Space Shuttle Atlantis landed in Florida on July 21, marking the last flight of the Space Shuttle program in the U.S. I was in British Columbia when it was launched and thus watched/heard many specials around the topic of Space Shuttle program. Several people who were directly involved with the program said, answering the questions regarding the Space program itself, that the first task and priority is to land Atlantis safely after 13-day flight. They would make comment on the future of the Space program and reflect the past history etc.after the safe landing, which I found quite interesting. I felt that the Space shuttle program is so complicated that anything could go wrong at any minute, requiring the total concentration and the dedication on the part of those involved. I found it understandable that those directly involved did NOT want to discuss other things before the Atlantis completed its last flight.
As the Space Shuttle Program comes to an end, many scientists, engineers and technicians who had worked on the program would lose the job. I heard in one of the programs with the people who are in that situation made a comment that he would like to go to Afghanistan. He said that his expertise is in the area of defense and combat, there is a need for his skill and experience in the area. I thought the willingness to go to any place where you can find the job and where your expertise is appreciated is quite remarkable. It is the era of talent and skills mobility and we can explore opportunities anywhere in the world to match our skills and expertise.
In fact, I have been discussing the possibility of starting business to recruit and match those Japanese in 50s, 60s? with extensive experience of production engineering etc. to the companies/jobs in many emerging economies. Their experience may not be needed in Japan, but they will be of value in the emerging economies, in particular, in the form of training the young workers and engineers. I am looking for some young entrepreneurs in the emerging economies (or anywhere for that matter) who would give a try.