The dream of space thrives
Story by Stephen J. Thorne
When I was young, the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launches out of Cape Canaveral were family television events without parallel. There was a sense of awe surrounding those NASA missions, culminating years later in the triumphant moon landings. The astronauts were household names: John Glenn. Buzz Aldrin. Neil Armstrong. Yes, even Yuri Gagarin.
Now, as more than 1,700 spy, military and communications satellites orbit the Earth, the visionaries appear to be coming more from the research and private sectors—names like Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs and, notably, Elon Musk, a South African-born Canadian citizen and Queen’s University dropout whose SpaceX success is revolutionizing exploration of the heavens.