“Traditional aerospace has been doing things the same way for a very, very long time,” said Drew Eldeen, a former SpaceX engineer. “The biggest challenge was convincing NASA to give something new a try and building a paper trail that showed the parts were high enough quality.” To prove that it’s making the right choice to NASA and itself, SpaceX will sometimes load a rocket with both the standard equipment and prototypes of its own design for testing during flight. Engineers then compare the performance characteristics of the devices. Once a SpaceX design equals or outperforms the commercial products, it becomes the de facto hardware.
How is that one person is willing to do all that it takes to reach their goals, while another person gives in to silent resignation at the first sign of resistance? Why is one person willing to sacrifice nearly everything in order to live the life of their dreams, while others are too afraid to take the next step in fear of suffering through a catastrophic failure or embarrassment?