What's your mission? What leaders can learn from NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto
On July 14, 2015, NASA's New Horizons mission will reach its much-anticipated destination: Pluto. Since the spacecraft left our planet on January 19, 2006, it has traveled more than 3 billion miles.
For 3,462 days (and counting), NASA scientists have painstakingly directed the spacecraft to its destination, employing a number of trajectory correction maneuvers along the way to ensure the craft met its precise destination, which may be for the lay person, a distant dot in a sea of stars.
This, of course, does not even include the years of development that took preceded the rocket's launch more than nine years ago.
Even this college graduate who once earned a C+ in Astronomy 103 has to be impressed by the dedication and patience on display in the New Horizons mission.
In an era where the average American changes jobs every 4.6 years, a group of scientists have spent twice as long steering a $700 million spacecraft through the black emptiness of space.
In our world today, the only constant is change. At least, that's what we tell ourselves.
When we look out over the truly heroic impacts in our world, we see commitment of the highest degree, whether the steadiness to stay with a seemingly insurmountable challenge longer than most people would think wise, or the willingness to give everything-even one's life-as a sacrifice for the good of others.
As the New Horizons spacecraft approaches Pluto, I invite you to ask yourself, "What's my mission?" To what cause would you be willing to dedicate yourself, to give your time and your energy, in order to do something that once seemed impossible?
Then go do it.