These past two weeks have been super space infused. Celebrating the historic journey of Apollo 11, seeing Space-X launch, and land, another Falcon 9, and even seeing the next step – Starhopper – hop 20m into the air. In amongst all this, I organised a space party to watch First Man – the fantastic movie about Neil Armstrong. And that has been weighing on my mind for this Thoughtful Thursday.

Watching what it was like for NASA and the astronauts, where they were learning and creating things like rocket science and orbiting mechanics, you see the unsung heroes in their wives and families.

Not only were the men who signed up prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for the cause, but their families understood and supported them. Even if they did not agree fully. They put aside their normal lives, they put aside their wants, and they supported their husbands and fathers in the greater goal. These days, it is almost a thought crime to say that a wife supports her husband, forsaking her own ego even, for him to reach his full potential.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like, accepting that your significant other may not be coming back from the office every day! And then accepting the fact that, even though there are precautions, checks, double checks and procedures, they are going into the unknown. That even the biggest brains on the planet simply do not know either.

The courage, the willingness, the attitude, the acceptance to step into a tin can is known as The Right Stuff. The brave men who signed up and were chosen for Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, had the right stuff. And the wives especially had The Right Stuff. The silent, unsung heroes of the golden space age.

It took 400,000 people to put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon, with Mike Collins orbiting in Columbia, but it took 3 very special women to give the men the chance to be there.

In this modern age, we don’t really hear about the people making the sacrifice to a goal greater than themselves. Rather, the limelight shines on such degenerates as the kardashians and other such nonsense. I’d almost say that making a sacrifice for a great goal is actively discouraged from a young age. We are told that our own ego is above all.

How much more could we accomplish as a species if we accepted more sacrifice in order to attain a great goal?

Just look at global warming. If everyone on this planet was prepared to sacrifice, we could have this issue solved in no time. But instead, it comes down to what each individual can get out of it.

Trying new things, pushing forward, always comes with sacrifice. I sacrifice spending time with Simone to blog, because I believe that the only way to get better at writing and sharing my thoughts is to do it on here.

Lets start looking at the bigger picture. Lets move away from celebrities and news cycles that do nothing but make us angry or feel unworthy. Lets be prepared to make some sacrifices. And if a goal be so big that it requires the ultimate sacrifice, lets not shy away from worthwhile endeavors.

If we die we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life. 

Gus Grissom
Made the ultimate sacrifice along with ed white and roger chaffee on JANUARY 27th, 1967