December 20, 2019.

As we enter a new year and decade as a company, community and nation, it is a good time to reflect on the collective achievements and lessons that will guide our path forward. The avenue of space exploration continues to provide many of our greatest examples of both – with countless instances of courage, ingenuity and resilience that continue to define the course of human history.

Credit: NASA

Today’s landmark mission of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is a vivid reminder of this incredible challenge that we all face. Starliner successfully lifted off on its first test flight to the International Space Station, but failed to reach an operational orbit. As said so eloquently by President John F. Kennedy as he kicked off the space race of the 1960s, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…”  

Space has always been an incredibly hard thing to do. NASA experienced this immediately during the Apollo Program but persevered toward to the ultimate achievement of the Apollo 11 landing on the lunar surface. More recently, we have observed the efforts of New Space companies like SpaceX as they lean-in, innovate, learn and adjust course along the way toward groundbreaking success.

At Stellar Solutions, we can relate to this inherent risk because we’ve experienced it firsthand. This company was founded to provide the critical services that form the backbone of many of today’s aerospace, defense, intelligence and commercial systems.

Credit: NASA

We are providing a wide variety of engineering support for the Orion Crew Module and the Ascent Abort-2, Artemis-1 and Artemis-2 missions of the Space Launch System which will extend our presence beyond Earth’s orbit into deep space. Our team is heavily involved in providing program level support to NASA in its efforts to work with commercial partners on systems that will send the first woman and next man to the Moon. What an exciting time to be in aerospace, with so many opportunities and possibilities to help transform our way of life and understanding of the universe. 

Kennedy continued on to say that the goal of pursuing the Moon “will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.”

These words still ring true today, more than ever. In celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 this year and looking forward to the next five decades of human spaceflight, it is clear that we are all in this together – partners and competitors alike. So many small and large companies have dedicated themselves to delivering innovation on the ground and in space that will benefit all of humanity, with much more to come. I wish to extend our gratitude and best wishes for success to The Boeing Company and other commercial trailblazers who are helping lead the way to the next era of space exploration.

About the Author: Michael S. Lencioni is the Chief Executive Officer of Stellar Solutions, Inc.