100 Colorado Creatives: Dr. David Grinspoon, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
He was hooked, then, by a heady brew of advancing into the unknown and long-term camaraderies with his colleagues: "There's something cool about being involved in new missions to other planets. They are frustrating, nerve-wracking things because they take so many years to plan, and they don't always work. It's a a risky business. You could almost compare it to a seagoing, sailing ship exploration on earth, except that it can take a decade to plan and launch a mission and years before you'll get any information back. Because of that, there's a sense of community among all the people involved: You watch people grow older, life changes, you lose some people who were there when the mission started and gain others along the way. You have a sense of embarking on a journey with these other people."
And there are, after all, few truly pioneering professions left where a participant is bound to see something no human has ever seen before. "It's like experiencing the feeling you might get when the spacecraft is approaching a planet, and you're seeing all the latest images come down on the screen," he concludes. "And the images are getting larger and more clear, and it's almost like you're there, looking out of the little porthole, seeing it unfold." That's nirvana, the Grinspoon way.
Following is our 100 Colorado Creatives Q&A with Dr. Grinspoon.