More ways to feel optimistic

Speaking of sources of inspiration, there’s no better place to feel good for a space geek than the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

In my rocket surgeon t-shirt in front of the National Air and Space Museum

I’ve been there twice now (only once to the annex out at Dulles), and I could go a hundred times more. If you are a space geek and haven’t been then why are you still reading my blog and not on an airplane? You should visit DC for that museum alone, and then see everything else just because you happen to be there.

Why am I gushing about the Smithsonian? Because I was catching up on the latest episodes of Planetary Radio  today. The last two episodes contain material recorded from a show at the Air and Space Museum earlier this year, with interview guests John Lodgsdon (who was at the astronaut quarters at KSC the morning Apollo 11 left for the Moon) and museum curator  David DeVorkin. Something John Lodgsdon said really resonated with me and I think it bears repeating.

The role I hope [this museum] plays is to remind people what we have done and make them think about what we will do. It’s not a mausoleum. It’s a celebration of what we’ve done. I mean, in the annex of the air and space museum out near Dulles, just this past week, the Discovery shuttle orbiter has arrived. We should celebrate what it did but we should also be thinking about what’s next; where we’re going; how we’re gonna get there. That’s a story that museums should be telling.

Logsdon’s thoughts are in line with previous posts of mine about history and the end of the Space Shuttle. We need more people to think this way. We also need more people to understand the past: by visiting museums like the National Air and Space Museum. And we need more people to be inspired: for instance, by the types of initiatives ExxonMobil is apparently working on.

I encourage you to go listen to some or all of the latest two Planetary Radio episodes, and be inspired yourself.

June 27, 2012 9:00 pm

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