“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The words of Neil Armstrong, as he took his first steps onto the lunar surface, may be the most famous and most widely celebrated phrase of the 20th century. They weren’t intended to rally a nation to war, like Roosevelt’s “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself,” or express our collective grief, as did Lincoln’s 19th century memorial to the horrific losses at Gettysburg. It was, instead, to chronical an audacious accomplishment.

The plaque Armstrong and Aldrin left behind on the moon read: “We came in peace for all mankind.” It was not a celebration of individual achievement (though it eclipsed the feats of Lindberg and others) or even of an individual nation (though all Americans look on it with pride), it was something every human on the planet shared. Quite a few of our readers, as well as this author, were there to watch the Saturn V lift off 50 years ago this month. Four days later, the world fixed their attention on the grainy images being sent from nearly a quarter of a million miles away, as Armstrong stepped down the ladder and onto the moon. Around the globe, people gazed, spellbound, at their television screens, or gathered with throngs to see projected on giant screens, humans reaching a goal that defied imagination.

Not since that time has the nation, or for that matter the world, been as captivated by the frontiers of space — until now. Once more the Siren call of space is not just beckoning the few, but the many.

The Differentiator
The real difference this time is the quest for space and the daring innovation of the entrepreneurial spirit have become inseparable. Why will that change everything?

1. The Risk & Reward of Investment: Though America and other nations will always need governmental support for our space efforts, today private investors are risking their capital for the opportunities space will afford. According to some analysts that global market could be $1 Trillion by 2040 (FYI the global automobile industry was $121 Billion in 2017 and fell slightly in 2018). Every year NASA must fight for its budget, competing against infrastructure, military appropriations or health care spending. Putting people on Mars, when my street isn’t paved or I need cataract surgery, is an argument NASA has never been able to completely win. With private investment, which also means private job creation, that argument becomes mute.

2. NASA becomes the FAA of space: Rather than having to be the American, Delta or Southwest airline of space, NASA can focus on facilitating and providing strategic research for the private sector. Also, as commercial space becomes ubiquitous, the need for scientific advances (like warp-drive, haha) to support that growth and demand, along with some kind of non-military regulatory body is self-evident.

3. Competition and Innovation: One has only to look at the evolution of the digital cell phone, in a little over 20 years, to see what could happen with space flight, if the ingenuity of the global marketplace was brought to bear on this opportunity. The two most recognizable Spacepreneurs, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, made their billions in industries that didn’t exit when I was in college, which begs the question about what the future will hold.

For you who are skeptical, I close recalling conversations with my grandmother, who remembered the first time she saw a Model T Ford, a Bell telephone and an airplane. But she lived to see her son become part of a team that put men on the moon. It all happened in her lifetime, what might happen in ours?

Eric Wright
President of Publishing at | Website

Eric Wright is an innovative leader, dynamic speaker and published author. He turns complex principles into simple and practical life applications. For over 25 years, Eric has taught leadership and management seminars on four continents, served on various economic development and visioning councils, and authored hundreds of published articles and three books.

As President of Publishing at SpaceCoast Magazines, Eric oversees the production of business and lifestyle journals, along with numerous specialty publications. Through these journals, Eric offers entrepreneurs and business leaders a trusted voice connecting communities across Florida and the US.

Eric and his wife, Susan, live in Indialantic, Florida, and have three married sons and four grandchildren.