At least that is what I used to hear on StarTrek as a kid. It all started in the early 1960's, and thanks to the mandate of the then current U.S. President John F. Kennedy- the NASA space program was born.
Often, Americans forget who was the first man in space. It wasn't Neil Armstrong, he was the first one to set foot on the Moon. He left behind a small souvenir on the moon, a tribute to the first man in space- Yuri Gargarin of the then USSR. The US Apollo Space Program was born, Astronauts trained and prepared to go into Space. John Glenn, chosen from a group of over 100 candidates in 1962 was the second human to orbit the earth.
If you think about it, humans have certainly taken some huge risks in the advancement of science. If it were not for the space progrmas- funded by your tax dollars, the LCD screen you are now looking at wouldn't exist. Only 10 years ago, there were few handheld computers- and none like the "Smartphone" you now use. Technology in electronics has evolved rapidly in this past century- all the way from electric street lights to entering space. We have come from vacuum tubes ("valves" to some in music circles who still use vacuum tube amplifiers) to the miniaturized transistor electronics in the form of integrated circuits which led to the current ASIC designs, to advanced composite materials- such as that carbon fiber bike you might have. So many consumer devices were invented thanks to the efforts of those who were involved in the Russian and US Space Programs.
A Cosmonaut and Jet Pilot, on April 12, 1961 riding in the Vostok Spacecraft he was the first person to orbit the earth in space.
In order to develop advanced technologies- private industry needs to partner with governments. If manufacturing is to return from countries with cheap labor back to the US, as is being proposed, the Aerospace and Military programs must have budgets. The funding that goes into these programs employs thousands of people with excellent paying technical jobs. These industries and their cooperation between high tech and governments worldwide need to carry on the visions that came before us to continue on their diverse missions into space exploration. Communications satellites are launched routinely, and the news coverage is scarce. Major news channels instead drone on and on about nonsense. Space travel enthusiasts need to speak up and continue to bring awareness of the importance of all aspects that "pushing the limits" of currrent technology. Those developments need to be diverse- and cover funding for programs that require real world applications of materials and process technologies, not simply designing smaller cmos camera's or brighter LCD displays for the latest smartphone.
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