Recently I spent some time surrounded by people who are smarter than I am, who are braver and more committed to human progress, who know more about science and technology, more about business and industry, and more about budgets and expenditures.

This is an experience Congress and the White House should have. Except Congress and the White House have this experience every day. And me too, but at least I know when it’s happening.

It was happening with unusual intensity last month in Colorado Springs at the 29th National Space Symposium. This is the biggest and most important annual worldwide gathering of the biggest and most important organizations and entities in the biggest and most important industry in the solar system. The biggest, certainly, in terms of reach. What other enterprise has sent employees on a 238,900-mile business trip to the moon? And the most important industry in the solar system by definition. No other industry is out there. The rest of the working world is stuck on Earth.

The Space Symposium Big Bang was the result of an astrophysical singularity called the Space Foundation, a global nonprofit established in 1983 “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” That is, to get people to look up and go “aww” instead of look down and go “eww.”

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