Sometimes it's tempting to lose faith in government.
The inefficiencies, the cronyism, the corruption, possible collusion with foreign powers. Too often, our government appears utterly incompetent.
But not always.
Today we got a booster shot from outer space.
Well, not quite outer space. Rather from the government folks who go into outer space.
Today, NASA released the biographies of its 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. And reading their stories, it's hard not to be inspired.
Here are a few.
Kayla Barron is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. She holds a Masters degree in nuclear engineering. She was also one of the first female sailors to qualify into the Navy's Submarine force. There, she joined three ballistic missile deterrent patrols as a weapons officer. She will now learn how to fly the space shuttle.
How about Raja Chari? He's a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and MIT. But Chari is also a former test pilot for the U.S. Navy. Oh, and he also served in combat in Iraq.
Then there's Warren Hoburg. Warren holds a BA degree from MIT (where he served as a research lead prior to his NASA selection), and a doctorate from Berkeley. In his spare time, Hoburg is a mountain rescue specialist.
Jessica Watkins is a Doctor of Geology. But alongside experience her on the Mars Curiosity rover team and at NASA's elite Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Watkins is a former member of the U.S. Rugby Sevens women's team.
Dr. Frank Rubio is a qualified MD. Yet prior to becoming a Doctor, Rubio graduated from West Point and flew 600 hours of combat/imminent danger missions as an Army helicopter pilot.
My favorite candidate, however, is Jonny Kim. Mr. Kim is a Navy SEAL with over 100 combat operations to his record. He is a winner of the Silver Star and a Bronze Star (with Valor device). But that's only half of Kim's story. Because after leaving the Navy, he completed a degree in mathematics. And that's only three-quarters of Kim's story! Kim then graduated as a Doctor from Harvard Medical School.
These citizens remind us of the talent that our nation is capable of producing. And as the names of these astronauts attest, their heritage reaches from all across the Earth. But what unites them is their shared patriotism. And their shared willingness to take great risks in pursuit of science.
Now they will train to serve our nation as interstellar representatives to the world.
I've said it before, if you want to be inspired, you need look no further than NASA.