Popular astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on Monday lamented that American culture no longer had a culture of innovation that prized scientific and technological discoveries.

Tyson noted on MSNBC that space exploration no longer captured American's attention like it previously had. He blamed the lack of public interest on the lack of advances in the space frontier.

"You don't have to be the scientist or engineer," he explained. "You could be a journalist, an artist, but you start doing more stories about the frontier and all of a sudden everybody participates in inventing a tomorrow."

"It's the invention of tomorrow that is absent in today's modern American culture," Tyson continued.

"Tomorrow was everywhere in the 1960s, wasn't it? The World's Fair was all about tomorrow. And who enables that tomorrow? It is the scientific and technological literacy of a nation that does it. It is those innovations that are the engines of the 21st century economy."

He added that private companies could not lead the space frontier, because of unknown risks and other factors that were detrimental to business.

"That is why governments are the ones that do the big first steps."

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