I don't know much about space. The little I know comes from shows like Star Trek and Star Wars. Not the greatest source of knowledge. But I do remember this little movie that my brother loved watching when we were younger called Space Camp. If you're interested in what the movie is, ask him because I just really want to focus on something that I know about space travel from this movie.
There is something called a window. If I remember correctly (if not, I'm sure I'll be told in the comments to this post) a window is the time and place where a space ship can reenter the earth's atmosphere safely. The "window" is open only for a specific amount of time, and if the ship doesn't reenter during that time, it has to wait until the next window opens.
I would like to compare this to the proverbial window of opportunity (or, the WO). The WO opens at a specified time, at a specified place, and is only open for a specified amount of time. You miss this window and you're going to have to wait for the next one to open up. Now, I'm pretty sure that I have missed a few WOs in my life (Why, oh why couldn't I just SAY something?), but I have also experienced many people missing their WO with me. What I just can't understand is why we let "the fear of striking out keep us from playing the game"? (Thank you A Cinderella Story.) I mean, the only thing keeping our ships from coming safely home is that we're scared. We've heard too many stories about ships blowing up, or we have experienced something like that ourselves in the simulators, so when the window finally opens up we hesitate, and end up losing our chance. Sometimes this might be for the best but we never know because we never took the chance!! Sure, maybe we will end up falling to pieces, but we could also end up just bobbing lazily in the ocean, happy to be home.
I know that I have let fear keep me from going through the WO. And we probably shouldn't take every WO that comes our way, but if there is a WO that could lead us to something that we think that we really want-- a WO that is taking us safely home-- we should take it. It could be bad, or it could be good, but we'll never know unless we make our way to earth. I wouldn't want to be left in space, wondering if that last window was my window.