In 1977 NASA launched Voyager 1 and 2, two probes boldly going where no spacecraft had gone before! After 35 years of zipping through space these ultimate inanimate explorers still work and are still communicating with us! The Voyager program has been a vital source of information used by astronomers in understanding more about our own cosmic back yard.
Space, the final frontier...
Today at 4:50 pm, space shuttle Discovery will blast off on its final mission into space. On board Discovery are six astronauts, the Permanent Multipurpose Module which will become sort of a storage closet for the space station, and Robonaut 2, the first dextrous humanoid robot to go into space. Robonaut 2 will test his ability to operate in zero gravity and will eventually become an astronaut's helper.
Tuesday, December 21, is the Winter Solstice and usually considered the first day of winter. However, meteorological winter is already here! So what’s the deal? Well, the definition of winter depends on whom you ask.
Thirty-eight years ago I stood with my younger brother on a shoreline near midnight looking eastward across 12 miles of quiet, dark water at the brilliant jewel on the far horizon. A million people lined the beaches as far as we could see. In the distance xenon arc lights crossed upon the largest craft ever to carry humans. The thunderstorm that had earlier sent tendrils of blue and orange lightning beyond the gantry had since moved far out to sea.
For an incredible 33 years, Voyager 2 has been our eyes of discovery in the outer solar system and beyond. This venerable spacecraft has been in continuous operation more than 12,000 days, sending us compelling photos and information about the gas giants of the solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Now headed into interstellar space beyond the solar system, the spacecraft is still transmitting invaluable data about the solar wind and deep space beyond the planets.