Saturday, November 19, 2005

Cosmic Connections

"In all the history of mankind there will be only one generation that will be first to explore the Solar System, one generation for which, in childhood, the planets are distant and indistinct discs moving through the night sky, and for which, in old age, the planets are places, diverse new worlds in the course of exploration." ~Carl Sagan

I've always loved this quote, it fires me up everytime I read it. And I can't help but hear Sagan's distinctive voice and inflections whenever I do. I've always thought, 'Maybe it'll be us', or 'Certainly this is what we can give our children', but now I'm starting think perhaps it's already happened. Our parents/grandparents could once believe that - just maybe - there are men on Mars, or that Venus is a lush tropical jungle world. Only because we knew so little and myth was as valid as anything.

But now we know more and more everyday. The exploration is happening now - has been happening for thirty years. We all yearn for the big press event when we walk on Mars, when E.T. returns our phone calls, when we can buy tickets to visit our favorite spacestation - but are we missing the wondrous miracles that are happening everyday? I wonder - Will future generations marvel at the exciting times we must have lived in?


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