I am an admitted space geek. Yeah yeah, you SAY you are too but let me set the bar for you. When I was a kid we lived in California. During the early Mercury and Gemini launches, I was allowed to stay home from school. I got up at 3:00 in the morning and watched the black-and-white camera chip-chart with the Indian on it on CBS with the 400 Hertz tone turned down till they signed on so I wouldn’t miss even a minute of Walter Cronkite from Cape Canaveral—a place I imagined to be like Mos Eisley, a spaceport. My bedroom was papered with huge posters of artists renderings of the US rocket fleet. The Redstone, The Delta, The Atlas, the amazing Saturn. I had a map of the Moon on my wall and a black-and-white autographed picture of Werner Von Braun. Got it?
Now that my nerd-dom has been clearly established, you will understand why I am psyched that IDEAS is leading a team responding to an RFP (Request For Proposal) to create a new kind of visitor experience at the next spaceport-Spaceport America in the desert of New Mexico. This is where Virgin Galactic will take space tourists to over 300,000 feet to experience weightlessness and look back at the earth and return them. This is also where a lot of the next wave of private space exploration, manned and unmanned will lift off from. To top it all off, I used to play as a kid in that very same desert around Truth or Consequences where my great-grandmother and a bunch of my mom’s relatives lived, but that’s another story for another day. To quote from one of my favorite musicals “God I hope I get it…” May the Force be with us.