Neil deGrasse Tyson: Why Space Matters [Watch]

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Alcalde March|April cover star Neil deGrasse Tyson, MA ’83, may be one of the best orators alive today. He’s at it again with a compelling new video plea for the Penny4NASA drive, which advocates doubling NASA’s funding from .5 percent of the U.S. national budget to 1 percent.

Tyson argues passionately that we can’t understand our planet unless we leave it. He connects the famous 1968 Earthrise photo, taken during the Apollo 8 mission, to a whole host of milestones, from the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency to the invention of the catalytic converter. The impact of a photo that allowed us to see Earth as a unified whole cannot be overstated, he says.

“We’re still in Vietnam—there’s still campus unrest,” he says in the video, referring to the years after the photo’s release. “Yet we found the time to start thinking about Earth.”

“We need to look at NASA not as a handout, but as an investment,” Tyson says. “As goes the health of space-faring ambitions … so goes the future of America.”

Featured photo via Flickr Creative Commons (Marion Doss).


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