In the 1950s, the soviets launched what would be the deciding factor for our efforts of space exploration. The factor was called Sputnik, and it was simply a radio transmitter inside a gutted missile. It successfully reached low-earth orbit, and signaled the changing tables between America and Russia. Almost immediately, our insecurity against our newly space-borne enemies fueled us to reach the moon and settle even higher ground.
The world’s most popular astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, believes this moment is still relevant to our nation’s behavior today. According to Tyson, we can’t continue to stagnate while the rest of the world advances. If we want to lead the world, we shouldn’t wait for a ‘sputnik’ moment where we are exposed as inferior to someone else. America should always be leading without dire circumstances.
This is why Tyson thinks Obama‘s plan for space exploration and development isn’t ambitious enough. Mars by 2020 or 2030? Those dates are out of Obama’s reach and under the control of whatever future president is elected next. We have to act now, without motivation, if we want to restore our global reputation as the world’s greatest superpower.
If we don’t, some day soon we’ll be surpassed.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson: Has the Future Arrived? (milkandcookies.com)
- Neil deGrasse Tyson: Sputnik Moment (milkandcookies.com)
- Neil deGrasse Tyson Unravels the Universe in 10 Questions (itsabeautifulearth.com)