Tears of joy flowed this morning when I watched the video of 82-year-old Wally Funk emerging from the Blue Origin rocket after launching into space and safely back today.

Sixty years ago, Mary Wallace (“Wally”) participated in the Women in Space program, in which women pilots were given the same fitness tests as the astronauts for the Mercury 13 program, to see if women could physically withstand the rigors of space travel. (She performed better than all of the male astronauts who did go into space at that time.)

Dr. Lovelace, founder of the Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research that did the testing, had a vision for space travel: he imagined space stations in which scientific research would be conducted while orbiting the earth. Drawing from contemporary social norms, he figured that women would be needed on these space stations, too — to be the secretaries, telephone operators, and nurses that would obviously be required in such settings. Hence, the scientific interest in discovering women’s capacities for space fitness.

Wally Funk was a 23 year-old flight instructor at the time, and excelled in the physical testing. Four times she reached out to NASA to declare her intention to be an astronaut. However, NASA required all astronauts to be graduates of military jet test piloting programs and have engineering degrees, which meant, back then in the early sixties, that no women could meet these requirements.

Wally went on to fly over 19,600 hours in her career as a flight instructor, training over 3,000 pilots in her career. She figured she’d never make it to space.

And yet, this morning, she traveled with Jeff Bezos on the Blue Origin rocket into space on their historic 11-minute flight, where they reached an altitude of 351,210 feet and spent about four minutes in zero-gravity before descending safely back to the west Texas desert.

While women have since been included in the space program in all roles, including Eileen Collins, the first female pilot of the space shuttle in 1995, I found myself deeply moved by Wally’s story and the fulfillment of her life-long dream today. (Watch the videos on Space.com and on the Blue Origin website.)

After being told “you’re a girl, you can’t go” sixty years ago, as a result of collective ignorance and oppressive patriarchal social norms, Wally soared beyond the stratosphere this morning, emerging upon landing with an exuberant smile and a radiant enthusiasm that defies her chronological age.

“‘I’ve waited a lifetime, honey,’ she said. ‘I’m going up for all of us.'”

It’s too soon to say what private space travel will mean for us, for our world, for the mindsets that inform our technological innovations and the ways we relate to our own planet. Humans being humans, we’ll likely continue to perpetuate ignorance and imbalances as unconscious (and gradually awakening) participants in the evolution of our species and of our ever-expanding universe.

But in this story, one suppressed desire has been liberated into fulfillment, and with it, the liberation of dreams for all of us.

May we all continue to hold the vision of the world we desire to see, and to trust that the seeds we plant today will culminate in the fulfillment of our dreams — in our own lifetimes and in the generations to come.

Just as kids today know that OF COURSE women can be astronauts, the children of our future will grow up knowing that… [fill in the blank]. What would you love future generations to experience as normal, that was out of whack in our lifetime? I’d love to hear.

To your stratospheric dreams!