able to see things through eyes that have seen this more closely.” So glad you could see the Endeavor through your own eyes. One just can’t forget the experience.
    I hope you don’t mind my “resurrecting” that comment. But I do distinctly remember thinking, “Oh Deb, I wish you could watch a launch (or something similar.)” So glad you had the opportunity this past week.
    Thank you for referring us to Kristina’s post!

    • September 22, 2012 at 7:43 am

      I’m thankful to you for reviving it! I read 3-4 posts around the same time that all shifted my thinking a different direction, but I couldn’t remember who–apart from Kristina–the posters were. That made me sad because I distinctly remember typing out a few responses as my mind was in the process of changing; now, thanks to you, I have a little piece of that accessible! ♥

  6. September 22, 2012 at 6:39 am

    If I were president I would dump a lot of funding into space research. In part for the benefits, in part because it’s just SO COOL.

    • September 22, 2012 at 7:44 am

      If you were president, I would rejoice. In part for the benefits, in part because it would be SO DAMN COOL. (I’m smiling, but I’m not kidding. Not really.)

  7. September 22, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Love it! I grew up fascinated by space travel, and still have such high hopes for what mysteries and tragedies we may solve here on earth by reaching into our past and future among the stars.

  8. TheJackB
    September 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I couldn’t see the shuttle from my house, but my kids saw it when it passed by. Such a very cool thing.

  9. September 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Wow. That must have been an awesome sight. I’m a little jealous. Nah, not really. I’m glad you got to see it.

  10. September 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I so agree. This is one of those seemingly-impossibly-huge jobs that only a government can properly handle, and it makes me sad to think we’ve ditched the possibilities involved in reaching for the stars.

  11. September 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Beautiful shot – and prose.

  1. June 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm

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