Every year, NASA hold’s remembrance day. This honors those astronauts who lost their lives in the service of spaceflight. It’s been a while since I’ve written a piece for Dailykos (although I have one piece that I hope to finish soon). And I’ve never done a piece for NASA’s remembrance day. But, I feel I should do one. And with the various activities going on related to things like #MeToo, the Women’s march, Black Lives matter, and so forth, I want to talk a little about how space is there for all of us.
When you look at the the Space Mirror Memorial (or the above picture), it’s important to remember that those who go to space have become a diverse group. For example, the first African-American Astronaut to give their life was Robert Lawrence Jr. He was to fly on one of the Manned Orbiting Laboritory (or MOL) missions. He perished during a training accident on Dec 8, 1967, a year and a half before we landed on the moon.
Or there is Kalpana Chawla — of Indian decent, she was the primary operator of the Canadian Arm on a previous mission, STS-87. She was a mission specialist on STS-107, when it broke apart during re-entry.
Or there is Ronald McNair. He served onboard Challenger, and, years later, his brother, Carl, remembered him on StoryCorp. If you haven’t watched the Eyes on the Stars video about that, you really should.
And just like space should not be a place for sexism, or racism, it also shouldn’t be a place for anti-semitism. The first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon, was a payload specialist aboard STS-107. He was the prime crew member for the Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment.
Anyway — my point in all of this is that, as we expand our horizons into space, and we move beyond just exploring space to developing and settling space, we need to make sure we do so in a way that opens space to everyone. Not limit it to a particular race or creed, to wealth or class rank, or worse, close it off to everyone. But to truly open it up, so everyone can gain the benefits from it. So that humanity can grow, can expand, can protect earth, and ensure that we grow.
Our future is out there, and everyone should be a part of it.