Audacious Visions by Neil DeGrasse Tyson


When I think of our golden era of space exploration, that was a decade that was perhaps almost turbulent in a century; we all felt threatened from the Cold War. There was a hot war going on losing one hundred service men a week, the civil rights movement assassinations and like. The landscape was poisoned that decade yet, one of the jewels in the American crown was our exploration of space.

Audacious visions have the power to alter mind states. To change assumptions about what is possible and when a nation allows itself to dream big these dreams prevail in the citizens’ ambitions.

During the Apollo era you didn’t need government programs trying to convince people that doing science and engineering was good for the country, it was self-evident. Fully funded missions to Mars and anywhere beyond low-Earth orbit would reboot America’s capacity to innovate as no other force in society can.

We’ve got symptoms in society today. We’re going broke, we’re mired in debt, we don’t have as many scientists as we need and jobs are going overseas. I assert that these are not isolated problems, that they’re the collective consequence of the absence of ambition that consumes you when you stop having dreams.

Epic space adventures plant seeds of economic growth because doing what has never been done before is intellectually seductive whether or not we deem it practical. And when you conduct those exercises, innovation follows just as day follows night. And when you innovate you lead the world, you keep your jobs and concerns over tariffs and trade regulations evaporate. The call for this adventure would echo loudly across society and down the educational pipeline.

The spending portfolio of the United States currently allocates fifty times as much money to social programs and education than it does NASA. The half a penny budget that NASA receives, if  you double it, I assert that we can transform the country from a solemn, dispirited nation, weary of economic struggle, to one where it has reclaimed its twentieth century birth right to dream of tomorrow.

How much would you pay to launch our economy?

How much would you pay for the universe?


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