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"You multiply NASA's budget a factor of two or three and you give it a grand vision," he told Carl Zimmer. "You say, 'We're going back to the moon, we're going to Mars. Oh, by the way, we're going to be on Mars on this date, and right now we are looking at the elementary school children of the nation to see who has the right stuff, because by the time we're ready to go to Mars, they will be the right age to be astronauts.' You attract an entire generation of people into these epic projects. And to solve those problems that have never been solved before, they have to invent things. They have to have new ideas. New branches of mathematics get discovered. This feeds into society, into our culture. It's a difficult sell, but I think it's our only hope."
The final blow will be to actually learn to our core that others, far more advanced than us are also here. That will be the most crucial period in human history. Will we survive it?
Do we deserve to survive and/or will we be allowed to survive?
We never lost the dream. we lost the men and the vision of what space means to man when the reins were given over to the politicians whom hired "yes men" to run our agency. Like any government run public entity, it now lacks vision and direction for what it was initially created. What little is left of NASA from its conception like the rovers exploring distant worlds, I greedily soak up any new information and new discoveries with many others when it becomes available.
Since the work being pursued by this laboratory is applied scientific research in the areas of the quantum vacuum, gravitation, nature of space-time, and other fundamental physical phenomenon, high fidelity testing facilities are needed. The lab will first implement a low-thrust torsion pendulum (less than 1 micronewton), and commission the facility with an existing Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster. To date, the QVPT line of research has produced data suggesting very high specific impulse coupled with high specific force. If the physics and engineering models can be explored and understood in the lab to allow scaling to power levels pertinent for human spaceflight, 400kW SEP human missions to Mars may become a possibility, and at power levels of 2MW, 1-year transit to Neptune may also be possible. Additionally, the lab is implementing a warp field interferometer that will be able to measure spacetime disturbances down to 150nm. Recent work published by White suggests that it may be possible to engineer spacetime creating conditions similar to what drives the expansion of the cosmos.