2010: Gotta Wear Shades!

Yes, I’m a glass half full kind of guy (and the only reason it is half full is because I already enjoyed the first half).  Recently I took a “change style indicator” assessment that captures a person’s preferred style in approaching change.  The range includes those that are Conservers, Pragmatists and Originators.  I was not surprised to find that I was way over on the Originator side, the side that is more comfortable with change. 

Therefore when I look at 2010 I am excited by the change that is ahead of us.  2010 ends one era, with the completion of the Shuttle program, making room for the next generation of space vehicles.  Yes, the Space Shuttle is an awesome vehicle.  Its capabilities are unmatched and it has served us well over the past 30 years and now it is time to extend our reach.  Now that we have our orbiting International laboratory, it is time to leverage it to enable us to reach new destinations like an asteroid, Lagrange points or even to the moons of Mars.  But it is not just the possibilities of a “flexible path” to extend humanity’s reach to Mars and beyond that is exciting about this coming year.  There are also other changes in the environment that marks us fully entering a new era in Space Exploration. 

This month we saw Richard Branson unveil his latest vehicle, the “Enterprise”, in the midst of a windstorm in California’s Mojave Desert.  The latest Enterprise vehicle is worthy of the name since it will be the first commercial vehicle to take more people closer to space.  We also will see this year the launch of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and get another step closer to commercial cargo access to the International Space Station.  Internationally we will see the first module of the Chinese Space Station, Shenzhou-8, being launched and connected in the future to Shenzhou-9.  Therefore soon we will have two orbiting laboratories in space and some speculate that this will also be an International Space Station with the partners including Iran, Pakistan and possibly North Korea.  Even though this partnership in space could cause some to be concerned, I am reminded of how NASA’s presence in space has created friends out of old enemies.  If it could happen before then I believe that space will allow us once again to create new alliances. Pollyanna?  I don’t think so.  The recent announcement of how NASA is inspiring Muslim students in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) fields through a collaboration with the Arab Youth Venture Foundation in Abu Dhabi is once again a demonstration of how the agency can bring the world together. In space there are no borders and NASA has continually demonstrated through its exploration programs and inspiration that it exists for the benefit of humanity. 

So get out your sun glasses because 2010 will be bright with the glow of humanity reaching collectively to the stars.

Sharing the Vision,
Steven González, Deputy, Advanced Planning Office

18 thoughts on “2010: Gotta Wear Shades!”

  1. It's amazing of all the accomplishments that we have seen in our space program over the last 45 years or so. I remember the day I sat in my mom's friends auto shop and watched as man first walked on the moon.

    I only wish I was young again so I could be here to see what the next 50 or so years will bring.

    Mark from

  2. I gotta say that this is a very uplifting post about the future for space exploration. I do agree that it is looking bright and that collaboration will lead to greater things to come. I wasn't born when we walked on the moon but I feel that there are greater things to come in the next 15 years. Cheers!

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  3. My girlfriend love the sky and the stars and she is addicted watching out the sky with her telescope. I just found the blog here and i have to write her an email aboout it. i think she would be realy happy. thx for ur great job an for writing such good articles!

    Andreas from

  4. Great, NASA operates a weblog? I am a big fan of aviation. I will look more often for new posts. Greets from Germany

    Ringo from

  5. It is definately an exciting time when so many space programs both private and public are taking such strides all at the same time. I am also very excited and optimistic about making new friends out of old enemies by working together on such an amazing joint project. I think we are in for some exciting surprises soon.

  6. Countries all over the world should join together and work on things like that. This is amazing. Don't spend money on wars.

  7. Very nice article. I machined if NASA truly 31st Starting in May 2010 for the last time a truly usable space shuttle into space. Are supposed to be the last space shuttle, after over 30 years. Greets from Germany

    Paul from Portal

  8. I have seen the pics of this “Enterprise” it looks amazing, I would love to have an opportunity to go up and cruise.

  9. Great read. I have heard a lot about the Falcon, but was not aware of the departure date, or what you would like to call it.

  10. The latest Enterprise vehicle is worthy of the name since it will be the first commercial vehicle to take more people closer to space.

  11. What are you going to do now that your funding has been cut so dramatically in the proposed budget for next year? Wouldn't it take a massive new discovery of propulsion or cost effectiveness to meet these cost constraints?

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