It’s everywhere these days. Uncertainty, that is. You don’t have to look far. It seeps into our brain through a relentless string of news stories, constant reminders that, for the most part, we just don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s unsettling.
So now I’ll move on from stating the obvious: Uncertainty can be a great motivator. Creativity itself needs a problem in order to operate, a question to be answered. I’d like to take this uncertain moment to highlight some of humankind’s greatest questions: just what exactly is out there? Are we the center of the universe? Are those canals on Mars? C’mon, you mean Earth isn’t flat?!
While living in the year 2013, we may be certain about the answers to all of those questions. But it’s worth remembering that it wasn’t always so. Centuries of study have yielded the answers, and they now can all be found in a third grader’s science book. But uncertainties still abound: where exactly is that particle? Black matter – what is it? So, just how much water is on Mars? Are there any other “earths” out there? What exactly is happening to our Earth? Oh…and just how close is that asteroid going to pass?
While there are people everywhere asking and helping to answer these very questions, one group stands out in particular. NASA. That is, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Lest we forget, the scientists, engineers, technologists and astronauts of the Space Agency are all in the midst of searching for answers to these great uncertainties. And they will continue, even in these uncertain times. I, for one, hope it doesn’t take too long to pick up where they left off.
Even as we all seem to be in pursuit of certainty these days, NASA continues to be in pursuit of light. Above is a link to a short film I worked on while still at NASA, and I feel it’s worth highlighting today. Full screen, speakers up. It’s NASA, after all.