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Neil DeGrasse Tyson - Happy Birthday, NASA

Science & Tech  (tags: science, space, nasa, ISS, neil degrasse tyson, NASA )

- 2062 days ago -
Dr. Tyson, born on the same day as NASA, wishes it a Happy Birthday!

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Kit B (276)
Monday October 1, 2012, 8:31 pm

The best thing the US did in the 20th century, from one of the best in his field, Neil deGrasse Tyson. What a great combination to entertain and enlighten the reader. Happy birthday NASA, and my thanks to all of the many scientists, engineers, computer programmers, pilots, astronauts, and the thousands of others it took over the years to make this the finest group of space explorers on the planet. Thanks Phil, for sharing a great look back and hopeful look forward at NASA.

Barbara K (60)
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 7:09 pm
Wow, it's been that long already. Happy Birthday NASA, thanks my friend.

Alice C (1797)
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 7:09 pm
Happy Birthday NASA & Dr Tyson !

Carrie B (306)
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 7:12 pm
What wonderful birthdays to celebrate! Happy Birthday!

Yvonne White (229)
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 7:15 pm
Happy Birthday NASA!

Vicky P (476)
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 7:30 pm
great, a well deserved happy birthday to NASA, may you get more funding in the future

Sheryl G (360)
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 7:44 pm
I look fondly upon the past and recall with a thrill the first man on the moon and even the first shuttle how it landed like a plane instead of plopping down in the ocean. It was when America seemed it could do anything, a bright look upon the horizon.

I wish it truly was a Happy Birthday, but for some, it only means joining the ranks and file of the unemployed. A year after NASA ended the three-decade-long U.S. space shuttle program, thousands of formerly well-paid engineers and other workers around the Kennedy Space Center are still struggling to find jobs to replace the careers that flourished when shuttles blasted off from the Florida "Space Coast."

Some have headed to South Carolina to build airplanes in that state's growing industry, and others have moved as far as Afghanistan to work as government contractors. Some found lower-paying jobs beneath their technical skills that allowed them to stay. Many are still looking for work and cutting back on things like driving and utilities to save money.

"Nobody wants to hire the old guy," said Terry White, a 62-year-old former project manager who worked 33 years for the shuttle program until he was laid off after Atlantis landed last July 21. "There just isn't a lot of work around here. Or if so, the wages are really small."

A majority of those laid off were individuals in their 50s and 60s which is a problem for the former engineers is age. Many have been working for the Kennedy Space Center for decades. Other engineering options mainly take in the younger generations.

Like so much in this Country, you did a good job......your reward is to kick you to the curb and toss you out like yesterdays garbage. There is no thanks anymore, no loyalty to those who made it happen. Watch out young, one day you too shall grow older, if you don't do a better job in this society by the time you are 50 it's curtains for many of you too.


Michael C (217)
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 7:59 pm
Happy Birthday, NASA...Thanks for the great excitement, you gave the whole Country over the years, but especially the 1960's...

Phil R (29)
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 8:46 pm
Things aren't all bad on the space coast. Planetary probes continue to be launched. "Curiosity" has landed on Mars is sending back impressive pictures and will soon be analyzing the Martian surface, "Juno" is on the way to Jupiter and "New Horizons" will reach Pluto in 2015. NASA is still vital in the manned space program and continues development of the Orion spacecraft. Private companies are filling in the gap in Florida. The SpaceX Falcon/Dragon spacecraft launches from there (next launch Oct. 7th, 8:35edt, headed for the ISS).

Although NASA only gets about 1/2 of 1% of the national budget they do accomplish quite a lot. Soon (target date is 2018) the James Webb space telescope will replace the aging Hubble. The Cassini probe continues to send back stunning pics of Saturn and its moons. "Messenger" orbits Mercury and has mapped most of the surface of the hot little planet and LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) is mapping the moon for future landings and sending back impressive data and photos.

There's a movement to get better funding for NASA called "Penny4NASA". Their goal is to double NASA's funding to 1%. The link for anyone interested is;

Past Member (0)
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 9:45 pm
Happy Birthday!

Esther Z (94)
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 10:33 pm
Happy Birthday NASA and Dr. Tyson. I really enjoyed reading Dr. Tyson's tale of personal struggle, of personal growth riding the tide of American's own cultural growth and NASA's iconic space exploration. Excellent piece of writing!
Thanks, Kit for the link and Phil for posting the article.

Judy C (97)
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 11:45 pm
This is an excellent essay. I was growing up with NASA, too. I was just a little older than Tyson. What an exciting time that was! Dr Tyson should be read by all our children. This world is often pretty grim, and a touch of idealism should be cultivated, or these kids will not be the well-rounded citizens they could be, in this so-called developed, wealthy nation. I work at passing these values to my grandchildren. Thanks for posting this, Phil. And thanks to Kit for pointing it out.

Susanne R (235)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 12:17 am
I've heard Dr. Tyson speak, and I'm guessing that his IQ is off the charts. What an incredibly intelligent and gifted man, and how appropriate it is that he and NASA were born on the same day! Was it karma?

Thanks for posting this, Phil! And thank you, Kit, for the forward!

Tamara Hayes (185)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 12:52 am
Noted. What a great post Kit! Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Phil R (29)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 5:03 am
Neil deGrasse Tyson has continued the work of the great Carl Sagan. His delivery is a little different, but his message is the same; The Universe is full of wonders more impressive than any fiction and accessible to anyone who cares to look. Step outside on a clear night and look up....and you fall into a world of stars and planets. See that red dot?...That's Mars. As you look at it be aware that a car sized robot is driving around sampling Mars rocks and sending back pictures. There was a time when going to Mars was only science fiction. Now it's reality.

Google "Hubble ultra deep field" and you can see pictures of the furthest reaches of the Universe. Galaxies so far away that it took the light from them over 13 billion years to get to us!

We now have close-up pictures of every planet in the solar system! We have landed probes on 2 moons (ours and Saturn's Titan. We've visited the asteroids...The Dawn mission has been to Vesta and is currently on its way to Ceres!

It's an exciting time to be interested in space science! If you're in the NYC area check out the Hayden Planetarium...and many of Neil deGrass Tyson's speeches and lectures can be found on youtube.

Thanks for the boost Kit!

Vallee R (280)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 5:25 am
Noted - thanks.

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 5:58 am
According to Phil, "Things are not all that bad on the Space Coast" well they are not all that good either. I guess to the people who are unemployed and living in this area, it is pretty difficult for them. This is a current update, from the nasa site itself.

"United Space Alliance says they are laying off over 150 employees across the country -- the majority being here along the Space Coast. USA said 121 of its workers in Brevard County will be laid off. The reduction represents about six percent of their total workforce. Following the layoff, USA will have a total 2,263 employees -- with 1,073 of those in Florida, 1,186 in Texas and 4 in other states. The layoff is due to a reduction in work scope as the Shuttle Transition and Retirement work approaches completion."

With the end of the space shuttle program, Brevard County, Fla., lost its LARGEST employer, and Kennedy Space Center workers lost good jobs that made them proud. I suppose that doesn't affect people living in other areas, like NY, but it has devestated an area that depended on this industry. This also has a ripple affect, that goes out into the community where these employee once shopped, ate, entertained, and now all those people are having to shut up business, you know the small business that some politicians speak upon, and those waitresses now have no work when their employer goes out of business.

All I'm saying, is yes, there was wonderful things that happened, and some new things are still happening, but for many, who gave so much of their lives to make these things happen, they are simply tossed out on their arse. Spin it how you want to, the bottom line is people are suffering in the Space Coast area.....that once held great promise. I hate to be the party pooper, but I've gone too many years in this sluggish economy that was destroyed by a few greedy at the top of the food chain, and know too many people sweeping floors that once use to put a rocket into space, brilliant minds sweeping floors and they consider themselves the lucky ones, they have a low paying job.....others still have none, so they go through their savings once the unemployment runs out, then sell their homes, (if they can, no one can afford to buy them in an area that offers limited jobs), and end up where? As I said, for those it doesn't affect.....yeah Happy Birthday...for others it's another sad day on the Space Coast.

Justin M (2)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 6:01 am
Watch out, we got a birthday man over here! j/k. Happy birthday to both him and NASA. Noted.

Nancy M (197)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 6:07 am
Great post Kit. I had not realized that NASA had a birthday.

All I can say to NASA is Best of Luck so that you can keep employing my brother in law!

JL A (281)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 6:45 am
Thanks Kit for helping us all remember this significant birthday despite the election distractions capturing the headlines right now!

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 7:00 am
Hey everyone, at least thank Phil who put the story on. I might be the party pooper but I do appreciate the reason why Phil placed this on here and acknowledge the great works NASA and the others did. We should thank them, if it means a Happy Birthday recognition.

Nancy M (197)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 7:10 am
Sorry Phil. Kit forwarded it to me and I didn't look carefully enough to notice that you had posted it. I, of course, thought of you.

Phil R (29)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 7:56 am
I hate to disagree, but it's not all doom and gloom. SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Scaled Composites and other private aerospace industries are all looking for qualified employees. Other companies are also moving into Florida and looking for workers;

Need A Good Jobs Story? Try Florida's Space Coast

NASA is still a vital part of space exploration. The facilities at KSS aren't shutting down and launches are still a regular event. (Space X launches its Dragon capsule on Oct 7th.) Although the Shuttle program has run its course, there will be new space vehicles introduced in the next few years. The Shuttle program was never meant to last forever...the design and airframes had a finite life span. It takes many years to develop and test manned spacecraft. The shame is that the last Republican administration didn't prepare for that eventuality. So now there will be a gap in our ability to send astronauts into space using American spacecraft....but this isn't the's just a pause.

Of course, doubling NASA's budget would create new jobs too. See;


pam w (139)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 8:06 am
THANKS, Phil! Since JPL is in my community, I know many people who either work there now or have worked there in the past. They've brought so very much to all of us!

Any time I see someone sneering at the amount of money spent on space programs, I wonder what they're thinking? That money goes to families and communities and, ultimately, to everyone in the country.

(Oh...and since Dr. Tyson is very high up on my personal "hot" list....I love that photo!)

Phil R (29)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 8:11 am
Sorry...that was supposed to be "KSC". Typo man strikes again!

Thanks to everyone who noted and posted and to Kit for linking to everyone!

I'd just like to say, don't forget to support our space program both manned and otherwise. Neil thinks it's America's future to lead in space tech. He's said that our involvement in it has enriched our lives materially and intellectually over the years.

....and i'll just plug this one more time....
If you get a chance, check it out :

Robert B (60)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 8:11 am
As humankind matures and moves out into space, let's hope it has matured enough to leave the pettiness and strife behind. We are in a new and grand era.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 9:00 am

For too many years we have been bickering about little things. NASA, and space are so wonderful for all us. it stirs our imagination, it holds the challenges of today and our tomorrows. I once dreamed of being a part of the space program, of going to space, now I can do that, from the brilliant photographs sent back to earth, we can all step off into space.

Mandi T (376)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 9:41 am
Happy Birthday Dr. Tyson and Nasa

Jim P (3257)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 10:48 am
Happy Birthday NASA!

You all have done a very remarkable job! Just Awesome!

Ty, Phil.

Pat B (356)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 2:06 pm
Happy Birthday NASA, and to Dr. Tyson. I would attend one of Dr. Tyson's seminars, I saw him on 'The Daily Show' (while back), and he is such a motivational speaker, and so good as an educational instructor.! Both of you deserve a BIG Birthday CAKE with all the trimmings. Thank you, Phil for this post, and Sheryl for FW.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 8:04 am
Thanks Phil for this post.Thanks Kit for the forward. I remember the day former Soviet Union declared that Yuri Gagarin,the first astronaut ever, returned to earth after few minutes in space. few days later USA accepted the challenge and NASA doubled its efforts and achieve for US and humanity what we hope to be dedicated for peace. I am also proud that a number of American Egyptian scientists contributed to the achievements of NASA.
YES happy birthday and long live NASA.

Elizabeth Pugliese (8)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 6:23 pm
Happy Birthday NASA. Now let's get that moon colony built.

Lois Jordan (63)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 6:36 pm
Noted & thanks, Phil...and Kit for the link. Adding my best Happy Birthday wishes to NASA and Dr. Tyson. I think I watched all the launches live back in the 60's during my childhood....and most of the 70's. Got kind of bogged down with kids and family, but space exploration was always of enormous interest to me. America really rallied around Science back then, and we took great leaps forward....I believed that we'd put humans on Mars by now. Just can't stomach that we waste so much on war...1% seems such a tiny amount to spend on our future.

Phil R (29)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 7:23 pm
Thanks again to Kit and everyone who noted and commented!

Robert O (12)
Friday October 5, 2012, 7:05 pm
Thanks! Birthday wishes to NASA and Dr. Tyson.
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