If any are left among us, the 706 remaining Mars One candidates, who aren't that serious about moving to Mars forever, it's time to opt in or opt out. Revealing oneself to the universe is not for the timid or the unsure.
Alongside me the day in 1992 when we launched, in the historical background, were others -- the African-American engineers, rocket scientists, physicists, administrators, technicians and life scientists who helped build the space program.
Each of us seems to think ours is the only worthwhile goal. And of course we also each have our own favorite spacecraft, our own perfect solutions and systems and approaches, and everyone else be damned, because my way is the space highway.
The 472 women, including me, who have advanced to what Mars One calls Round Two have a reasonable expectation of being among the first to colonize Mars. It's even conceivable that I could be the one to take the sure-to-become-iconic first footstep onto the surface of the red planet.
I believe both sides -- those who are pro-toasters in space and those who are pro-studs to the stars -- are lost, losing, and will in the end be seen as engaged in a dated and rhetorical dance that will have no meaning, if the rest of us choose the right path moving forward.
As we close-to-NASA folk pause to reflect on the Apollo 1 fire (Jan. 27, 1967), the Challenger disaster (Jan. 28, 1986), and the Columbia tragedy (Feb. 1, 2003) -- I took some time to reflect on whether we as a nation learned anything from these tragedies.
The word bothered me greatly years ago, as aviatrix, a feminization of aviator, seemed to make their accomplishments parenthetical. But I think of it differently these days as I understand the women of that era were different than the men -- they had to be "more."
She neither lives nor dies and has no name; she has been internalized. She's the moment of wonder itself. In her presence the child still gazes, wide-eyed. Beyond her, there dances a marvelous night sky full of stars.