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An American Dream to reach higher

August 19, 2014

Man-Walks-on-MoonI realize we have plenty of problems right here on our spinning rock, and maybe that’s why we don’t have a space program like we used to, but that’s wrong, and here’s why.

“We’ve stopped dreaming.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist makes that the key of his passionate plea for funding NASA for more ambitious space exploration in the video below, but he nailed it for me with one statement:

“The 2008 bank bailout of $750 billion was greater than all the money NASA had received in its half-century history.”

Fifty years? For its budget, NASA put men on the moon, rovers on Venus and Mars, Voyagers out of our solar system, the Hubble telescope in orbit, plus invented a bunch of cool stuff. Yeah, they could run a project. The bank bailout? I’m sure it produced some dreams, too.

As Mr. deGrasse Tyson points out, pretty much the whole nation got behind President Kennedy’s challenge to the country when he declared to Congress, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

I got behind it. I had dreams of the moon, and the stars, and aliens. That dreaming impacted who I am today, and who I want to be, but what do my grandchildren have to dream of today? Getting an iPhone? We need a more worthy dream for our younger generations. We need them excited about the STEM subjects that make space exploration and medical advances and water purification and fuel cells and many other beneficial technologies possible. We need to broaden their minds and engage their imaginations. We need them to dream that there’s more “out there” for them than the emptiness of today’s MySpace.

We can’t afford it? As Mr. deGrasse Tyson clearly states. we can’t afford not to.

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