Monday, August 6, 2012

Curiosity Is On Mars


Curiosity Is On Mars

You may wonder what NASA’s Curiosity Rover landing on Mars is doing on a Disney blog. One word, INSPIRATION.

Walt Disney always believed in inspiring people to reach for the best they could be and do. He made many wonderful educational shorts about space and science. Man In Space, Man and the Moon, Mars And Beyond and even some from the 1940s Eyes in Outer Space and Our Friend the Atom that come to mind quickly. Walt made these edutainment shorts to encourage young people to continue education in sciences and math. I remember watching these shorts in elementary school when I was a child. Over the years there have been rides in the parks about Space Flight. There was Rocket to the Moon, Flight to the Moon and later Mission to Mars in Disneyland from opening to 1991. There is Mission to Mars at EPCOT in WDW.

Walt knew that people need dreams to spur them into action. Walt wanted to be part keeping America in the four front of the development of new technology. He knew for America to stay strong and be the best we needed dreams. He wanted to be part of keeping the dreams alive.

In the last twenty years or so NASA has been dismantled, taken apart and all but destroyed. It is sad to see the state of America’s Space Program today compared to what it was in the 1960’s. In the 60’s, when I was a child people were glued to their TV’s watching the first men reaching and landing on the moon! Every lunch was closely watched and our breath was on collective hold. As the Shuttle program came to an end it was largely ignored and was just a short blurb on the evening news.

In the 1950’s-1970’s many new technologies came to be because of the Space Program and the tax dollars placed into the program. That development continued on into the 1980’s and waned in the late 1980’s and died in the 90’s. In the last twenty years or so it seems to me that we have “rested on our laurels” and just improved what had already been developed earlier. Not much in the way of new technology has came out to the general public. It was a few rare people that could come up with something new. I bet if you talked to them they had been encouraged and spurred on by what they saw during the Space Race.

Many new things such as the Microwave, Microwaveable foods, Advances in Food safety and storage, Medical advances in both devices and medicine came from the Space Race. Many things we take for granted today came from the efforts of the men and women that worked to put men in space and onto the moon.

I believe we need this encouragement. Without dreams why reach further than you need to? Why go to college if there are no jobs in the science community or other places? Why learn about space and the sciences required to go there if you are not going there? What do our children have to reach for today? I’m afraid to say not much.

Once again I applauded NASA for getting Curiosity to Mars. May it stir up curiosity up in our nation’s youth and the youth of the world. May this stirring moment in time encourage many new dreamers.

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