The first humans pushed beyond the horizon and reached distant mountains and islands all around the planet. As modern humans extend beyond the limits of the Earth itself, we follow in their footsteps.
“Humans are explorers, driven by a sense of curiosity and adventure,” says Andrew Rader. “We always have been.”
A graduate of Carleton’s Bachelor of Engineering program in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Rader is now a Mission Manager for SpaceX, a California-based manufacturing and space transportation company that launches missions for commercial clients and government agencies such as NASA.
“This motivation largely explains the technological advances of humanity,” he says.
“The periods of great technological advancement correspond to exploration and were motivated by it. “
Rader delved deep into humanity’s penchant for exploration in his 2019 non-fiction book Beyond the Known: How Exploration Created the Modern World and Will Take Us to the Stars But when he started his studies, he didn’t think in radical meta-historical terms.
“I chose to study aerospace engineering in part because I really enjoy airplanes and flying and, honestly, in part because my mother worked for Air Canada,” he says.
“But I had a good friend who studied space systems. It kind of rubbed off on me and I turned to the field. When I graduated, I knew this was where I wanted to be.