As an only child I had to create my own vision and interests. When young I read science fiction extensively. That shaped my ideas about what the future might be, as well as just being downright exciting and entertaining. I extended my interests into the fields of science and mathematics. Ultimately this lead to my doing very well in high school and graduating with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, a birthing ground for many astronauts. My entire working career was in the aerospace industry following the passions that began with those science fiction stories. If this nation does not maintain both a robust interplanetary science program and an active exploratory manned program, what will inspire our youth to follow in our footsteps in science, engineering and math? How will the visionaries of the future be enabled to pursue the excitement of space? I am very concerned.
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