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Achieving Greatness: Three Factors that Produced a "First Man"

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by Dr. Anthony Paustian
Author of A Quarter Million Steps

National Space Society
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION
©2019  Anthony D. Paustian

Whether it’s the Illuminati controlling the world, the September 11th attacks being an “inside job,” or people believing the world is flat, conspiracy theories have always existed. One of the most popular conspiracy theories is that the Apollo Moon landings never happened and were faked on a sound stage.
The theorists point to a number of perceived issues with film oddities, radiation exposure, flag fluttering, preservation of footprints, lack of lunar module blast craters, no visible flame on the ascent stage, communications delays, and missing telemetry tapes and blueprints.

Despite those who have bought into this theory, these issues have been either debunked or logically explained by many people on numerous occasions. Among the issues related to this theory, I’m surprised I’ve never heard of anyone questioning the short length of time it took to go from an…

STEM is a Team Sport

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by Dr. Anthony Paustian
Author of A Quarter Million Steps

National Space Society
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION
©2018  Anthony D. Paustian

The world was united, perhaps for the first time in history. As I sat in front of my grandmother’s black and white television, I was forced to watch the event—every station carried it live, all four of them. But it was in that moment, the instant Neil Armstrong’s boot hit the Moon’s surface, I knew without a doubt what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wasn’t alone, as most children my age wanted the same thing: to become an astronaut.

The passion created by that event stuck with me, and I was completely hooked. So much so that when I was eight, I racked up an enormous telephone bill working through four operator assists to call NASA at Kennedy Space Center during primetime long distance hours in order to ask for “space stuff” (the public affairs person was very nice and sent me a box of photos and literature). 
After doing the research I realized that to be an…

Why Apollo Was Sticky

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by Dr. Anthony Paustian
Author of A Quarter Million Steps

National Space Society
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION
©2018  Anthony D. Paustian

Decades ago my father, always the jokester, would tell this "multipart" joke. The genius of his approach was in how it was told: as two separate jokes, delivered back-to-back, each totally dependent upon the other. No one ever saw the connection until after the big reveal, which is what always made it funny.
Today, when I speak about creativity, I frequently begin the presentation by telling a version of his joke to help illustrate a point. It goes something like this:
A little girl is skipping down the street when she comes upon three colored bricks lying on the road: one red, one yellow, and one blue. She pauses, reaches down for the red one, thinks for a moment, and heaves it into the air. The brick hits the ground hard and breaks into pieces. After laughing a bit, she reaches down for the yellow one and heaves it higher into the air. The brick…

The word that changed my view of everything

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by Dr. Anthony Paustian
Author of A Quarter Million Steps

National Space Society
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION
©2018  Anthony D. Paustian

For over 25 years, I had the opportunity to teach a large number of university students in a variety of business-related topics. Like any decent business professor, I taught the concepts related to effective planning, including the concept of SMART goals. SMART was an acronym meaning that a “good” goal was Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based.
I never questioned the textbooks, and since the concept seemed to make perfect sense­––at least on its surface––I kept teaching it year after year...until “it” happened.
For whatever reason, I was listening to the speech John F. Kennedy delivered to a large crowd at the stadium of Rice University on September 12, 1962. I’ve heard this speech a number of times because, as a big fan of the Apollo Program, I was always inspired by its overreaching passion. But on this day, a single word from the middl…

ciWeek 9: Exploring the Unknown

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by Dr. Anthony Paustian
Author of A Quarter Million Steps

Despite frequent claims to the contrary, I’ve come to believe that people love the unknown. Why else in every horror movie do people go into the big scary house or the rooms from where creepy noises emanate? They can’t help it.