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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Voyager’s 40th Anniversary

East coasters keep your lunchtime open on Tuesday as NASA is celebrating Voyager’s 40th Anniversary. Check out this description from APOD:

Launched in 1977 on a tour of the outer planets of the Solar System, Voyager 1 and 2 have become the longest operating and most distant spacecraft from Earth. Nearly 16 light-hours from the Sun, Voyager 2 has reached the edge of the heliosphere, the realm defined by the influence of the solar wind and the Sun’s magnetic field. Now humanity’s first ambassador to the Milky Way, Voyager 1 is over 19 light-hours away, beyond the heliosphere in interstellar space. Celebrate the Voyagers’ 40 year journey toward the stars with NASA on September 5.

Interstellar space. So cool.

I look at this achievement a number of ways. I laud the fact that this spacecraft was built over 40 years ago (as was its software) and it is out there still humming along. I’m awed at the distance it has traveled and how far out it currently is. However, I also think that 19-light hours is less “time” than it took me yesterday to get back from the Pacific coast in Mexico via bus, airplanes, and car.

In the future 19-light hours may very well seem like next door. I really hope so.

You know where I’ll be on Tuesday during lunch. Chewing on a sandwich and watching NASA TV.

Slingshot around the moon, for two

SpaceX:

We are excited to announce that SpaceX has been approached to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year.

That sentence makes me immeasurably happy.

For most of my life I’ve been very disappointed in the human race’s collective efforts to explore space. I wasn’t even alive when the last manned mission to another object in space happened.

However, over the last several years we’ve seen a barrage of successful missions by every country’s space programs and also by private companies. We’ve been exploring distant objects like Pluto, nearer objects like comets, and in-between enormous objects like Jupiter. Oh, and we’ve been driving on Mars every day for years. To top it off we’re now routinely sending objects into orbit around the earth and landing back on the ground. It is a very, very exciting time.

It isn’t too late. We can catch up from the last few decades in a hurry and I’m really happy that two brave and obviously wealthy human beings are willing to push us all forward. All the best to them. Have a great trip.

E10: Email services, business travel, food, and life journaling

Danny and I have a wandering Saturday afternoon discussion about email services, business travel, some food, and life journaling in the modern age.

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