President Pitzer, Mr. Vice President, Governor, Congressman Thomas, Senator Wiley, and Congressman Miller, Mr. Webb, Mr. Bell, scientists, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen:
I appreciate your president having made me an honorary visiting professor, and I will assure you that my first lecture will be very brief.
I am delighted to be here, and I’m particularly delighted to be here on this occasion.
We meet at a college noted for knowledge, in a city noted for progress, in a State noted for strength, and we stand in need of all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.
Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists that the world has ever known are alive and working today, despite the fact that this Nation¹s own scientific manpower is doubling every 12 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population as a whole, despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished still far outstrip our collective comprehension.
No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man¹s recorded history in a time span of but a half-century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them. Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than two years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than two months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power.
Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America’s new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.
This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward.
So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But this city of Houston, this State of Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward–and so will space.
William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.
If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.
Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it–we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.
Yet the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be first. In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men, and to become the world’s leading space-faring nation.
We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say the we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.
In the last 24 hours we have seen facilities now being created for the greatest and most complex exploration in man’s history. We have felt the ground shake and the air shattered by the testing of a Saturn C-1 booster rocket, many times as powerful as the Atlas which launched John Glenn, generating power equivalent to 10,000 automobiles with their accelerators on the floor. We have seen the site where the F-1 rocket engines, each one as powerful as all eight engines of the Saturn combined, will be clustered together to make the advanced Saturn missile, assembled in a new building to be built at Cape Canaveral as tall as a 48 story structure, as wide as a city block, and as long as two lengths of this field.
Within these last 19 months at least 45 satellites have circled the earth. Some 40 of them were “made in the United States of America” and they were far more sophisticated and supplied far more knowledge to the people of the world than those of the Soviet Union.
The Mariner spacecraft now on its way to Venus is the most intricate instrument in the history of space science. The accuracy of that shot is comparable to firing a missile from Cape Canaveral and dropping it in this stadium between the the 40-yard lines.
Transit satellites are helping our ships at sea to steer a safer course. Tiros satellites have given us unprecedented warnings of hurricanes and storms, and will do the same for forest fires and icebergs.
We have had our failures, but so have others, even if they do not admit them. And they may be less public.
To be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight. But we do not intend to stay behind, and in this decade, we shall make up and move ahead.
The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observation, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, the home as well as the school. Technical institutions, such as Rice, will reap the harvest of these gains.
And finally, the space effort itself, while still in its infancy, has already created a great number of new companies, and tens of thousands of new jobs. Space and related industries are generating new demands in investment and skilled personnel, and this city and this State, and this region, will share greatly in this growth. What was once the furthest outpost on the old frontier of the West will be the furthest outpost on the new frontier of science and space. Houston, your City of Houston, with its Manned Spacecraft Center, will become the heart of a large scientific and engineering community. During the next 5 years the National Aeronautics and Space Administration expects to double the number of scientists and engineers in this area, to increase its outlays for salaries and expenses to $60 million a year; to invest some $200 million in plant and laboratory facilities; and to direct or contract for new space efforts over $1 billion from this Center in this City.
To be sure, all this costs us all a good deal of money. This year¹s space budget is three times what it was in January 1961, and it is greater than the space budget of the previous eight years combined. That budget now stands at $5,400 million a year–a staggering sum, though somewhat less than we pay for cigarettes and cigars every year. Space expenditures will soon rise some more, from 40 cents per person per week to more than 50 cents a week for every man, woman and child in the United Stated, for we have given this program a high national priority–even though I realize that this is in some measure an act of faith and vision, for we do not now know what benefits await us.
But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun–almost as hot as it is here today–and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out–then we must be bold.
I’m the one who is doing all the work, so we just want you to stay cool for a minute. [laughter]
However, I think we’re going to do it, and I think that we must pay what needs to be paid. I don’t think we ought to waste any money, but I think we ought to do the job. And this will be done in the decade of the sixties. It may be done while some of you are still here at school at this college and university. It will be done during the term of office of some of the people who sit here on this platform. But it will be done. And it will be done before the end of this decade.
I am delighted that this university is playing a part in putting a man on the moon as part of a great national effort of the United States of America.
Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, “Because it is there.”
Well, space is there, and we’re going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God’s blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.
As a nerd, I give a resounding yes. The name is awesome and sounds like it comes from a sci-fi movie. However, I think I can read Trump’s mind. I think his idea is that thousands of years from now, contact will be made between humans and aliens. If a U.S. Space Force is started, that will likely be the organization that contacts the aliens. Ergo, Trump wants to reserve a spot in the history books as the creator of the Space Force that eventually made contact with aliens.
My two cents on what he is up to anyway. Either that, or he’ll push for a Mars expedition with the hope of building a structure that might get the name “Trump” slapped on it, which you might laugh at, but JFK’s support for the space program led to the creation of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
I don’t know. Love or hate Trump, but I like this idea. Sign me up for the Space Force.
Come to think of it, our POTUS does like pussy. (What’s not to like?) Maybe he is hoping the Space Force might be able to find and bring back some green space bitches with multiple pussies to grab. Ugh, nice in theory but in reality, way too much work to please all that pussy.
I wouldn’t mind finding some space bitches with three titties though. That’s just three times the fun.
In all seriousness, life surely exists in the vast reaches of space. It would be amazing to make contact, though whether or not that contact would yield good or bad results for humanity remains to be seen. Due to our curious natures, we’ll always keep trying to make that contact, even though the safe bet is to stick to our own corner of the galaxy, so we might as well keep on trying and see what happens. Hopefully, whatever happens is a good thing.
Alien Jones said it was primitive in comparison to his spaceship, but I was still impressed:
By: Dr. Hugo von Science, Esteemed Professor of Science at the Advanced Science Institute of Science University
Guten Tag, Herr 3.5 readers! Dr. Hugo von Science here, mein liebchen, back after a long hiatus for as you recall, there was a teensy, weensy issue where I was accused of unleashing a zombie apocalypse on East Randomtown. Boy oh boy, you unleash one little zombie horde and the legal system never lets you here the end of it.
Ahh, but wouldn’t you know, mein crooked lawyer worked some magic, reminded zie government that they do not want to publicly acknowledge that zombies exist and thus to punish yours truly would be an admission of zombie existence and voila, my tenure at Science University has been restored!
Alas, BQB didn’t want me to return but that’s OK. I just pirated the signal of his blog, changed a few ones undt zeroes and here I am, guest blogging against your favorite nerd’s will anyway.
Herr 3.5 readers, have you seen zie footage of the Heavy Falcon rocket launch? If you missed it because you were too busy picking your nose boogers, here’s the CNBC coverage of the launch:
Herr 3.5 readers, do you know this rocket is a) the most powerful rocket ever built b) the first of its kind to be launched by a commercial enterprise und c) is capable of reaching Mars?
By the way, if you ask Elon, he will totally deny this and I’m sure BQB’s lawyer will want me to say this isn’t true but between you and me, I was brought in to be an advisor on this project in the early stages.
Yes, Elon was all like, “this will be the biggest rocket ever!”
And I was all like, “Yes, that’s very nice but it must be bigger if we are going to blow up the sun.”
Then everyone was all like, “Why would we blow up the sun?” and I was like, “So we can buy a bunch of flashlights in advance and then make a killing when we sell them to the blacked out masses at insane prices, duh!”
Needless to say, Elon and the Space X folk weren’t down for blowing up the sun, nor were they into mein other ideas, namely – launching my patent pending laser death ray satellite, which could be used to a) hold the world for ransom with a threat to burn the entire planet lest all the world’s gold reserves be transferred to me and b) also used to heat the coffee of a random person from a zillion miles away with tremendous precision.
Can you believe they weren’t down for holding the earth ransom either? They were all like, “Science and discovery and exploration and benefitting mankind.” Blah, blah blah. What a bunch of wet blankets.
Anyway, I kept bringing up more ideas. We should put all my enemies on the rocket and then exile them to deep space. We should send the rocket to every planet and broadcast a message asking for all planets to send us their hottest, greenest, finest, three tittied space babes. All of these plans und more were nixed.
Finally, Elon showed me the door and I informed him the feeling was more than mutual. I am, after all, a scientist with standards and if a rocket is not going to be used to hold the earth for ransom or at the very least to blow up a random planet and start an intergalactic war, then I want no part of it and I shall say good day.
Ultimately, I am glad Space X launched their rocket and I wish them well in their various science experiments.
Meanwhile, look for mein rocket launch next year as you’ll see it on the news as well as all other TV channels as I will pre-empt all stations with my ransom demands.
Did I say, “ransom demands?” I meant, “science lessons.” I have no idea how this terrible rumor that I’m a mad scientist got started. I’ll have all 3.5 of you know that I am a very happy scientist – very happy indeed.
Zzzz. Zzzz. Zzzz.
That’s my impression of myself sleeping through this boring poopfest.
Sigh, let’s get it over with. BQB here with a review of Alien: Covenant.
Does Ridley Scott even make movies for the audience anymore? Sometimes I think they might just be for his own philosophical, navel gazing purposes.
In the original Alien (1979) we saw Sigourney Weaver play space traveler Ripley, taking out aliens with a flamethrower. Flash forward 38 years and we’ve got friggin melancholy androids waxing poetic about their feelings and beside themselves with ennui.
The first few Alien films were great because they were essentially horror films set in space. In fact, I caught a clip of an interview recently where Scott said something to the effect that the first film was essentially setting up a haunted house in the form of a spaceship, turning a monster lose in the form of an alien and seeing who makes it out alive.
Alas, now we get films that you practically have to be a philosophy major to understand.
Ironically, 2012’s Prometheus was panned by the critics, arguing it was heavy on the thinking and light on the action. Personally, I liked it and the questions it asked about the universe, creation, the meaning of life, our place and purpose and so on.
However, I had hoped this film would be a return to form (i.e. give us someone else to shoot a flame thrower at those damn aliens) but sadly, no. More navel gazing.
In this go around, a ship named the Covenant carries a crew full of colonists in search of a new home world. They land on what they hope will be their new home but…blah blah blah, they become lunch instead.
Sure, the xenomorphs are given free reign to snack on the humans. However, most of the human vs. alien scenes are predictable if you’ve ever seen any of the previous films.
Bottomline: if you see a dude coughing, you know an alien’s going to pop out of his chest and start attacking everyone. If you see a dude look into a dark hole with a dumb look on his face, you know that face is about to get sucked on by a face sucker.
Those aren’t spoilers. Those are tried and true Alien franchise rules that have been in effect since the Carter administration.
Michael Fassbender brings a certain level of coolness by playing dueling androids David and Walter, a pair of synthetics who have opposing viewpoints about…well, just go watch it.
For the most part, it’s an ensemble cast, mostly filled with newcomers and no-names. Funnyman Danny McBride puts on his serious face as the crew’s pilot, but I keep expecting him to break out into his Kenny Powers persona and whip out his junk, drink a beer and burp or do something else hysterically outrageous. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t, so we can only assume that Danny is trying to expand on his range as a thespian. He does well, though I hope this doesn’t mean an end is coming to his Kenny Powers-ian style characters in the future.
Billy Crudup plays Captain Oram, a by the book dweeb disliked by his crew. We’re lead to think that angle might go somewhere but it doesn’t and ultimately, it’s such a large cast filled with either unrecognizable (never saw them in anything) or vaguely recognizable (I know I’ve seen that face in another film but I have no idea who they are) that none of the characters really get enough screen time to grow, develop, or even become moderately interesting.
If there is a new age Ripley in the movie, it’s Katherine Waterston’s Daniels, a crew member who, umm, uhh…yeah we don’t get to learn much because again, she’s one of a much too large cast. But she has some great scenes where she kicks ass and saves a day and so on.
I really think Scott has to go to his room and think about what he has done and what the future of this franchise should be. Should he return to its “haunted house in space” origins? Tempting but difficult, seeing as how, as stated above, the rules about how these aliens attack have been well known since 1979 so we can spot them coming from a mile away.
Should the franchise continue to expand upon the philosophical “Why are we here?” type questions? Possibly, though frankly, I spend most of my time trying to distract myself from the fact that I’m little more than a tiny, insignificant little gnat stuck to the giant, overreaching windshield of the space-time continuum, so I really don’t need a pair of depressed, ennui laden, morose androids reminding me.
Plotwise, it’s all kind of slapped together and relies on you remembering what happened in Prometheus, which is unrealistic because I can’t remember where I left my car keys half the time. (Wait, let me check the fridge.)
Scott does increase the alien attacks over the last film. But he also continues the philosophical hullaballoo so it seems like he was confused as to whether he wanted a thriller or a thinker, so he tried for both and in the end, scored neither.
I will give the film this. The scenes where Michael Fassbender plays two different versions of himself are great and the technology that can allow an actor to do this has really come a long way.
Otherwise, hold your nose because it’s a big stink-a-roo.
STATUS: I hate to do this. I don’t want to do this. Ridley Scott, why are you making me do this? It’s not shelf-worthy. There, I said it. And that’s not fair, because I have given shittier films shelf-worthy status because I’m a nice guy and I don’t want to be rude but you know, I expected less from those films and more from this one. I really thought this would be good but at best, it was blah. It’s worth a rental but don’t rush out to the theater for it.
I think this might be a sign of what we can only hope will be the end of Hollywood’s never-ending sequel/prequel/reboot obsession. There’s only so many ways to spice up and reheat leftovers before they congeal into a big pile of crap. Sometimes the pizza tastes good the first time and even better cold but then after the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh return to that box buried in the dark corner of the fridge, the pieces begin to taste stale and dry and hey, is that mold growing on my 38 year old pizza? Whodathunkit?
Will we ever get to Mars, 3.5 readers?
If so, what will we do when we get there?
Ryan Reynolds. Jake Gyllenaal. A murderous space amoeba.
BQB here with a review of Life.
Our tale begins on a happy note. The crew of the International Space Station has received a sample of soil taken from Mars and returned via a probe. It contains what seems to be a great scientific discovery, namely living bacteria – proof that life exists beyond Earth.
The crew seeks to study this life form but alas, said bacteria has other ideas in mind. It’s essentially a high paced monster movie in space, as the crew try to save themselves while also trying to keep the life form from reaching Earth.
One observation is that this is really an ensemble cast. Reynolds and Gyllenhaal are the two most recognizable stars, but they don’t drive the focus or action of the film. Crew members Sho, Miranda, Kat, and Hugh (Hiroyuki Sanada, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya and Ariyon Bakare, respectively) all get their chance to shine.
Reynolds of Deadpool fame is snarky as always. One day I’d like to hear the story of why a good looking dude (I’m not gay it’s just an observation) still tries so hard. Handsome/beautiful people tend to coast on their looks – in my opinion. Yes, I am discriminatory against the beautiful.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Worth a trip to the theater.
By: Video Game Rack Fighter, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Video Game Correspondent
Hey 3.5 readers. VGRF here.
I just wanted to share the trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda. That’s right, the video game that redefined the whole RPG genre and turned it up on its butt is back in a big way. Choose your own style, your gender, your team, your gear, your love interests, whether you are good or evil. There are most likely plenty of blue lesbian space babes. I know Bookshelf Q. Battler spent most of his 20s staring at the blue lesbian space babes, but he can’t do that anymore because he has a book to write. Multiple books actually. He really needs to get to work.
Did you play the original trilogy, 3.5? I was very impressed with it. It was groundbreaking for its time, the amount of choices you were allowed to make and how the tiniest deviation could create a whole different game experience. Even more, the decisions you made in game one carried into two and three.
Impressive stuff. I’m looking forward to it. While BQB will be slaving away to entertain his 3.5 readers, I will be exploring the universe and boldly going where no woman has gone before, namely, a nerd’s bedroom. Zing!
Hey 3.5 readers.
So this post isn’t meant to be a referendum on Trump. Complain about politics on your own time.
This is a post about aliens, or more specifically, whether or not that US government has one in captivity.
I always figured that if the government does have an alien, they’d probably show it to the president right away. A new presidents first days are, I can only assume, filled with all sorts of lackies, henchmen, bureaucrats, operatives etc. coming up the the president and being all like, “OK sir, there are few people in the world who know this and we are now going to tell you and it is going to blow your mind.”
So anyway, if we do have an alien, I don’t think Trump would be able to hold back on that one. He’d totally get on Twitter and be all like, “Just met Meepzorp and boy is that guy’s head yuge! He’s a really classy extraterrestrial, let me tell you. All of my intergalactic beings are fantastic. Hillary didn’t even get to meet Meepzorp. #sad.”
That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. As a nerd, I never knew if we had an alien or not, but if we did, it would not surprise me, but now I don’t think we do because Trump would have posted a photo of himself with the alien by now.