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Andrew Chaikin

Video: We Must Explore

Posted by Andrew Chaikin

04-05-2012 11:36 CDT

Topics: Space Policy, podcasts and videos, personal stories

Planetary exploration is in trouble. Massive budget cuts threaten to starve NASA’s planetary program for years to come. Unless these cuts are reversed, there will be none of the planned Flagship missions like the Mars sample return and the Jupiter Europa orbiter. And even the pace of smaller missions in the Discovery and New Frontiers class will be greatly slowed, choking the pipeline that sustains education and research in planetary science. Many high-tech jobs will be lost as a result. Young space scientists and engineers will have their futures stolen. And one of the brightest lights drawing young people to study science, math and engineering will be dimmed.

We can’t let this happen. We must fight back. I’m fighting back with passion—passion for the incredible adventure that began half a century ago and has given us countless wonders and amazing discoveries. The exploration of the solar system is one of the things that make me glad to be alive, and I refuse to let it go. I’ve made this video as a call to action, and I invite you to share it with your family and friends.

If you are as angered and frightened by this situation as I am, I ask you to make your voice heard. Tell Congress exploration is not a luxury, that it’s one of the most important and productive things we do for our economy, our global competitiveness, and our young people.

Please share this video. And tell Washington, “We Must Explore.”

See other posts from May 2012


Or read more blog entries about: Space Policy, podcasts and videos, personal stories


Dave: 05/07/2012 11:27 CDT

This is all great and exciting and beautiful, I agree. However, the video does not justify why exploration is necessary. In this age of budget deficits and worldwide economic downturn, why should the average American care about the moons of Saturn or the craters of Mercury? Why would a congressman, with limited resources to allocate and an election always just around the corner, choose Mars over Medicaid? I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but I didn't find the video convincing. The article spelled out the justification (jobs, eduction) much better IMHO. Just my two cents.

Arlene: 05/08/2012 05:20 CDT

I have to agree with Dave; this is a beautiful video. Andrew, I feel your pain but, in this economy, we space enthusiasts might as well be on another planet. I wish you could figure out a way to relay the importance of science; the products and technologies that have come directly from space exploration. People need a reason to support us. Maybe Dr. Nye needs to do a national school tour or something. Someone has to come up with a plan to make science popular again. I wrote to my congressman and got the typical canned response (still waiting on the other two, but from past experience, do not hold out much hope).

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