How to let go: a lesson from NASA

Space shuttle and Hubble telescopeEverybody likes to criticize NASA for various reasons. There’s the budget problems, various $100 million blunders, and of course the aging space shuttle program.

But one thing they are doing right with the Hubble telescope is planned obsolescence. This current space shuttle mission is the last act NASA will take to repair the Hubble telescope ever.

They know that in order to build whatever will replace the Hubble, they have to let go of Hubble, even if that means letting it die, so they can have the funds and resources to invest in the next thing (It’s called the Webb telescope and it’s made from Beryllium – sounds like Star Trek).

And the space shuttle is also being put to rest. With 9 missions left NASA is finally moving on, using the resources consumed by the shuttle for the next big thing.

What old ideas, products, services, habits, assumptions, excuses, will you let go of to make room for whatever you want your future to be?

If they can ditch the Hubble and the shuttle, I can ditch something too.

2 Responses to “How to let go: a lesson from NASA”

  1. Jason Robb

    What will I give up? Pants. Definitely pants.

    But seriously, that is great that they can acknowledge the truth that they can’t sustain old technology if they want to make new stuff. Good lesson. Thanks, Scott!

  2. Andreas Scherer

    I’m currently considering to let go of my two-year-old recumbent bike. Although I’ve had superb fun riding it for more than 16.000km from the Baltic Sea to Munich and back to Berlin, meeting terrific people, and improving my physical fitness, more often than not I clash with dogs and their owners, car drivers and pedestrians, and sharp objects (aka ‘glass’) on the road that provide ample reasons for fear and anger.

    Abandoning the recumbent bike would free dozens if not hundreds of hours per year that might or might not be used for cross-country hiking (some kind of ‘downgrade’) or even for professional activities (maybe some kind of ‘upgrade’).

    Maybe I’ll have to toss a coin to decide on this matter.


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