“Keep your feet on the ground and reach for the stars.”
This is one of my all-time favourite inspirational quotes. It’s a quote by the late American DJ Casey Kasem, who is best known for being the host of the American Top 40, which he fronted from 1970 to the 2000’s. I know the quote best from my childhood super hero, DJ and record company founder, David Gresham. He was one of my very first idols! He always signed off from his various radio and tv shows using this quote. I listened to every show David hosted whenever I could, because radio always has been, and always will be, my first LOVE. Somehow, this quote did more than inspire me. Since I was a young girl, I’ve had a fascination with stars: watching them in the night sky, figuring out constellations, owning several pieces of jewellery in its shape, and more often than not, finding myself unconsciously doodling stars all over my notebooks (to this day, I still do this!) 😊
“Oh my. Space travel sounds rather perilous. I can assure you they will never get me on one of those dreadful Star Ships.” C-3PO (The Phantom Menace)
Enter the world of Jedi knights, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, and stars weren’t the only thing about space that had me enthralled. What young girl did not want to be a kick-ass space traveller? Throw in the Star Trek Tv series and well, I was a self-confessed space cadet. But can I honestly say that during these flights of fantasy that I would volunteer to settle on another planet? No.
Boldly Going Where No Woman or Man Has Gone Before
Someone who has dreamed about living on another planet since childhood and is actively working toward that goal is Dr Adriana Marais, Head of Innovation at SAP Africa. Adriana is a physicist, innovator and an aspiring extra-terrestrial. It was a NO brainer to feature Adriana and the topic of space exploration in the podcast series that a team and I work on called “Engineering Reimagined”. After all, her determination to be one of the first humans on Mars saw her successfully join 99 other aspiring extra-terrestrials being selected for the Mars One project, which aimed to start a human settlement on the red planet. Unfortunately, Mars One recently declared bankruptcy, but despite money troubles, Adriana remains determined to get to Mars. Technology and space travel is evolving at a such a rapid pace, NASA plans to send humans to Mars by the 2030s.
Beam Me Up
During the production of this podcast episode, I got to experience first-hand Adriana’s awe-inspiring passion and determination. Throw in her intellect, sense of humour & chutzpah and Adriana could well be that kick-ass space traveller, my younger self dreamed of. I hope she does get to Mars. It will give me another reason to look to the skies.
“You - you alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so, it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night...You - only you - will have stars that can laugh.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Little Prince
To listen to the podcast please click here or search for Eningeering Reimagined on your favourite podcast platform.