Beyond the Imagination of the Earthbound

Did you watch Launch America? This weekend’s successful launch and docking of the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon is the culmination of a lot of dreams-come-true. We’ve got a long way to go before commercial space travel will be available to everyone. But we will get there. What we will discover in space travel and exploration is beyond the imagination of the Earthbound.

Image of the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Crew Dragon on May 30,2020. An event once beyond the imagination of the earthbound

We cannot predict the new forces, powers, and discoveries that will be disclosed to us when we reach the other planets and set up new laboratories in space. They are as much beyond our vision today as fire or electricity would be beyond the imagination of a fish.

–Arthur C. Clarke, “Space and the Spirit of Man”

Or is it?

Imagination Kindled

The first known story about flying in space may have been the Hindu epic Ramayana (5th to 4th century BC). But most likely humans have dreamed of space travel since they first saw the moon and stars.

There was a lot of dreaming before Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin launched into space on April 12, 1961.

To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.

–Stephen Hawking

And even more dreaming before the first human stepped onto the moon.

That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.

Neil Armstrong

The sight of Armstrong’s bounding steps inspired many to go into the sciences, to aspire to be an astronaut. Each space flight and astronaut inspired others. Inspired Elon Musk and his team to create a commercial spacecraft.

Are you paying attention? There’s a lesson here.

Be an Astronaut

A big dream like going to the moon can feel daunting. Hard. Too much to learn. Too expensive. And overwhelming. But big dreams—the one that’s beyond the imagination of the Earthbound—can become a reality.

What everyone in the astronaut corps shares in common is not gender or ethnic background, but motivation, perseverance, and desire — the desire to participate in a voyage of discovery.

Ellen Ochoa

Ochoa’s ingredients, motivation, perseverance, and a desire to take part in a voyage of discovery, aren’t only for astronauts. These are the things you need for your dream. It won’t be easy. But it will be a voyage of discovery. There are so many things for you to discover in pursuit of a dream.

Worth Doing

Space travel is life-enhancing, and anything that’s life-enhancing is worth doing. It makes you want to live forever.

–Ray Bradbury, Playboy, 1996

Anything that’s life-enhancing is worth doing. Is your dream life-enhancing? It doesn’t have to be as big as going to the moon or Mars. If it is life-enhancing for you—that’s enough. Go for it!

Beyond the Imagination of the Earthbound

Image of the first footprint on the moon which was once beyond the imagination of the Earthbound
First Footprint on the Moon, NASA, Marshall, 7/69

I know the sky is not the limit because there are footprints on the Moon — and I made some of them!

– Buzz Aldrin

Your dream may be beyond the imagination of the Earthbound, but don’t let their lack of imagination limit you. Elon Musk and his team worked for nine years to make this launch happen. You will work hard, too. But follow your dream anyway. The proof that it’s possible is in the footprints on the moon.

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