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The impossible launch

With the right mindset, nothing is unachievable

Keith Blues, Design Solutions Director at Bedrock Group and self-confessed space nerd, asks what space exploration has in common with his day job from his front row seats at the monumental SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch in Florida.

“I’ve always been hooked on space” says Keith. “The desire to explore the unknown and constantly push the boundaries of design and technology to achieve the impossible. Today’s visionaries become tomorrow’s heroes – like the US astronauts 50 years ago and the Elon Musks of today.”

When Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002, with the goal of one day contributing to the colonisation of Mars, many people did not take him seriously but by 2008 SpaceX had put the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket into orbit. Two years later the company successfully launched SpaceX and recovered its Dragon capsule from orbit, which would later become the first private spacecraft to dock at the International Space Station.

On 11 April 2019, SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world and I was lucky enough to witness history in the making.

The excitement at the Kennedy Space Centre was palpable but the crowd was silent, collectively holding its breath. In the distance is the 70m tall Falcon Heavy rocket…3…2…1, lift off! The immense rocket hauls itself off the launch pad as the sky rumbles and we are jolted by the shockwave. The boosters separate from the main rocket and fall towards Earth, but these aren’t lost or destroyed – quite the contrary. Boosters the height of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London land safely near the launch site cheered on by the bewildered crowd. These boosters will be reused, reducing launch costs by about 70% – this is a game changer in space exploration!

In order to make change happen, we must first believe that a different world is possible. However, imagination alone won’t change things; every element of a process must be carefully considered to work seamlessly with one another. While Musk’s venture might be founded on big dreams, its success is built on a relentless detail focus, with the impact of every element carefully considered. SpaceX is inspiring people in a way that NASA hasn’t managed in over 30 years. Musk’s passion and ability to engage his audience has us captivated and invested in the SpaceX journey – from the ‘reason to believe’ to colonisation of Mars. This resonates with what Bedrock does daily and reuse, repurpose and adapt is our mantra. The Falcon Heavy launch truly inspires me. Nothing is impossible. Be brave and challenge assumptions and misconceptions in design to help clients exceed their own expectations.

I love that we can draw strong parallels between space travel and healthcare – cutting-edge technology with high stakes and low margins for error. The Bedrock/Celgene film This is Axiom uses a stranded astronaut as a metaphor for the clash between the needs of the individual and the limits of healthcare budgets.

Healthcare continues to push boundaries. At the moon landing celebrations, Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States, said that Apollo 11 was the only event of the 20th century that stands a chance to be remembered in the 30th century. My work in healthcare communications tells me otherwise. The drug pioneers of the 20th century, those who discovered insulin, antibiotics, IVF, polio vaccine, the contraceptive pill to name a few, have made incredible positive changes to people’s lives across the planet. Today’s therapy advances, such as CAR-T and gene therapy, are just as exciting and will help shape our world in the years to come.

Let’s dream big too so whether you’re nearing a launch of your own, or simply looking to go stratospheric, contact Bedrock Healthcare to talk about designing for success in medical communications.

16th April 2020



Company Details

Bedrock Healthcare Communications

01252 240200

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One Fleet
Ancells Road
GU51 2UN

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