If you hang around me long enough, you will know that I am a total space-nerd/fan-boy. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t. At PAX, I couldn’t help myself. I saw Bobak Ferdowsi and had to shake his hand. So I walked up and simply said “Thank You” and stuck out my paw. I totally creeped him out. Stay cool Erik…
Yeah, that’s not going to happen. I am a geek, and I don’t do cool. We do awkward quite nicely, however.
Today, I was overawed by the announcement from NASA that Voyager 1 had left the heliosphere. To put that in laymen’s terms, it’s kind of like leaving the sun’s atmosphere. From now forward, the space probe launched in 1977 is living in interstellar space. It’s breathing a different atmosphere. It is the first human created object to do so.
On board it carries the golden record. A collection of sounds from different languages and different species on our planet. I love the idealism behind that record. I believe in that idealism. I believe that we as a species should send the best of us as far into this vast cosmos as we can. Voyager 1 and it’s sibling Voyager 2 represent those hopes and dreams.
Not that long ago in our history we didn’t believe we could sail around the world. Now we fly. Right now, it looks to be almost impossible for us to travel to even the closest star, but I believe that in the future we will do so and more. There may come a day like the one described in Dan Simmons masterpiece Hyperion in which we will live in homes built on twelve different planets, bypassing the laws of physics each time we step from the kitchen to the living room. (Watch out for the second floor master bath. The .25 standard G can be a doozy but the mineral bath is great for my skin.)
NASA released a video with a few celebrities on it to recognize voyager’s achievement. I confess I got misty eyed when Nick Sagan talked about his father. Carl Sagan was an optimist and a constant evangelist for our destiny in the stars. Nick is the voice of the child on the golden record. The dream of getting to the stars is a good dream. It is a dream for our nation and our planet which is much better than the petty squabbles which consume us today. In the last year, Voyager 1 has brought us one step closer to that dream.