Where do you turn when everything seems to be breaking down, blowing up, or just plain falling apart? Up, that’s where.

It worked in 1968, a year of assassinations, riots, seemingly endless war, and a raft of other problems. That’s when the crew of Apollo 8 beamed home hope in the form of their instantly famous Earthrise photo.

The Apollo program got people asking “If we can get to the Moon, why can’t we….” fill in the blank.

Close to half a billion people all over the world set aside the troubles of the day to watch two of their fellow humans walk on the Moon in 1969.

35 years later, a former U.S. Navy pilot named Brian Binnie went supersonic in the first privately built craft to break the sound barrier. The next year, he and Mike Melville broke free of the atmosphere to become the first commercial astronauts.

Now, private spaceships are heading to orbit, and getting set to fly the first paying passengers into suborbital space and put the first commercial lander on the moon.

Space lets us keep our eyes on the big picture, shows us that whatever troubles we’re working out down here, there’s an infinitely vaster universe out there just waiting for us to get over ourselves and join it.

Watch my TEXx talk for more.

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