I’m a science nerd, or more to the point a space nerd. I grew up during the glory days of the Shuttle era. I saw the first launch with Columbia back in 1981 and was just mesmerized by the whole spectacle. I continued to follow the shuttles until they were deactivated last year. Imagine that will you, 30 years, 135 missions with only 2 accidents. Pretty impressive record overall.
While all that is amazing, what’s even more amazing is that 2 little spacecrafts that we launched in 1977 are on the verge of leaving our solar system. Based on the article I was reading, on the verge could be as little as 5 months or a couple years away, either way this is a pretty historic event. These little spacecraft, which have less computer power than that smartphone you have, whose only mission was to fly by Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune has ended up exceeding expectations by not only surviving, but by still continuing to send back data. That’s not bad for technology from 35 years ago. Especially considering we think it’s great if any electronic device we get nowadays lasts five years.
It’s things like this that don’t get a whole lot of press, that give me hope in our future for space travel. That we will eventually end up going to Mars and beyond. That is the main reason I like Star Trek, to believe that we will one day have the potential to explore areas that right now we can only see and dream about.
Until next time….
Originally posted December 5, 2012