Amazing as it may seem, there are still those among us who see the space program as a “waste of money.” These people do not understand that many of our modern conveniences, things we all use every day are the direct result of the space program, sadly too many of them are members of our government.
In recent years NASA has become a popular target in the effort to reduce government spending and Bill Nye has decided that it is time for someone to stand up and speak out in behalf of our space program. To that end he has released an open letter to the President outlining the benefits of planetary research.
He opens by saying, “Mr. President, the space program, NASA, is the best brand that the United States has. Everywhere in the world people respect and admire what NASA does.”
Nye talks of how the world held its breath as a crane held aloft by rockets lowered an exploration vehicle to the surface of Mars successfully even though many had said that it couldn’t be done. Still NASA succeeded in doing the “impossible” and that vehicle not only landed successfully but has increased greatly our knowledge of that planet and the evolution of our entire solar system.
Our computer technology would not be as advanced as it is today were it not for the space program, the need for better, smaller and lighter computers in space exploration is what has driven the field since the late 60s to give us today’s smart phone which is a computer much smaller and much more powerful than the ones which accompanied the Apollo astronauts to the Moon.
As the “Science Guy” so aptly notes, “with a space program everyone in our society comes to believe and expect that any problem we face can be solved.” He goes on to point out that it will lead to “amazing new innovations, new businesses and new discoveries in the future.”
We can only hope that the powers that be in Washington will open their eyes and ears and listen to what Nye has to say, today, just as much as it was when Kennedy proposed putting a man on the Moon before the end of the decade back in the 60s, space exploration is the road to a better and brighter future.
Watch Nye’s entire exhortation below.