“With an eye to the future, they ask about the rocket science formula, the transportation ticket to the final frontier.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
In the book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, Neil deGrasse Tyson scrutinizes the inadequate enthusiasm of people in the field of space exploration and explains why it should be changed. Tyson enlightens the readers about the past, present and future space expeditions and reminds people the reasons why NASA and its explorations are more significant now than ever. Tyson unveils the truth that examining the space frontier may enhance people’s daily lives, from education to national security. According to Tyson, for America to remain the number one leader of the world, it must regain its avidity to discover what lies beyond the planet it belongs to. He mentions that if America wants to stay as the “global leader”, it has to do more researches and technological advancements that will help discover what lies beyond earth. Tyson also addresses the people’s loss of interest in the present space explorations and acknowledges the fact that if they do not move forward and take risks, there is no future to be seen. He states that if humans one day become extinct from a catastrophic collision, it is not because they lacked the brainpower to protect themselves but because they lacked foresight and determination (54). Although expansion of utilities for further space expeditions may cost a lot of money, NASA should be funded because their discoveries will help not only the American public, but also the whole world’s inhabitants and their future. The world is not just a place to live in; it is a place to be traversed and nurtured. It is also a boundary that contains something more beyond it: the universe containing the Earth where humans live in. To invest in further science examinations, space expeditions and ultimate manned space explorations is one thing the people of the world should pay attention to. According to Neil deGrasse Tyson, a planet where there is advanced technology must be populated with intelligent life-forms who may occupy themselves discovering how the universe works and how to apply its laws for personal or public again (31). The fact that humans are intelligent could not be denied but for these intelligent beings to get together is another dilemma. To be able to keep the people who know what to do with space and its fields, the inevitable conversation about funding comes into place. Tyson states his desire for the funding of NASA explorations to be increased throughout his narration:
“One-half of one percent of each tax dollar is used to fund NASA’s projects. Half a penny. I’d prefer it were more: perhaps two cents on the dollar. Even during the Apollo era, peak NASA spending amounted to little more than four cents on the tax dollar. At that level, the Vision for Space Exploration would be sprinting ahead, funded at a level that could reclaim our preeminence on a frontier we pioneered. Instead, the vision is just ambling along, with barely enough support to stay in the game and insufficient support ever to lead it (25).
Tyson points out that at some point in time, the funding for NASA amounted to a little more than four cents on the tax dollar. Even if such increase in funding for NASA occurred during the Apollo Era peak, Tyson still hopes for the increase of funding even if it was just two cents on the tax dollar. Two dollars is not a lot; considering that “the entire half-century budget of NASA equals the current two-year budget of the US military” (Tyson 209).
The problem about funding all the space explorations for NASA and creating a vigorous fully manned expedition on space is the lack in people’s interest. Yes, NASA knows everything to do, what to look for and how to look for it in space. But without enough funding, they would not be able to attract people with abilities to do those extravagant researches. What type of thing…