Mere days ago, NASA and John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory took another step in our long journey to the stars.
They fired a spacecraft an impossibly long distance – five billion kilometers – at forty times the speed of a bullet, on a journey of almost ten years, to zip between Pluto and its moon Charon, arriving within seconds of its scheduled time. It is traveling so fast that it is now 7.5 million kilometers further away, and counting, on its way out of our solar system.
In performing this astonishing act, the NASA/JHAPL team demonstrated the same drive, ingenuity, vision, mathematical and scientific nous, patience, and courage that the Apollo astronauts and mission teams showed so many years ago.
46 years ago today, Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins, took one famous small step, when they explored the Moon.
They left behind a plaque that simply says:
Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all Mankind.
Every day in the news we hear about ourselves at our worst.
NASA’s accomplishments are a humbling and inspiring reminder to look up, and aspire to be at our best.