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We Stopped Dreaming: Tyson on the Importance of Space Exploration

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.

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  1. Mistletoe says:

    I’ll never understand why people get up in arms over Pluto being relabeled a dwarf planet. It’s a label. It means absolutely nothing to people outside the scientific community. So what is it? Are you THAT resistant to change?

    You act as though he knocked it out of our solar system. Get over it.

  2. steve white says:

    tyson doesn’t with all his talk doesn’t manage to out argue the point that was war that drove it.

  3. bastien says:

    So the guy who decided out of completely arbitrary reasons, and before exploring it, that Pluto wasn’t a planet…is telling people that we’ve stopped caring about space exploration?

    Well, why should we care when we’ve already got all the answers and can just make up new rules when we get bored?

    Yeah, we’ve stopped dreaming. Tell that to Dr. Alan Stern of New Horizons.

  4. Sir Snarksalot says:

    “We stopped dreaming”

    Right, we woke up.

  5. Ben Z says:

    I would pay my taxes times 1.01 to fund NASA. That’s not even a full percent, that’s 1 percent of the tax rate, which is between 25% and 33% (depending on income level), so yes I would pay an extra 0.25% to 0.33% in taxes to fund NASA and start colonizing the solar system.

  6. Tim says:

    Fantastic video thanks for the share. As cheesy as it may sound anytime I see a video about the lack of support science and technology have in America it makes me quite emotional. I think Dr. Tyson’s words on playing for the quarterly report and not the future are far too true to be ignored.

  7. Chris says:

    The video links to a petition site to raise support for increasing NASA’s budget.

  8. John says:

    Damn right Dr. Tyson!

    I’m with you, space exploration should be exciting should capture kids minds and make them see that science can be more than just facts and figures. Hell its in our own self-interest to get into space, the resources out there alone are worth taking. How can anyone look at a magnificent night sky and not be inspired to go up there.