Check out this “We Stopped Dreaming” supercut by Evan Schurr (aka Scrunchthethird). It mixes comments by Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) and beautiful images of NASA and space exploration. And it’s all set to Arrival of the Birds and Transformation by The Cinematic Orchestra. It’s a wonderful five minutes.
Dr. Tyson, if you are not familiar, is an astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium. He’s an enthusiastic advocate for NASA and manned space exploration, and author of the new book, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier. As you can see in his latest Senate testimony, Tyson believes NASA and manned space exploration is the key to reviving American optimism and innovation.
To Tyson, this isn’t about funding little, scientific vanity projects. Tyson believes manned space exploration (and increased funding for NASA) challenges us to develop new technology and new jobs (which can’t be outsourced). These will create spinoff technologies and jobs in turn. It also inspires children to study science, engineering, and mathematics; and they will also create new technologies and new jobs when they grow up. And we create a new image of America as a leader and Americans as heroes. Tyson is sounding the call to put America on the cutting edge. And it’s via NASA and space exploration that we can push the envelope and put ourselves on that bleeding edge.
I can’t help but get a little emotional when I hear Tyson talk about these topics. I get excited and optimistic. Then I get sad, when I start thinking about how his call will likely fall on deaf ears. People will ask why we should spend money on this, but just look at your cell phone. Thank the space program for its miniaturized electronic “guts”. Have you undergone LASIK? Thank the space program again. It’s not just Tang and freeze-dried ice cream folks. Let’s go for it. Let’s go back to the stars.