T-MINUS 10 – Sarah Cruddas2020-01-31T21:58:59+00:00
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Sarah Cruddas is a world renowned space journalist, television host, author, and global thought leader in the commercial space sector. She has an academic background in astrophysics and is a director at Space for Humanity a global non-profit dedicated to democratizing access to space.

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What is your background, where did you grow up?

I was born in South Wales and grew up on the outskirts of Hull in the North East of England. I am not a person who came from privilege, but I am a firm believer in controlling your own destiny. Nobody can make your dreams come true but You. I have always followed my dreams, I have failed more times than I have succeeded, but failure and the ability to learn from our failures is the pathway to success. This is it, this life is not a rehearsal, you have to follow your dreams. And if all else fails, out work everybody else.

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When did you first become interested in space?

One of my first memories is of looking up at the Moon. I was not influenced by anyone at this early age, it was a curiosity I was born with and it never left me. Although what I would say is ‘why wouldn’t you be interested in space?’ – space is the story of who you are, who we all are. All of the questions we try and answer in space are fundamental to our species existence – Where did we come from? Where are we heading? Why do we exist? And are we the only life that exists in this impossibly large cosmos?

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What do you think the biggest issue facing the industry today?

We are at a transitional time for space. For most of our time pursing the stars, space has been the preserve of governments – the successes of the Space Race, which culminated in humans landing on the Moon were the result of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union – but today space is no longer the preserve of governments alone. While there have always been private companies working with governments agencies, there are now hundreds of companies from the very large to the small working to transform the way we use space.

The issue being faced by some is a mindset shift from thinking about space as something governments do, to space now also being an opportunity for business. There needs to be more of an appetite for risk in space investments as well as an appreciation that failing doesn’t mean failure. If we are to move forward into space, we need entrepreneurialism and we need to create an ecosystem where more capital is available for these bold ideas. This is something I think the US is succeeding in, but globally there needs to be changes.

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What do you like to do for fun?

I love to travel. I am addicted to that feeling of being lost. As a child I remember vividly starting a new school and not quite knowing my way around, I loved that feeling of not knowing what was there. I am fortunate that my life today is spent mostly on the road. I have watched the aurora dance over the mountains of Norway, I have ridden a speedboat across the Yalu River to the banks North Korea, I have stood at the boarder to Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a place which I can only liken as like ‘the gateway to hell’ and I have dined with Nomadic people in Kazakhstan. My favorite city to visit is Paris, but my favorite country is without a doubt the USA – although I may be biased, it is my home away from home.

Travel teaches us that are planet is both beautiful, but unfair, if done correctly it broadens your horizons and humbles you.

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What is your favorite movie and why?

‘Lost in Translation’ – I can’t quite explain why, it just has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’.

Of course you probably want some space movies also, so let’s say in no particular order: Ad Astra, Interstellar and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

What are some of your favorite books?

Andrew Chaikin’s ‘A Man on the Moon’. I would go as far to say that no book has inspired me more than this one. As a child I devoured this book crammed full of the stories of the Apollo astronauts. For the first time I really felt like I knew them, not just the missions, but the people behind humankinds first great endeavor into space. Space isn’t just a story of science or exploration, it is a story of people.

In 2015 Moonwalker Gene Cernan was kind enough to sign my copy. It is one of my most treasured possessions.

What are you reading now?

‘Ego is the Enemy’ by Ryan Holiday. This book is really helping me shift my goals, to be less self centered and more about the greater purpose – which in my case is helping to make humanity a multi-planetary species. It is important to not only be a life long learner, but to read books which make you question how much you actually know.

Where do you see the space industry in ten years?

By 2030 our species would have been space faring for 70 years. Almost an entire human lifetime spent reaching beyond Earth. Growing up in the 1990s, I had believed that humans would be walking on Mars by the year 2020, we haven’t quite got there yet, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen, I just had the timing wrong.

So thinking about 2030, some highlights for me would be that going into space isn’t just about pursuing new frontiers, it is about Earth, both looking after our home planet and improving life on Earth and using the vantage point space gives us to look after our home planet.

I also think that launch will continue to be disrupted. In a decades time I am optimistic that launch costs would have come down, hopefully significantly and the frequency of launches would have increased. Space will then be open to many more ideas.

In the coming decade we will mint our first commercial space participants and the number of humans who have left our planet will increase from being in the hundreds to being in the thousands. We will also through Space for Humanity see the beginning of the democratization of the space industry as many people from less traditional space backgrounds take trips.

In ten years time it won’t just be angel investors and high net worth individuals putting their money in space.
Lastly, in the next ten years humans will venture beyond the ISS, deeper into space. I am optimistic that we will see humans return to the Moon.

In ten years time, walking on the Moon will be something we are doing regularly and no longer something that is consigned to our history books.

What would you tell people just starting out in the space industry?

You are part of the greatest story of human history. Work hard, keep going, but know that you are part of a mission greater than yourself, don’t make You the focus of what you are doing. To succeed in ‘space’ we go as one species, not as individuals.

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What three words best describe you?

Living my dream

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