A call to action for NASA, the United States Government and the rest of the world
Recently, I was watching an older episode of Top Gear UK, the episode where James May visited NASA and took the latest iteration of the moon buggy out for a spin (first half featured below). Watching this segment, you can clearly see that here is a mature adult who made a career out of driving million dollar super cars, driving an incredibly awkward vehicle at a top speed of 10 miles an hour who has suddenly become a kid again with a dream that he too could someday be an astronaut again. This dream is nothing more than the sheer manifestation of immense inspiration obtained from pure technical and scientific achievement; only, to be met with the utter disappointment when he realizes that this vehicle will never actually be able to make it to the moon because the United States Government suspended funding for any future moon missions.
First Half of the Top Gear UK Moon Buggy Segment.
In an attempt to keep this very dream alive, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson has been trying very hard to breathe life back into the spirit of discovery and how it will help to fix the many economic issues society currently faces today but also, give the younger generations something to strive towards and dream about once again. Dr. Tyson’s analysis of history shows that there is a direct correlation between scientific achievement, economic stimulation and revolutionary entrepreneurship through public missions like the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. These missions not only give us insight into how our species came to be so we can help to predict our fate and future and ensure our continued existence on earth but, they also pave way for generations of inspiration and technical/scientific advancement to come.
Video of “Neil deGrasse Tyson – We Stopped Dreaming”
Where am I going with this? Scientific discovery is not just a United States mission. It is a mission that any person can feel empowered and make a difference. James May of Top Gear in Britain shouldn’t feel let down because of the lack of priority by the US Government. A child should not stop dreaming because he/she will not be able to experience the joy and excitement of watching another moon landing like my parents did about 40 years ago.
We live in a bureaucratic society. By the very definition of bureaucracy (according to Merriam-Webster), is “a body of nonelective government officials.” After watching a TED Talk from Jennifer Pahlka, I realized that we are going about this all wrong. We, as citizens of the world, have an opportunity and an obligation to keep those dreams alive. We shouldn’t be waiting for the government to properly prioritize NASA’s funding. If we waited, it would probably never happen. Let’s do what the government is failing to do.
Jennifer Pahlka: Coding a better government
While Dr. Tyson’s awareness campaign have been very enlightening, a call to action is required if we really want to move forward. I propose, we breathe life back into our dreams, stop waiting for the government, and let’s start awareness conferences and non-profit organizations’ where we can get the entire world to be able to donate and jumpstart another lunar mission and put NASA back in its rightful place of enabling us to dream again, and fulfilling our mission to send our society into the next unknown.