“Whatever your goal is, you will never succeed unless you let go of your fears and fly.” – Richard Branson
“What we need to do is always lean into the future;” – Jeff Bezos
Yesterday morning, the nation and the world watched with excitement as former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and three others lifted off toward the farthest edge of Earth’s atmosphere aboard the Blue Origin New Shepard. This mission took place only nine days after Virgin Group founder Richard Branson boarded the Virgin Galactic VSS Unity, embarking on the first fully crewed commercial voyage to space.
More than space tourists, Bezos and Branson are leading the way to commercial and public utilization of space previously only imagined in science fiction. These pioneers of both high-tech business and new space are now blazing trails into an emerging commercial landscape of untold opportunity and promise.
While some may debate the scientific and societal benefits of these flights as well as their cost, the symbolic and technical impact of the past several days cannot be ignored. On the heels of the 2019 commemoration of Apollo 11 and its monumental legacy for crewed spaceflight, we are now witness to another profound first step for humankind.
These two flights represent the start of a thrilling new space race as well as a time to celebrate a key milestone of our civilization. After all, our overall advancement and progress have always been measured by transportation and exploration. While reflecting that the real competitors in this arena are the U.S. and Chinese governments, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson remarked that Branson’s flight is a “great” milestone.
We believe that that the launches of the wealthiest man in the entire world and another billionaire businessman surpass the perception of “rich boys and their toys” to serve as compelling demonstrations of boldness, calculated risk, and the endless possibilities of technical innovation and excellence. These developments are of particular interest to Stellar—from our corporate focus on critical solutions to our Civil and Commercial Points of the Star. Our expert teams continue to be galvanized for Stellar’s efforts to create engineering solutions for our partners in legacy and new space, as well as high-tech commercial ventures.
Just as the achievements of the United States space program heralded by NASA have delivered countless spinoff technologies that have improved every aspect of life on this planet, the resulting inspiration of a generation and nation-building drive have cemented our preeminence across the world and our destiny to do even greater things. It’s such an honor to contribute to the next phase of this adventure, and to be able to do it as our dream jobs.
Although Virgin Galactic aims to “fill the world with astronauts,” Branson offers a universal lesson that success in any venture occurs “when preparation meets opportunity.” Bezos’ thoughts on the disruptive nature of invention are similarly inspired: “If you want to be understood at all times, then don’t do anything new.” We sincerely agree and have said this before: what an incredibly exciting time to be in the business of space and other disruptive technological fields. As if this week wasn’t already one for the record books, Bezos was accompanied by female aviator Wally Funk, one of the original so-called Mercury 13 or First Lady Astronaut Trainees who never went to space, becoming the oldest astronaut in history.
The months ahead should prove to be just as exciting as billionaire Elon Musk and SpaceX will soon launch civilian astronauts aboard Crew Dragon, along with efforts from other companies like Axiom. Stellar Solutions extends heartfelt kudos and congratulations on this unprecedented moment to Jeff and Richard as well as Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic–the courageous first of many catalysts for an extraordinary future.