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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

One step closer

Every time I read about NASA and the 2016 budget increases my faith in humanity gets restored just a bit.
Our robotic explorer, Dawn, is approaching Ceres.
The largest object in the asteroid belt and not-quite-a-planet will finally get a proper picture rather than a blurry dot.
We're going to Europa! I'm betting we are going to find something very interesting under the ice.
New Horizons has begun it's mission to explore Pluto and the edge of the solar system.
Heck, we're still circling a comet.
We have a lot to be thankful for and I think my eyes will live long enough to see mankind step out into the solar system and colonize it.
This showed up on my desktop a few weeks back and I thought it was noteworthy. Great Britain's Beagle II probe that went missing in 2003? People feared it was destroyed when it landed. But fear not! It appears one of the solar panels didn't deploy or it got caught up in the communications gear. One snippet I read was it was programmed to collect data, it simply can't communicate it back to Earth. When we do get around to putting someone on Mars, perhaps they could have a thumb drive to download the data and get it back for us.
I don't think anyone could have predicted that would of happened. If anything, it says how well built the craft is to have survived the landing. It also proves Murphy's law does apply to space exploration.

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