Space Career: A Changing View Point
My very educated mother just served us nine pizza-pies.
This invalidated acronym has remained a mainstay in my mind’s space archives. As an adult, space has remained the scene of science fiction movies and the passion of those brilliant enough to dream of a career at NASA. Living in the city has further separated me from thoughts of outer space; the sky never even gets dark enough to reveal the stars. So imagine my amusement when a few middle school children begin to discuss the solar system with such animation that I couldn’t help, but smile.
The youngest one, apparently completing her homework before school, wrote a few sentences on a worksheet before boldly claiming that she was ready for her test on the planets. A boy who I assumed to be her older brother, immediately begin to test her knowledge with a pop quiz. It was quite entertaining to silently participate in their game and I was pleased at the information that I’d retained over the years.
Q. What is the Earth also known as?
A. The blue planet.
Q. What is Saturn known for?
A. Its rings.
Q. What is the smallest planet?
The girl went on to elaborate on how Pluto is not a real planet, but a dwarf planet – a term that I later googled to determine its exact meaning. Which means, no, I am not smarter than a 5th grader.
The exchange led me to mull over my youthful excitement about outer space. What is it about space that grips us in childhood, but dissipates as adults? Has space remained only a part of a child’s wildest dreams?
The end of the space program and subsequent investments in private companies has once again sparked mainstream interest in space and its once inaccessible wonders. UrtheCast is center stage in this revolution, providing viewers with an unprecedented look at planet Earth and the ability to connect with the world on a level previously unrealized. The average person is now able to have a perspective that was out of reach, kindling a flame of exploration that was almost extinguished. The next generation of space discovery is underway.
Increased research and development of space related products and services will further change the makeup of the space industry. Although I never had an astronaut attend a career day at my school, the children of the future will hear about the careers of spaceship flight attendants and stories of those who have taken a trip into outer space. Any child interested in outer space will have the chance to pursue their dream. UrtheCast will provide the motivating view of plant Earth until technology provides children with the vehicle to see it with their own eyes.