Man on Moon revolutionised ideas behind vehicles, medicine

July 16th, 2009 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 16 (IANS) Forty years ago, on July 20, 1969, the United States achieved a historic feat when Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” were Neil Armstrong’s prophetic words that opened the pathway for new medical procedures and ‘holistic reinvention’ of vehicles.

America’s race to the moon also launched a generation of scientists. They were inspired by a sense of patriotism and the wonders of space.

The moon landing fuelled the country’s economy and elevated it to a respectable stature. It has produced innovations in health, technology, energy, security, and defence.

“Perhaps more than anything, we need to address the scientific challenge of providing more effective, efficient and diverse sources of energy to drive the global economy, its citizens, and its infrastructure,” said William McDonough, professor of geology at the University of Maryland.

Instead of looking for a single innovation to transform transportation, the next great challenge will be a revolutionary and holistic reinvention of vehicles.

“The next ‘moon landing’ will be a new science-driven way of approaching automobiles that goes beyond substituting gas with electricity,” said Dennis Assanis of the University of Michigan.

“The 21st Century equivalent (of the moon landing) will be our understanding of the human brain - and in particular, achieving the ability to stimulate the brain to repair itself, including restoring old memories and learning new information after damage and disease,” said Elissa Newport of the University of Rochester.

“That understanding will revolutionise the way we treat neurological injuries and diseases,” said Newport, who is the head of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the university. “We’re almost there - if we merely stop cutting science funding, these discoveries are around the corner.”

These ideas are dedicated to sustaining the federal government’s investment in basic research as a means to stimulate the economy, drive innovation and secure America’s global competitiveness.

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