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Why America Needs to Explore Space

08/09/2007

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.(Aug. 9, 2007) --

Why America Needs to Explore Space

By Neil deGrasse Tyson
Published:August 5, 2007, Parade Magazine


While China has announced an initiative to land humans on the moon by 2020, experts say that the limited funding of NASA will make it difficult for the U.S. to  return to the moon by then. We asked the nationally renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson what this might mean for our nation.

For millennia, people have looked up to the night sky and wondered about our place in the universe.  But not until the 17th century was any serious thought given to the prospect of traveling there. One English science buff, John Wilkins, speculated in 1638 that the moon would be habitable one day and imagined “a flying chariot in which a man may sit.”

Three hundred thirty-one years later, humans did indeed land on the moon, aboard a chariot called Apollo 11, as part of an ambitious investment in science and technology conducted by a relatively young country called the United States of America. That enterprise drove a half-century of unprecedented wealth and prosperity that today we take for granted. Now, as our interest in science wanes, America is poised to fall behind the rest of the industrialized world in every measure of technological proficiency.

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