Today, shortly after launch, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded. The commercial space company’s CEO, Elon Musk tweeted that the rocket had experienced a problem. Astronaut Scott Kelly followed up with another tweet, stating simply that Space is Hard.
Sure, space is hard. In fact, rocket science is the epitome of hard. When we want to say that something is difficult, we compare it to rocket science. Maybe brain surgery is hard too. Definitely rocket science though. This isn’t rocket science, folks. Space is hard.
Why do we need to be reminded of this? Because we’re good. SpaceX launched 18 rockets without incident. Most of them didn’t even make the news at all, much less make front page coverage. In 2014, 88 successful launches took place, with only two failures. We’ve become immured to the idea that we can launch rockets into orbit.
We have lost our sense of wonder.