Courtesy of Nasa
July 20, 1969. Everyone knows this date in space, right?
1981, 1986, 2003, 2004, 2011 - Do any of these dates ring a bell?
If you answered no to any of those dates, you are not alone. The space race of the 1960s/70s captivated the world’s attention with the advancements of technology and milestones met by both the United States and Russia (formerly USSR).
So why, when we look back on the history of space exploration, do we talk about events that happened 50 years ago?
Cue the Space Illiteracy Gap.
Let’s take a look.
Courtesy of https://blog.csiro.au/space-on-a-screen-how-do-you-broadcast-a-moon-landing/
The space “race” of the 1960/70s alludes to the existence of a finish line, which in this case, was landing on the moon. Once the United States achieved this feat, there were subsequent missions to continue to develop our exploration of space, however other geopolitical conflicts arose and attention naturally shifted elsewhere (the budget for NASA’s operations relied solely on government funding thus, public interest being a major factor in the justification of the budget).
The U.S. and global partners would continue to have a continuous presence in space, but it became more of an afterthought for the general public’s interest (at least it was in the U.S.).
That is until May 30, 2020. A private launch company, SpaceX, sent two astronauts to the International Space Station and returned them safely, while successfully returning two of its boosters for reuse in future flights. This was momentous for two main reasons:
Courtesy of the Daily Mail
The U.S. retired its space shuttle in 2011, thus ending its ability to send astronauts to space and relying on other global partners for this service. NASA became the customer this time and hitched a ride to the ISS - thus issuing a paradigm shift in access to space.
The cost to access space was always an impediment to justifying frequent trips. SpaceX’s reusability of its boosters meant more frequent trips could be made while exponentially reducing the cost of launch.
Helped by the timing of the pandemic lockdowns, the world for one collective moment was able to pause and observe this momentous occasion much the same way as they did on July 20, 1969 (albeit with a few technological differences).
The new space era is upon us and will influence our lives and businesses in ways that are changing every day. In order to survive, companies must adapt to changing times. This was proven through the rise of the internet in the 1990s/ 2000s and then data in the 2010s. The 2020s and beyond are no different however, the focus will be on adapting to space and its enabling technologies.
It is our mission at Bridging Value to help our clients identify and implement the opportunities that space presents for their business.
Space will require, engage, reshape, motivate every sector.
Are you ready to play an active role and expand your leadership in this new Era?
A new horizon is upon us…