We took our nephew to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport this afternoon. In one place, under one roof are assembled a collection of flying machines that capture the height of the human spirit. The Concorde and the Space Shuttle Enterprise are just two of the aircraft in the collection, along with the Enola Gay, the plane which dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, that instantly killed 100,000 people.
We also watched the IMAX film Roving Mars, which chronicles the development and subsequent operation of the twin Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
Throughout the afternoon, as I watched my young nephew run excitedly from exhibit to exhibit, I couldn’t help but to think about the potential that humankind has within it. Men and women from a variety of backgrounds — different races, nationalities and religions — worked together to put robotic rovers on a planet that is millions of miles away from us. It’s absolutely stunning to think about. If we, as brother and sister humans, collectively put the same amount of energy and effort into solving the Earth’s problems, can you imagine the outcome?
Just something to think about.