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NASA: A postcard into the future!

October 9, 2018

The venue was Charles Simonyi Space Gallery at Boeing’s Museum of Flight. The occasion was NASA Chief Historian Bill Barry’s talk about NASA’s impact over the last 60 years, where we’ll be going in the decades ahead, and the six things one probably doesn’t know about the NASA history. Some fascinating questions followed from an audience whose age ranged anything from six months to ninety years.

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From metallurgy to life science, earth science, telecommunication, photography, climatology, nutrition – the list of how space research has forever changed the way we live is seemingly incredible. On the competitive side the insights into the space race between the USA and the erstwhile USSR is a fascinating study. How Khrushchev brushed aside JFK’s overtures to partner in jointly putting man on the moon and ultimately how the US finally got the leadership; Lyndon B Johnson’s sustained support to the moon mission post JFK; the age of private sector explorations; the ongoing collaborations at the International Space Station; space colonies; challenges in travelling to the Mars. It was all too riveting.

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The traveller into the future…

As Bill narrated how our world has changed dramatically since NASA opened for business on October 1, 1958 and the vision beyond the Moon and Mars – there was another drama unfolding next to where I was seated. Little Russell was merrily learning to walk the terra firma. Blissfully immersed in his pursuit. Falling, getting up, colliding and navigating his way through wherever there was space to be found. He was steadily and determinedly getting ways of the spaceship Earth right!

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‘Would you like to travel to the moon and mars’? I asked and he cackled as if answering in affirmative. ‘He might’ said the indulgent mother. ‘He is afraid of nothing’ is certainly a great starting point and an amazing next 60 years of assured action for NASA! Thereby opening fresh frontiers for mankind’s progress and readying to overcome new risks…

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