Rachel Lyons, Executive Director
2019 has already got off to an incredible start for our exploration of space. Congratulations to Space for Humanity’s Technical Advisor Alan Stern, and to all of the team at New Horizons who on New Years Day once again redefined what is possible – with the successful flyby of Ultima Thule. This is now the furthest object that humans have explored. A mere 4 billion miles from our Earth home, the team at New Horizons uncovered a snowman shaped world (known as a contact binary) just 19 miles long.
A little closer to home – just days later – China succeeded in once again pushing humanities limits in space; landing a rover on the Far Side of the Moon. Another step forward in the nations space ambitions.
The holiday period also saw also saw NASA’s OSIRIS-REX mission arrive at the asteroid Bennu and our friends at Virgin Galactic minted two new commercial astronauts when SpaceShipTwo – piloted by Mark Stucky and former NASA astronaut Rick Sturckow – reached space on December 13 2018. A milestone for commercial space tourism.
So we start 2019 with a buzz about space which arguably hasn’t been seen since Apollo. Perhaps it is no coincidence that as we look towards our space future with a renewed excitement, that this year we will also pay respect to those who made it possible – the heroes of the Apollo era – as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing this July.
At Space for Humanity we have our own exciting news to begin the year – as we are proud to announce our first full-time member of staff – Rachel Lyons who takes up the post as our Executive Director. Outgoing Executive Director, James Orsulak, will remain with Space for Humanity on the board of Strategic Advisors.
In addition to our first full-time staff member, Space for Humanity now also has new Headquarters in Denver, Colorado, where the team will be based at the Posner Center for International Development. This is a hugely significant step, showing the growth of Space for Humanity from an idea to an organization with its own first permanent headquarters.
Speaking about her new role Rachel Lyons said: “I am thrilled to lead Space for Humanity on this mission of democratizing access to space. Based out of our new Global Headquarters, I am excited to work towards creating a future where many more people get to experience the Overview Effect – something which will have a profound impact on individuals, as well as our species.”
This growth comes at a time where commercial space travel and this new space era we have entered transitions from something which is mostly only known about within the industry, to something the public is increasingly aware of and inspired by. While 2018 may have been the year of the launch, 2019 is set to be the year for commercial space travel. Our goal through this exciting year will be to continue to spread the word about our mission and inspire people from all walks of life about the possibilities to come from space. More specifically we aim to continue to increase the number of applicants to our citizen astronaut program, while developing our astronaut training and selection process. We also plan to expand our team as we work to help grant the gift of perspective to many more humans.
On behalf of all of us at Space for Humanity, we thank you for your support in 2018 and look forward to an incredible 2019.
About Space for Humanity
Space for Humanity is a global non profit organization, founded in 2017, which aims to democratize access to space. Space for Humanity’s commitment is to help thousands of global citizens from all backgrounds experience the Overview Effect, the cognitive shift in awareness which happens when astronauts see our Earth from space.
The crews selected for missions will be both diverse and uniquely qualified to share their experiences with their broader communities and the world. Space for Humanity believes that by expanding and shaping human perspective, the world’s most intractable problems can be better addressed and ultimately solved, leading to a brighter future for all of humanity.
More information about Executive Director Rachel Lyons can be found here.