Bringing the Future to the Present
Making the impossible possible
Growing up, watching shows about space exploration triggered my passion, drive, and curiosity to boldly go where humanity had not been before... and that is true to this day. If my not-so-subtle reference didn’t give me away, my favorite show was “Star Trek.” As a kid, I had no clue that my love for all things space would lead me to head SAIC’s space business. And now I oversee innovations that were once fictional concepts on TV that inspired us.
From “Star Trek” to “Interstellar” and every other movie or TV series in between, there is one thing that is clear: the world is fascinated and inspired by Space (yes, that is Space with a capital S). Cinema has prompted us to push the limits and boundaries of science and engineering to make future technologies that seemed impossible possible. Because as any Trekkie knows, things are only impossible until they’re not.
Our imagination inspires our work today
When I think about myself and my 4,000 colleagues in SAIC’s space business unit, our journeys in space were natural extensions of the fire that was lit within us a long time ago. Our passion is about bringing the future to the present, and it’s what fuels our success and inspires us to continue to do great things. Today, our space missions are leading us toward the commercialization of space, increased space exploration, improved ground mission support, and more small satellites. But there is one critical component that intersects all programs: getting it right the first time.
The work that we do involving mission assurance, quality assurance, software testing, engineering, and much more are essential capabilities that ensure what we do on the ground will work when it gets to space. As of late, we have been using more modeling and simulation to perform predictive analysis around what could go wrong in order to architect and engineer solutions to prevent worst case scenarios.
Getting it right the first time
I will never forget watching the Space Shuttle Challenger mission in middle school. Back then, some of us will remember, our teachers rolled the TV into our classroom, and we watched the mission and tragedy unfold before our eyes. We cannot allow those things to happen. Our responsibility within the government community is to guarantee our best and brightest are working to ensure a successful mission every time, the first time. We know we only get one shot, which is a lot of pressure but also incredibly rewarding.
As an extension of our customer, we share that responsibility to ensure the entire system works. Their worries and challenges are also ours.
Today, I believe we are at an historical inflection point -- perhaps one that we haven’t seen since JFK announced the Moon landing. As a nation, we are setting unified, aspirational goals around space, and I am excited to be part of this moment in time. Our space nostalgia unifies us, and we can all get excited about space exploration together. Although space missions have evolved, our passion, partnerships, and humanity will once again lead us to accomplish new feats, change the present, and do it quicker for a fraction of the cost.
ADDITIONAL READING: The 3 ingredients for space domination
For more on what SAIC is doing for space mission customers, visit our Space page.