If humanity wants to continue, it has to shoot for the stars. The future, if we have one, is indeed a Star Trek, my friends. But it is also people like Leonard Nimoy -- artists, optimists, dreamers and thinkers. The people who will one day really take us to the stars.
Now that a week has passed since the "we regret to inform you" email from Mars One signaled my elimination from the planned mission to send the first humans to the red planet, it's time to unpack.
While there are a lot of hurdles associated with colonizing Mars, the ability to have a cold beer might just make the goal a little more appealing.
Imagine looking up and seeing a ring of little pearls in the sky that are human habitats, or knowing there are trees growing on the Moon and the first human babies are being born on Mars who will call it their Home.
Let me just start off by saying that I am decidedly NOT a science-fiction fan. Klingons and Trekkies and books and films involving planets, wormhole...
Engaging in new places, people, perspectives and ideas requires the same positivity, openness and resourcefulness. And modern adventure is this realm of discovery, regardless of how massive or minute said discoveries may be.
I'm trapped in a box, living two distinct futures. In one I live on Mars, with the inherent complexities, perils and lack of creature comforts that the first colonists will encounter there. In the other I'm spending the remainder of my days here on Earth, sipping tea in a comfy chair that swivels, rocks and reclines, with two out of three cats within easy reach most of the time.
It might be life, or it might not be. But the good news is that we now have evidence of some sort of activity under the surface of Mars -- phenomena subject to solid, repeatable measurement.
NASA's Curiosity rover detected a burp of methane on Mars lasting for several months--possibly stemming from a geologic process called serpentinization, or possibly the signature of microscopic Martian life.
In the midst of a series of technical glitches that delayed the planned launch of the Orion capsule by a Delta IV rocket on Thursday, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is reported to have told NBC News, "We're now on the way to Mars, and that's what's most important." Uh, no.
While the first launch of Orion (a program which has already been around for a decade) is an important step, NASA is nowhere close to having its own manned space system.
After driving through an hour of cornfields, you passed the suburbs with fancy department stores, followed by the extreme poverty of East St. Louis, and then the city itself. A gauntlet of polar opposites before you even arrived.
The recent accidents at Virgin Galactic and Orbital Sciences have stimulated an important discussion not only for space exploration, but also for our national economic future: What level of risk are we willing to accept in order to advance technology and exploration?
Christopher Nolan's first film since the massive success of his Dark Knight Trilogy is a big movie about the future with with big ambitions, big themes, big images, and big questions about human nature, time, and president-day attitudes and policies. Or lack of same.
Obama is far too smart a man to remain in denial. And far too smart not to know, for this Veterans Day, the consequences of his decisions with regard to U.S. military and covert interventions around the world.