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We Stopped Dreaming: Tyson on the Importance of Space Exploration

by on March 21, 2012

This is a compilation of clips of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s comments on the importance of space exploration and funding NASA.

In 1961 President John F. Kennedy announced to Congress and the world that the U.S. would land on the moon by the end of the decade.  NASA and the space program had to become innovative in order to accomplish such a bold task, and this challenge created a culture of innovation which spread far beyond the world of NASA to every facet of human culture.  Man made it to the moon on July 20, 1969, but since the mid-1970s, NASA and the space program have taken a back seat to other human endeavors.

The video, from Dr. Tyson’s recent media tour and Senate testimony, supports the proposition that the NASA program can advance society by daring us to dream beyond the limits of today. In his testimony, quoting Antoine de Saint Exupéry (“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”), Dr. Tyson, who is calling for a doubling of NASA’s budget, recalls how we once longed for the endless immensity of space and cautions us against allowing the dream of space exploration to fade away.