Author: Annie Vedder (Former Curator of Experience)
It takes a great deal of confidence to make our visions reality. I understand this firsthand because, like so many people, I’ve had ambitious ideas, but had no idea how to make them come to fruition.
In 2014, I had the opportunity to update the exhibit about Captain Jim Lovell’s life and contributions to getting humanity to the Moon and back. Working on this exhibit would be a massive opportunity for me professionally, and the pressure was on. At the time, it felt like a daunting task with limitless possibilities, but no clear way to begin. I took inspiration from the man I was researching and decided to take action on my crazy ideas and not to fear failure because failure is part of the process. It would take a year to complete the project, and there were many ups and downs along the way; but in April 2015, ideas that existed only as dreams and crazy ideas became a reality. Mission Moon opened to the public.
Captain Lovell has inspired generations to look up, explore, and achieve the impossible. To commemorate his 90th birthday, we updated Mission Moon by launching Letters to Lovell. We asked you to share how Captain Lovell’s story has encouraged you to pursue your dreams and find new frontiers to explore in a letter-writing campaign. So far, you have shared your dreams and aspirations parallel to Captain Lovell’s boyhood dream of becoming a rocket engineer, launching rockets, and becoming an astronaut. Perhaps people dismissed Captain Lovell’s ambitions as boyhood daydreams—and there indeed was a lot of uncertainty—but like so many of us, Captain Lovell’s drive and willingness to act on opportunities as they presented themselves helped him make his dreams a reality.
What are your dreams? Does your future career currently exist, or will you need to forge a path and open new frontiers? Will you need to engineer the ideas that only exist in your imagination?
Change and infinite possibilities are on the horizon. The way we live, work and relate to one another will be fostered by you. Take inspiration from Captain Lovell: Dream big and don’t let the fear of failure stop you from making your dreams a reality. You will reinvent the world, again and again, and again. Thank you, Captain Lovell, for this amazing legacy.