The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Voyager 1 Spacecraft Makes History: Goes Where No Robot Has Gone Before


On September 5, 1977, the Voyager 1 spacecraft launched like Voyager 2 seen here, courtesy of NASA. On March 5, 1979, Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Jupiter. On November 12, 1980, she swung close by Saturn. Voyager 2 would head on out to the other two gas giants while Voyager 1 headed off to her rendezvous with history, which she made today, 36 years later, when Voyager 1 crossed over the border between our solar system and interstellar space. This is the very first human made anything to have ever gone so far (other that radio and TV signals). It is the very first physical artifact speaking of the creativity and curiosity of humanity that will head out into the great void between the stars and provide mute testimony to who we were long after our species has gone the way of all things, provided she doesn't encounter some cold body out there in the deep. Of course neither Voyager 1 or 2 are entirely mute. Both carry a golden multimedia record (courtesy of Carl Sagan and company) featuring sounds of earth and us out into the stars. Given enough time, who knows, somebody out there may find one of them and be amazed and perhaps get to know a little of the best about us, while never hearing of the worst. If you want to know more, please see: http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/news/factsheet.html

I want to pause today, as history has been made, to congratulate all the dedicated men and women who poured their creativity, hearts, and souls into this effort. Thank you NASA team and anyone else involved for all the invaluable data, all of the new visions, and most of all for all of the wonder, all of the awe. We'll continue to hear from our plucky, durable robots until 2025 or 2030, when the nuclear power plant finally fails. Or so I've been told. Who knows. Maybe these robots with 1970s technology will continue to surprise us. So, now, Voyager 1 has begun her interstellar mission.

With all that is going wrong in the world today, thanks NASA team for giving us a moment to pause and wonder, a moment of amazement and joy.

Voyager 1 in interstellar space, artist's concept. Artwork courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

For more on the Voyager missions, see: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2011/04/tribute-to-2-enduring-space-probes.html

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