What Stan says about Remember The Future Wall
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Remember The Future was a symposium I organized to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. As a young space engineer who'd been inspired to build rockets by NASA's efforts, I was appalled at how America had turned its back on space exploration. In all the science fiction I'd read as a kid no one had ever predicted that just a few years after taking our first tentative step outside our planetary cradle we would completely retrench into our shells.

On the anniversary of the moon landing I wanted to rededicate our efforts, to ask space interested people to "Remember The Future." Under the auspicies of the American Astronautical Society I assembled noted futurists and technologists for a two day event in San Francisco. It was an amazing success that lead to the private funding of part of NASA's planetary program to keep the Viking lander on Mars operating.

While we may not have yet realized our potential in space and through neglect and mismanagement and underfunding we're in worse shape today - Remember The Future inspired a nucleus of people whose continued efforts will result in us one day living in the future instead of the past.

While some of the essays and discussions contained in Remember The Future seem naively quaint in their optimism, it is the spirit of taking the first step that rings timeless and true. As for me, while I may not be on the vanguard of pushing into space I'm still actively involved and believe it to be a key component of the survival of all Earth's passengers. I'm wiser than I was in 1979, realizing it's going to take longer than we thought in those heady days to do it right, but it will happen. Maybe my kids will have the opportunity to leave their planetary cradle for another world, doing it in a way where we don't just take our age old problems of reckless abuse of Nature with us. Only then will we have Remembered the Future and deserve to live there.

"Dressing well and looking good are essential. A meaning in life is not." . . . Oscar Wilde

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