Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Map of Space Exploration

This is a link to a map on space exploration, a subject that has always fascinated me.

Back in the 1950's and 1960's, there was a greater idealism not quite as marred by skepticism as everything seems to be these days. And one of the areas of real achievement, for both the United States and the Soviet Union, came in the accomplishments of space exploration. The Soviets were the first to get a man into space and back, while Americans were the first to put a man on the moon and get him back to Earth safely (three men, actually).

These were enormous achievements that still stand as a source of pride today, decades later. When we watch clips and hear stories of those times, we get that feel of it being something that brought nations together. As John F. Kennedy boldly gave his country the task of getting a man onto the moon and bringing him back safely to Earth, the nation responded. When the world watched the broadcast showing Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, it was a deserved source of pride for the whole nation to appreciate.

Of course, space exploration has continued and, in many regards, improved. Our knowledge of our own solar system and neighboring planets has increased quite dramatically, as has our knowledge of other galaxies and solar systems much farther away. We are constantly pushing the envelope of our own limitations, and the knowledge we are getting back is truly amazing.

Somehow, though, it is not apparently inspiring people to the same degree. Perhaps we need a rival nation competing against us to make us feel like we are in some kind of competition, like the United States was with the Soviet Union decades ago.

We could benefit from something like that these days, and we sure could use a leader who gives us that kind of a challenge, to see if we are equal to the take.

In any case, here is a cool link to a map on space exploration.

This glorious map helps you keep track of every space mission in the Solar System We’ve come so far. JACINTA BOWLER 15 MAR 2016

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