On Friday, December 5, humankind took one giant leap into the world of tomorrow.
Orion flew for the first time.
Within the next 15 years, Orion will evolve and be engineered for non-orbital manned missions. The potential includes trips to the moon, asteroids, and even Mars. Places where no man, or woman, has gone before.
My passion is a to keep a high level of focus and dialogue on American Ingenuity — and innovation worldwide. Orion is much more than a symbolic moment. For Boomers, it is a nostalgic remembrance of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. For Gen X and Y, it is a clear call for exploration and adventure. For children, it stimulates imagination and hope for the future.
I have heard critics bark that programs, such as Orion, are incredibly bad policy for a nation struggling with so many challenges and issues. This is short-sighted and dangerously myopic. Consider these thoughts about Orion:
America’s STEAM Expertise Grows
The essential reality is people move science forward from experience — both success and failure. Our population of scientist, technicians, engineers, aeronauts, and mathematicians working on Orion will broaden America’s institutional memory and knowledge base. Delays, interruptions, and hiatus diminishes continuity and competence.
Space Stimulates Economic Growth
NASA invests billions on hardware, software, tools, technology, and people. Vendors, consultants, suppliers, and others receive and circulate these dollars throughout our economy. Families are supported, careers enhanced, and small business thrives from this massive financial engine.
American Exceptionalism is Maintained
While other nations — including China, India, Japan and others — are making great strides in astronautics, the United States has to keep ahead of the pack. Why? Technological advances spawn defense innovation critical to the security of the country. Plus, space is the “high ground” that provides strategic advantages.
American Cooperation Strengthens Peaceful Co-Existance
While things have been tentative with the US-Russian space collaborative, headway has been made with many other nations. Shared knowledge creates greater advances and improved understanding of other cultures.
Orion is much more than a singular mission.
Orion is a clear and present hope for a better future.