recommended reading

Why Do We Go to Space, Anyway?

NASA

The space program was forged from paranoia and fear. Our first rockets were weapons. Our first moves into the world beyond our own were motivated by competition. But when we finally got ourselves into space -- when we first traveled around our lonely planet, and took our first bounding leaps on the moon -- many of those baser motivations transformed into something more transcendent and profound: Space came to mean something much more than ideology. Space ended up teaching us about life on Earth.

In the video above, part of PBS's "It's Okay to Be Smart" series, the scientist Joe Hanson explains the human value of space travel. "From up there," he says, giving words to the tranquil image of the Blue Marble, "borders and war and violence disappear." And the new kind of vision space affords us, Hanson notes -- its ability to unify the planet via distance from it -- "changed people on Earth. They shared the experience of the moon on their television screens. They decided going to space didn't have to be about fear; it could be about something else."

That "something else"? Inspiration. Achievement. Faith in progress. It's an open question, at the moment, where space travel will lead us, and where we will lead it: Mars? The moon, again? Some space far beyond the reaches of our sun? We don't yet know. What we can be sure of, however, is what Hanson reminds us of: The rockets we send into space will be guided by human dreams.

See this story at TheAtlantic.com.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.