Status Report

NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale’s Blog: Lecture by Professor Stephen Hawking

By SpaceRef Editor
April 28, 2008
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NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale’s Blog: Lecture by Professor Stephen Hawking

On Monday, April 21, I attended the NASA Lecture Series, another venue to celebrate NASA’s 50th anniversary. World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, Ph.D., delivered a wonderful lecture on the importance of human space exploration now and for the next few hundred years. For a copy of more information on this event visit It was a special honor for me to meet Stephen Hawking and his delightful daughter, Lucy.

Full Text and video of Hawkings Comments

Lucy spoke for a few minutes on the book she co-authored with her father, entitled George’s Secret Key to the Universe. The book is meant to inspire children to pursue their interest in space and science. Another theme that Dr. Hawking mentioned – humorously, I might add — was one that Mike Griffin and I have spoken about on several occasions, the Space Economy.

Dr. Hawking emphasized the point that no one alive in the late 1400s could have imagined all of the wonderful things, “like a Big Mac or a KFC,” that our society would have a few hundred years later as a result of the discovery of the New World. While fast-food restaurants were clearly a tongue-in-cheek reference, it nevertheless illustrated his point about unforeseen advancements stemming from human endeavors.

Similarly, we cannot comprehend even a small percentage of what miraculous developments and discoveries that will inevitably be spawned by the exploration of our solar system and beyond.

Dr. Stephen Hawking giving his NASA Lecture Series speech. NASA photo. Dr. Hawking, widely known as one of the most brilliant and forward-looking scientists of our time, is an emphatic and eloquent proponent of exploration – perhaps the single most important human trait that has propelled our society forward throughout history. His knowledge of the universe and our place in it gives him a special sense of what it means for human beings to always keep wondering about the unknown, to always keep pushing the boundaries of the next frontier, and to always keep discovering new things to make life better for future generations.

The profound message of Dr. Hawking’s lecture is particularly inspiring to those of us at NASA, who are charged with boldly going where no human has gone before.

SpaceRef staff editor.