I had the pleasure of being a participant at @spaceupconf this weekend. It was the best conference I've EVER been to. Ever. My only regret is that I didn't bring my entire family. It was that good. There were 16 Ignite talks on Saturday night. All of them excellent. Unfortunately the first 7 didn't get recorded (mine was 4th), but thanks to a Herculean job by Ben and Cariann at Spacevidcast they did capture my favorite one by Andy Cochrane. Take the 5 minutes to watch it. You'll either be thrilled, or it will make your blood boil. Go ahead, I'll wait...
Andy makes some awesome points. We don't know our heroes any longer.
Hopefully there will be hundreds of discussions about this talk. Thousands even.
We can't leave it as a discussion. Space fans and critics have been doing a lot of talking lately. Talking is okay, but the discussion doesn't matter if it doesn't lead to action. A shout of "amen" on twitter isn't enough effort on your part.
There is a movement in the space industry sometimes referred to as NewSpace or Space 2.0.
In Space 2.0, there is a new kind of hero. The space cowboys of yesterday were people we knew from their position within NASA's selection process. The modern day cowboy often takes form as an inventor in a garage, an entrepreneur, a blogger, an independent movie maker, a web talk show host, a teacher, a hacker...
Chris Radcliff did more than just talk. He started SpaceUP, the very "unconference" that was the vehicle that allowed Andy's voice on this matter to be heard. Chris is part of the new breed of space exploration hero. Chris takes action. That conference is already spreading to SpaceUP Houston and SpaceUP DC.
So twitter away your "amen" or "you suck" on Andy's talk. And then get up off of your ass and change the world by doing something about it. Let the world hear your voice by what you do rather than what you say.
Photo Credit Kevin Baird