NASA and others have discovered seven earth-sized planets orbiting around a single star, in very close orbits. It’s fantastical beyond fantasy. Imagine looking up from your back yard to see other planets passing by in their orbits. I want to go to there.
From NASA Telescope Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star
Liftoff episode 41 reminded me of the discovery. Love that show.
The ISS has been housing astronauts continuously for the past fifteen years (press release here).
That’s cause for a celebration!
When I saw that shuttle take off at dusk, it was the most unbelievable experience. I got tears in my eyes; my heart pounded. I was proud to be an American, to see that we could do something that awesome.
Quote from William Parsons, Ninth Director of the Kennedy Space Center. From a display at KSC.
I get tears in my eyes, too. Tears of joy. Tears of awe.
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Back in 2004, companies weren’t fighting over NASA contracts and nobody was selling tickets for suborbital space flights just yet. The commercial space industry was still in its early stages …
The New York Times has a rover tracker. The first image from sol 540 is beautiful.
What I realized in that moment was that the lights of the city, the electric light, has formed a kind of dome over the cities where we live. And it is a protective dome, a protective shield, that shields us from full awareness of how deep and infinite space is. So we sit in our cities, and our electric lights have blanked out the sky, for us, and we no longer have first-hand experience of the existential terror that is available to you at any point in time if you just try and spend one night outside on the beach or in the forest.
The shuttle Discovery landed successfully today. While watching it on local news and CNN I couldn’t help feeling proud to be part of a species that’s capable of such things. One day I hope to contribute something towards that effort even though it’s too late for me to become an astronaut. That job wouldn’t fit well with where I am in life, but I’d love be involved somehow. Maybe it’ll be through embedded software development for robotic devices … who knows.