Bit of a sentimental post… today is the last day of 2014 and we start anew tomorrow. A big frustration for me is how the media & news loves to dwell on what is bad in this world. I get sucked in all too often, but looking back, it was a great year on so many fronts. But looking back is not nearly as interesting as looking forward…
As a civilization we are capable of so many incredible things. Many of us cope with people telling us something is impossible in so many ways. For me, I always think of two topics which solidify the mindset “you can do anything”. One of these two things is the story of splitting the atom & the entire history story of the making of the atomic bomb (as chronicled in one of the best history stories I’ve ever read: The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes).
But the topic that hits so close to home with me is the exploration of space. I think of what we’ve accomplished in just a few decades. This year I got to tour NASA’s JPL lab which was an incredible treat. The first test of Orion in early December was incredible. I can’t wait for the first flight of SLS followed by the 2nd flight (a manned trip around the moon) years later. For me, the “event” I’m most looking forward to in 2015 is when NASA starts publishing all the HD pictures and videos that were recorded and taken from aboard Orion’s first test flight… a flight that reached 3,600 miles in altitude… that’s 15x higher than the International Space Station’s orbit.
I wish you a productive and fruitful 2015 & leave you with three of the three most incredible pictures that mean so much to me… they make me pause and think every time I see them. Big things… think big.
Astronaut Bruce McCandless II on the first untethered spacewalk - from the Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-41-B), February 3, 1984. Here’s a clip of the event from one of the most killer series I’ve ever watched: When we Left Earth by the Discovery Channel.
View of the Earth rising above the moon’s horizon that greeted the Apollo 8 astronauts as they came from behind the boom after the lunar orbit insertion burn on December 24, 1968. Earth is 240,000 miles away.
Taken by NASA’s [Curiosity] Mars rover from the surface of Mars on January 31, 2014, you can see both Earth & our moon in the sky. Earth is the small white dot in the sky… click the image for more information.