In Cosmos, the wise Carl Sagan said, “Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group. Initially our loyalties were to ourselves and our immediate family, next, to bands of wandering hunter-gatherers, then to tribes, small settlements, city-states, nations. We have broadened the circle of those we love. [...] If we are to survive, our loyalties must be broadened further, to include the whole human community, the entire planet Earth.
US space exploration is beginning to take on a different light and persona since its exceptional beginnings in 1958 – the ending of the NASA space shuttle program earlier this year; the exploration of space by manned space shuttles to be carried out by private companies; the landing of the new Curiosity Rover on Mars; and the death of the first astronaut to step foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong. Even though astronauts from around the globe will still congregate at the International Space Station while scientists scour the galaxies from Earth with powerful telescopes and images from far away satellites traveling beyond our solar system — things have still changed a lot in the continual exploration of the unknown. [Read more...]