This is not a break-up letter. Please! You are our family! How could we ever break-up?
What this letter is is a wake-up call.
For years, decades even, the word from you all is that you miss the NASA of old. You feel as if we have not done enough since the heyday of space. There is a tone of missed opportunities in your voice.
Now that you all are on the internet that voice is wider-spreader and maybe not louder but consistently heard.
So what we are now asking you is to stop worrying about the future.
Do work on the future (by all means!) but please stop remorsing over what you see as a lack of space program initiative because “NASA is not what it used to be.” It sounds like disappointment and that’s not the best way to look to the future. It is not particularly inspiring to children and the next generation.
Here is your wake-up call: The future is a surprise. How we are getting to space next is not going to resemble how we once got to space. You all were pioneers. You paved the way. Somehow, that path is going to turn into an expressway. Two things you should understand about that. One, it is going to happen. Two, exactly what falls into place to enable that to happen will be a breakthrough (so in other words a surprise).
This is not unobtanium or handwavium. 100 years ago at the beginning of the 20th century, inventions such as automobiles, electric light, and airplanes paved the way for the 21st century. This is that moment happening now for the 21st century. What is happening now is going to pave the way for the 21st century in ways we can hardly begin to imagine. 100 years ago, it took months to share discoveries with the rest of the world. Now it takes seconds. This is an exciting time!
So stop with the worrying and start with the lifting. Like science fiction writer Kilgore Trout used to say, “We’ve been sick. But now we’re better, and there’s work to be done.”
We love you. Always.
Future space Adventurers