Full transcript of Clark's FTL remarks, Sept. 27, 2003, New Castle, N.H.
I think America needs a dream. America needs a space program and I was always a believer in the space program. But I have a different vision that goes beyond whether we are going to build a space plane or whether we're going try to rehab and build a fourth shuttle or something.
In the military we had something we called a Concept Based Requirements System--CBRS. And what it said is you've got to sort of envision how you're going to operate, and then you've got to go develop the technology to let you do it. So it was like looking for what you wanted to find. And there's a lot of technology out there, and we built these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and spy satellites, and all that stuff, because we had a vision of what we wanted.
What we need is a vision of how we are going to move humanity ahead. And we then need to harness science to do it.
So I am a believer in the exploration of space. I would like to see mankind get off this planet. I'd like to know what's out there beyond the solar system. And I think that we need to make a deliberate effort to build public support for exploration of a new frontier. We need to bring a commission together on national goals. We need to ask what are the reasonable goals for America, how much should we invest to attain those goals, and how soon should they be obtained.
There's probably nothing out there as dramatic as what John Kennedy did to reach the moon in 8 years. But ... there are important goals that may take a lifetime to reach. We need to set those goals now. We need to rededicate ourselves to science and engineering and technology in this country. And by technology I just don't mean the Internet. I mean real technology across the spectrum of the sciences--the physical sciences and the life sciences. And we to set those goals out and move them.
We might be surprised. It might be like the human genome project. It might be one of these things you look at and think it would take a hundred years and it takes four years because there's a lot of smart people out there.
We need to work on extending the human lifetime, so we can have greater, better quality in our lives. We need to be able to investigate nanotechnology and really put that to work for us.
And we need to look at the realms of applied and higher mathematics. I still believe in E = mc squared. But... I can't believe that in all of human history, we'll never ever be able to go beyond the speed of light to reach where we want to go. I happen to believe that mankind can do it. I've argued with physicists about it. I've argued with best friends about it. I just have to believe it. It's my only faith-based initiative.