I was paging through the issue from December 15, 1978, and enjoyed reading a short profile of “Sally Ride: Scientist-Astronaut.” The piece was written by Molly Tyson, Ride’s college roommate, a few years before Ride’s pioneering space flight. The piece made clear that astronauts were chosen for brains and brawn. Ride was training for the Boston marathon. She’d earned her PhD in astrophysics from Stanford. She was chosen from more than 1000 applicants.
It was a nice profile, but there were two rather poignant things that came to mind looking at a piece written for children in 1978. First, I wonder if Ride and Tyson, back in 1978, would have imagined that in 2013 there would still be so much ink spilled on women’s career choices, and on the “first” women doing various things.
And second, we seem to have lost our outer space ambition. Here’s a quote from Ride: “I became an astronaut for one reason…I am fascinated by outer space. I always have been. Besides who could turn down the chance to go up in space? Thirty years from now, when they’re selling round-trip tickets to Mars, it might not be as exciting, but right now it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Round-trip tickets to Mars? Thirty years after the Highlights article would bring us to 2008. Let’s just say we didn’t hit that milestone. Space is still pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Too bad!
In other news: The paperback of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, will be out August 27. This book bundles my 3 short e-books on productivity, and includes some bonus time management tips and time makeovers. If you’d be interested in blogging about the book, please let me know: lvanderkam at yahoo dot com. Thanks so much.