Yesterday, I watched Armageddon. It’s a movie starred by Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler. It was about oil drillers, sent to space to drill and nuke an asteroid that will crash on Earth. The film is really good. However, I found something really interesting in that movie. In that movie, there was a scene where Bruce Willis was apologizing to his daughter before he went to the outer space. They were in a place with a strange paddock and at the end of a screen, it was showing a plaque on a site with the writing :
“In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others could reach for the stars.”
So, I was curious and I googled it. Then, I found out that it is the Launch complex 34, a place where the Apollo 1 tragedy happened. In that site, three crew of Apollo 1, Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee died caught in fire inside cockpit. Later on, Launch Complex 34 was subsequently used only for the launch of Apollo 7 and then dismantled but the launch platform remains at the site. At the launch platform, two plaque was installed for noting the tragedy that happened. One of the plaque is the plaque that was shown in the Armageddon movie.
To be honest, the writings of the on the plaque got me thinking. I know that me, an aerospace engineer, is not much appreciated here in Indonesia, and lately it made me have a self-esteem issue. Most of companies do not want to hire me because I’m not mechanical engineers, while very few companies that wants aerospace engineer wages me low. Still, I persistantly force myself that I must not move away from the path of aerospace engineering. I’m an aerospace engineer, so I will do something engineering and something related to aerospace for my job.
Once, I (and maybe some of my friends who works in aerospace engineering related job) thought, “What the hell am I doing? I would I keep this job? It is very hard and complicated, it bears high responsibility, and I don’t get that much.” Well, don’t be. Why? Because what we are doing now is something that can make others reach the stars.
So I’m saying this to all of may fellow aerospace engineers, and to all those people who works in IAe, BPPT, or LAPAN: We may be a major with low-passing-grade and we may be waged low, but we are contributing something that can make other reach for the ‘stars’. For all aerospace enginering freshmen in ITB, when someones guessed that you will be a pilot after they know you are an areospace engineering, please held your head high and said this, “No, pilots fly aircraft. I don’t, I made that possible.”