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. (more…)
Perhaps this addition is somewhat late to the party, but Tyson brings up a good point: It took a massive meteor collision in the Ural mountains to help us understand the cosmos’s potential for hostility. Like Tyson says, “We live in a cosmic shooting gallery.” (more…)
Back in 2008, Time Magazine interviewed Neil deGrasse Tyson with 10 questions. Some these included: How can we help our children learn? Who would you want to meet if you could go back into the past? What is the most astounding fact about the universe? With his usual astrophysicist swagger, he rattles off inspirational answers as if he didn’t even need to think about them.
At the 28th National Space Symposium, Neil deGrasse Tyson illustrated, eloquently as usual, the beauty and significance of a space culture. Starting from the 1950′s to present day, he explained that space development has been subtly but deeply influencing all STEM fields and human imaginations. According to Tyson, external perspectives have the potential to be the greatest learning force in human history, but first we to inspire the next generation of problem-solvers.
One of the most beautiful, and almost divine, realizations about existence is that the atoms of our bodies were birthed in the center of the cosmos’s violent and vast furnaces: stars. As part of his Symphony of Science project on YouTube, John Boswell songified this astounding fact about the universe. The music video features Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss, and even Richard Feynman! It is a wonderful compilation of awe-inspiring images and catchy music that all combine to instill one important lesson: We are star dust.
According to Tyson, we’ve done a pretty good job of creating the future as it was imagined in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 icon, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Although we’ve only built one meager space station obviously less extravagant than that in the film, we’ve used robots to venture to the other planets of our solar system and even out of our solar system completely. Our computers are also extremely powerful yet unimaginably small compared to the visions of people in the 60s. In essence: Yes, we are living in the future.
As the rest of the world becomes participants in the global science community, it is important to keep track of who is doing how much work. In another one of Tyson’s enlightening presentations, he shows a few maps that give you an idea of the productivity of America when it comes to science. Since 2,000, our scientific research has held pace with the rest of the world, but there’s a trend of decreasing progress in our country. The progress trend is by far more indicative than the actual research done. In alignment with the “American way,” I guess we’ll just have to work on it.
Dr. Tyson gives his “greatest sermon ever” in the form of story, empowerment, and influence through discussion of the scientific principles that make us and our universe tick. As astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson says: He didn’t chose the universe, the universe called upon him.
We stopped going to the moon, humans are shackled to the Earth’s low orbit, and our space programs have generally fizzled after the heated competition with the Soviets. NASA itself was founded on the fear of another superpower doing a better job than we, and Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the only people who can truly articulate the side effects of our cold war space efforts. As he address the National Space Society, he pieces together the journey of the final frontier from its shining beginning to its current lacking status. As he does so, he teaches us that the impact of space programs go far beyond the outshining of another country. When society as a whole witnesses fantasies, like traveling to the moon, become a reality, everyone is inspired to make tomorrow better than today.
In an interview with TIME Magazine, Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson said the most astounding fact about the universe is our cosmic relationship at the deepest level of existence. Our very atoms and their atomic sub-particles, even though smaller than the eye could ever hope to see, come directly from exploding stars spread across the universe. How empowering it is to understand that our heritage lies within the hearts of fusion reactors like our sun. Like Tyson described it, “It makes me feel… big.”