Early Monday morning, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter took flight.
NASA’s press release read, “The little 4-pound helicopter named Ingenuity rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet.”
My imagination immediately goes to the hundreds of science fiction stories I have read or seen played out on the screen. I think of Ray Bradbury’s “Martian Chronicles” and the images of the red planet as they formed in my mind’s eye.
I also think about trips to the Space Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and to the Stennis Space Center on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
I even think about the time I took a model I had built of Darth Vader’s TIE fighter, lit it on fire and threw it across the lawn to see what it would look like as it crashed. I have to say, I thought it looked cooler afterward.
I have always been curious about the stars and space in general. We know so much and so very little.
Maybe my curiosity was passed on to my children, especially my sons Tobie and Devon, who both considered careers connected to astronomy. Or maybe it was the innate desire within all humans to know what is “out there” that fueled their inquisitiveness, too.
That curiosity is not limited to things “out there,” however. A million things a day, it seems, grab my attention and spark ideas that I want to pursue, to dig into, to find out about.
One of those “things” is people — I believe every person has a story, is living a story, and is worth knowing. Not everyone thinks this, and especially not everyone thinks this about themselves, but they’re wrong. We each have a story that makes us unique.
I had the opportunity a few years back to interview a man who had been clean from heroin addiction for two years. He was starting to rebuild broken relationships with his children and family. He was battling guilt over the person he had been even as he celebrated the man he was becoming. I titled the story “Someone worth knowing.”
When he saw the story in print, he said he was overcome by the title, having never believed he was someone worth being known by anyone, but those simple three words gave him incredible encouragement.
Wow. I’m thrilled.
I’m not sure what kind of pictures Ingenuity will take on Mars, but I’m looking forward to seeing them. I don’t know what new information we’ll discover.
I’m not sure who I’ll meet or get to know better today, but I’m looking forward to that, as well. Who knows what new information I’ll discover. Whoever and whatever, I know it will be interesting.
Because everyone is worth knowing.