The View From Here

Dedication to a Cause

Written by: developer

It’s remarkable what a small group of dedicated people can accomplish. Hundreds of thousands of people work in the global space industry. Without a doubt, this group includes an impressive line-up of scientists, physicists, engineers, mathematicians and myriad specialists. Still, this represents no more than a tiny fraction of humanity. Yet the scale and number of miraculous accomplishments are out of all proportion to its size.

So, how can this be? What is it that makes this group, this industry, so exceptional? You could point to the undeniable concentration of knowledge and skill. You might even argue a certain degree of luck. It certainly isn’t owed to any certainty of profit or limitless funding.

While all of this applies, there is a more elusive agent at work, something exceptional and difficult to measure called dedication. Turns out, commitment, enthusiasm and perseverance are just a few of the terms required to define the concept, and are themselves proof of its importance. It is that crucial element that makes the difference between formidable words like disappointment and triumph.

The space industry, and the notion of space exploration itself, face challenges. One of the most serious is the tenuous and wavering nature of public support. Futuristic images a few short decades ago stoked fascination and, in turn, investment. Those images no longer inspire so effectively. When reality doesn’t keep up with the imagination, people lose interest.

If your job includes inspiring wonder and support, you need dedication. Fortunately, it is a shared quality throughout the Space Foundation team. This is especially apparent when you consider the number of programs and projects in play at any given time. The best known, by far, is the Space Symposium, now approaching its thirty-fourth year of convening global space leadership. Then there is our new Space Technology and Investment Forum, in its third year of advancing the rapidly expanding private space sector. We also produce several classified events, including the Faga Forum on Space Intelligence, and we’ve produced more than a decade of The Space Report. And we round things out with the Space Foundation Discovery Center. It is an important industry “face to the public” and offers a long list of STEM and space awareness focused exhibits, events and programs designed to inspire and educate the next generation of explorers.

It is certainly worth noting that the Space Foundation has once again been recognized by The NonProfit Times and Best Companies Group as among the 50 Best Nonprofit Organizations to Work for in the United States. There is no reason hard work should not also be enjoyable.

Of course, we have the requisite hierarchy, but it is the team and its collective dedication that delivers results. And we are eternally grateful that our extended team includes a steadfast and growing number of equally dedicated volunteers and Federal Work Study students who support our shared mission. Their hard work helps make an ever-growing list of accomplishments possible.

This brings us back to the big picture, an image of a thriving global space industry. A small cadre achieving things out of all proportion to its size, things that directly improve life for all of us here on Earth.

Kevin Cook, Space Foundation Vice President – Marketing & Communications

This article is part of Space Watch: June 2017 (Volume: 16, Issue: 6).