2017 Total Solar Eclipse
"The most widely watched event in human history"
"The most spectacular event of our lives"
"The Sputnik of our generation"
"'The Eagle has landed' in color and on the internet"
"Awesome & terrifying"
"Incredibly dangerous yet too incredible to miss"
Pick your superlative and the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 will exceed it.
Never before has an event like this occurred with the technology to publicize it world-wide.
Never before has an event like this occurred that will affect so many people.
Never before has Nature demonstrated humanity's place in the cosmos so spectacularly to so many.
For the first time, we know an event will occur which will be the greatest spectacle most of us will ever see; we can predict to the second when the event will begin, how long it will last and exactly when it will end for any location.
We have the ability to inform nearly every person on Earth, explain what will occur, explain the danger and how to be safe, dispel myths and fears and superstitions, answer questions, control the narrative and direct the interest, energy and intentions of a generation.
Sputnik inspired a generation of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers.
And Sputnik further fueled an already insane arms race.
America REACTED to Sputnik with fear, and yet Sputnik contributed to the greatest age of development in history.
We have an opportunity to do better.
Every person who was directly affected by Sputnik is either dead or retired. Science, mathematics, and engineering have long since lost the impetus of that event. The number of graduate degrees earned by Americans is declining (1) along with our ability to compete on the world stage in education (2) or business innovation (3). Our leaders disparage scientific consensus for political gains (4). Our business leaders say that they cannot find qualified applicants for technological positions (5). America is a contributor to the Large Hadron Collider but not a partner. America's pre-eminence has passed and it can be imagined when we will have faded from the world stage.
The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse is America's opportunity to turn around. For a brief period, every person will know an historic event is coming. Every person will want to know as much about it as possible. Every person will discuss it, prepare for it, plan to watch or travel to experience this event.
How brief or long will this interest exist? How much excited anticipation will there be?
That's up to us. We can control the narrative.
We need not wait until news outlets ask for comments, request interviews, ask questions in response to fear and misinformation and ignorance. We need not wait to educate
Who are "we"?
We are NASA, of course
America will turn to NASA for information but NASA cannot and should not do this alone.
We are every parent, teacher, school, school district and state that wants to inspire our children
We are every college and university that wants to increase the number and quality
of students in science, math and engineering
We are every college and university that hopes to inspire artists
who will then inspire us to dream even further
We are every corporation in America
with an interest in the advancement of science, mathematics, technology and engineering
We are everyone interested in an America willing and able to create the future,
because if America doesn't, the future will be created without us.
So what's the plan, NASA?
The 2016 - 2017 school year starts this August, four months from when I write this at the end of April.
We have no time to wait if we want an educational program in schools nation-wide starting in September.
What is the plan to inform America?
What is the plan to provide accurate, engaging information to news outlets and the media?
What's the plan to document and broadcast this event?
(NASA plans to launch high-altitude balloons and will no doubt use every resource available)
What is the plan for AFTER the eclipse?
How can we maintain the interest this event will create?
What needs can we anticipate in the years, decades, and century to come and how can we encourage those young enough now to meet those needs in the future?
But first and foremost, what's the plan to get business onboard?
Boeing, Google, Bill Gates, etc., America turns to you. If you want scientists, mathematician, and engineers in the future, the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
America cannot afford for you to blow it
The time to ACT is NOW
April 26, 2016