2008

50 Years of Inspiration

We wanted NASA Tech Briefs readers to be a part of our special issue celebrating NASA’s 50th anniversary. So, we asked you to tell us how NASA, and NASA Tech Briefs, have inspired you over the past 50 years. We wanted to know how NASA helped you in your career or business, or improved your everyday life. What benefits have you derived from NASA technologies?

Although space prohibits publishing every comment here, we thank all of you who shared your stories of inspiration with us.

When I was 6 years old I stood on the observation tower at Cape Canaveral and watched Apollo 13 blast off. The astronauts of my childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood were my heroes. I graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering in 1986. Watching the technical marvels that defined NASA unfold over the years inspired me to become the best engineer I could be. I was privileged to be a NASA engineer at Lewis Research Center in the early 90s working for the benefit of all mankind.
-Bonnie Kee-Bowling, Minneapolis, MN

I was just a kid when NASA started. I remember hearing people talking about the waste of money in trying to put a man on the Moon. What good would ever come out of it? If those same people are alive today, they can see the amazing things that would not have been possible without NASA.
-William M. Fisher, Laredo, TX

I was 10 years old when the first lunar landing occurred. The application of technology and the discovery of new and useful materials helped inspire me to become an electrical engineer. When my NASA Tech Briefs comes in the mail, it’s always a welcome opportunity to sit back for a few minutes, relax, and read about new technologies and new applications. As an engineer, I can appreciate the degree of precision necessary and the difficulty involved in designing, operating, navigating, and landing on a planetary object so far away. And thetechnological advances that came out of basic research into new materials and their applications that were sparked by the needs of NASA missions should be admired, too.
-Andy Braverman, Port Jefferson Station, NY

I grew up in the Houston area in the 1960s, and we ate, slept, talked, and dreamed NASA. What has NASA shown me? That anything is possible, even the impossible. The second most important thing I still take with me is that we were one nation. We were unified in our acceptance of JFK’s challenge. NASA, thank you for 50 wonderful years and the promise you give our youth.
-Steve Tant, Hayesville, NC

I deal with the mess that we call medicine every day. Recently, I was driving to work and was thinking, in my lifetime, what has our government set out to do, done right, and followed through to a stated objective? Nothing came to mind. Then it dawned on me that there was one shining moment; one unbelievable, “we did it” moment, in my lifetime. We went to the Moon. That one achievement is probably what led me to be a scientist and physician. Thank you, NASA, for being the one thing in this country that stands out as something done right and for the right reasons, and for being the greatest inspiration this country has had in the past 50 years.
-Mark A. Martin, D.O., Evansville, IN

Regardless of their origins, nationalities, and religions, human beings have this in common: they are all awed when they raise their eyes toward the sky. In any language, the dream is always the same: what’s out there. NASA is hope. It is the human realization that when we all pull together toward a common goal, we can make it happen. For me, NASA symbolizes the human spirit, the endless possibility of our intelligence. I saw it one day when I was four years old and Neil Armstrong stepped off the ladder.
-Erick Brethenoux, Chicago, IL