Don’t Panic! The Dolphins are Still Here.

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Don’t Panic has been said to be Douglas Adams best advice to humanity, and it certainly applies now. Nature seems to be having a good time, with the dolphins are having a reunion in Italy and the goats are taking over a town in Wales.

We hope you are doing well during the pandemic. We are going through a unique situation. A pandemic, a virus that doesn’t respect any borders, passports, race or religion. Maybe for the first time in history the entire World is facing a single common enemy. It is our hope that despite borders closing and international travel being stopped that this brings people closer together. That we feel empathy for each other and support. 

We have seen how people come together, strangers unite when faced with obstacles. The citizens of Wuhan singing together, each in their window or balcony. The Italians doing the same. People offering to go shopping for their elderly neighbours even though they have never spoken before. When the Chinese company Xiaomi donated thousands of masks to Italy they wrote a quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca: 

“We are waves of the same sea,
leaves of the same tree,
flowers of the same garden,”

This situation may be bad for the economy, but it is bringing out the best in people.

Space Nation is not immune to this either and we listen to the science. We have cancelled all our travel activities until mid May, and are consequently restructuring our program for the fall when we expect to increase our offerings. Our priority is the safety and well-being of all those who participate in our expeditions and missions. While we love a good adventure safety always comes first. We are using this time instead to further develop our product portfolio and are looking forward to announce new and exciting expeditions and experiences soon.

What we can learn

We are sailing into uncharted waters, into an unknown territory where we do not know what to expect, how long this will last or what the outcome will be. This is when your astronaut skills come in handy, and what we prepare people for in our training. Know where your towel is. We need to adapt fast and learn. See what is inane and what might work. As a society, it will be very interesting to see what this can teach us. About the ease of working from home, about the counterproductive nature of the daily commute, how easy it would be to cut emissions down at least 10% by working even just one day a week from home instead of from the office. We wonder how many countries will reach their 2030 goals of CO2 emissions this year due to the lockdown. It might be a good idea to keep a diary to document the challenges we face and how we solve them. The practical ones, the social ones and the psychological ones. This is truly a unique opportunity to learn, both on individual level as well as a society.

We hope you too are able to make the most of this. Remember that thing you always wanted to do but never found the time for? Well, now is the time! Learn that language, practice that craft, get creative. If you lack inspiration, we have pulled together a list of books we very much enjoy and believe you might too (disclaimer: affiliate links):

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

If you ever needed to get your mind of negative news and just get a good laugh, this is the book. It’s funny the first time you read it and it’s still funny the second time you read it.

The Shackleton Way – Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell

Leadership lessons from the amazing Antarctica expedition of Shackleton who managed to get every man alive back despite losing his ship in the ice. Tales that have been a great inspiration to us at Space Nation on motivation, management and leadership.

The Overview Effect – Frank White

A true classic and where the term Overview Effect was created. This is a fundamental part of the astronaut mindset and an effect we wish as many as possible can experience.

The Obligation – Steven Wolfe

A novel about the higher purpose of humans and the reason for humanity’s expansion into space.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield

Astronaut Chris Hadfield, which you might remember for being the astronaut that played Bowie’s Space Oddity in space, wrote this fantastic book about what it takes to become an astronaut.

The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 – Jane Poynter

A true story of enduring and coping isolation in unfamiliar surroundings. A very human expedition.

The Consequential Frontier – Peter Ward

Peter Ward has a deep understanding of the commercialization of space and gives a sobering account of both the fantastic opportunities that are out there as well as the risks involved. It is based on a series of interviews with people in the industry and being published in the fall of 2019 it is very much up to date in a fast changing industry.


The Coronavirus Handbook, a collaborative project that is currently going viral with information about almost anything regarding the situation. 

Upskilling During a Downturn, a collection of free resources to elevate your skillsets, curated by Jeremiah Owyang and Scott Monty. 

Just imagine how powerful it would be if we all came out on the other end of this with a new set of skills and an optimized toolbox. Take good care of yourself, call your aunt and shop for your neighbor. This will pass more easily when we support each other.

Live long and prosper!

Hjörtur Smárason
Chief Communications Officer



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