I saw the amazing Mars probe Phoenix at the Serious Play conference at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and it was truly incredible. The JPL folks are just down the road in Pasadena and they brought a Phoenix to the conference. This hand-crafted artifact, seen up-close, take your breath away. Then, three weeks ago, it was unclear whether it would successfully land on Mars. The scientists were pretty nervous. The previous two Rover probes were encased in big balloons which broke their falls when they hit the planet. The Phoenix was too big for that and used rocket engines to slow down.
We’ve lost the wonder of space travel and need to regain it. We take it for granted—or disregard it entirely. As John Seely Brown and John Hagel say, innovation occurs on the edges, whether it’s surfing the big ones in Hawaii or exploring Mars and the planets beyond earth.