Mae Jemison joined NASA in 1987, and in 1992 became the first African-American woman to travel to space.
The teens' rockets did not quite touch space but one of their satellites did go into orbit! The passion and knowledge being built up along with the imminent commercialization of space travel makes it seem inevitable that many of these kids will get past the stratosphere! If they are not rocket scientists already, they are going to get there soon enough and more than likely to space as well in their lifetime!
It's too early to tell but if Bezos and Musk can prove themselves to be the great creators of our generation, these undeniably demanding work environments will be validated as its own innovation, one independent of the ingenuity that gave us online shopping, electric cars and rockets to outer space.
Some say that fundamental advances in technology have stalled since the end of the Cold War. In the words of Buzz Aldrin: "You Promised Me Mars Colonies. Instead, I Got facebook." However, progress need not hinge only on power politics. As a species we have to learn how to continue inventing while reducing our reliance on military research.
Space X in particular has set itself up as the company that holds the 'gateway' to space. Chairman Elon Musk has previously discussed launching 4000 satellites to bring internet access to the most remote parts of Earth.
He needs to get back to doing what he does best.
The spectacular computer graphics effects and designs of the recent movies Interstellar and The Martian remind us that it is easy to get to Mars and beyond via fantasy technology, but real-world travel is still a hard nut to crack.
It's the July 4th weekend. My wife, Kathy, and I have a bag full of red, white and blue pinwheels, some Stars and Stripes-brand snack cakes and a packet of mini-flags. We're nearly set for a holiday blowout in the country. Strangely, none of the stores is stocked with hot dogs or chips. No one around us seems to be doing the same.