Keith Cowing - First posted Friday, May 20, 2005: Every now and again even the most cynical of us stumble across something so simple - and yet profound - as to take one's breath away - and remind us of why we are so captivated with space exploration's broader ramifications.
I was sitting in a session at the International Space Development Conference when Adm. Craig Steidle, Associate Administrator of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate played his organzation's "Reach"public service announcement (PSA).
Short, and to the point, this small piece of video really captured my imagination - and deeply touched my emotions. You can view this PSA here. Turn up the sound on your computer. According to NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate: "Karen O. Lau and David E. Sanders created the original "Reach" public service announcement (PSA) as part of the NASA Means Business competition in 2003. Information on that effort (and more) is online here
NASA and its contractors assisted Ms. Lau and Mr. Sanders in bringing the film to broadcast quality by providing post production assistance, editing, and image compositing. They also edited the sound and images down to the industry standard 30 seconds and broadened the original Mars message to one that now incorporates the Moon and "Beyond" as well.
The PSA has been shown on NASA-TV and the National Geographic Channel and numerous university stations. It was featured at the recent Yuri's Night celebrations. It will shortly be seen in the lobby displays of Regal theaters across the country."
4 November 2014 update: NASA only featured this video for a short time in 2005. Reorganizations and shifting priorities left the "Vision for Space Exploration" to gasp and whither. Many affiliated educational initiatives were quickly forgotten. This video was among the things that emerged during that brief moment where everyone seemed to be on the same page and heading (back) out into space. Then that moment passed.