Let's reach out for the skies

So a Singaporean is going into “space”.

Possibly. Hopefully.

You might mock, but stranger things have happened. This isn’t the easy option of hitching a ride on another country’s rocket. This is a purely Singaporean venture.

And it’s with that knowledge that the mocking comes. I can’t say it’s entirely a Singaporean approach to such news. I’m sure that any purely British venture would have jokes about the astronaut being sent into orbit via large catapult.

And when it’s pointed out that India’s Mars mission will cost about half of what Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale, who wouldn’t snigger at such proposals?

Is cheap space travel such an impossible dream?

After all, there’s that often trotted out factoid about the first Nasa moon mission using a computer far less powerful than the average smartphone.

But it’s not just about technology. It takes guts.

Our story on Mr Lim Seng, the man behind this astral venture, shows that it takes guts on a few levels. Not just of the pilot set to hover over the Earth, but of Mr Lim himself.

At this point, and with not even a model of the craft to show off, it must takes some bravado to be so public about this.

I’ll admit it. I was sceptical too. The seemingly short time frame for what was to be achieved, the lack of information.

It didn’t add up, considering Mr Lim is looking at space tourism and his main rival is Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

Compared to a showman like Branson – who has been very open about his plans – Mr Lim has revealed little.

But I had the chance to speak to him during our photoshoot.

He’s unconventional for a scientist but his enthusiasm is infectious. A mad professor? Well, every adventure requires a little madness. And he certainly seemed to know his stuff, excitedly rattling off facts and ambitions.

Ah, yes. Ambition. That is what we should preserve. Whether Mr Lim succeeds or not, and I hope he does, we should keep that sense of wonder.

Let’s not shoot down those aiming for the stars.


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