And Make Us Think About What is Possible
A visible light image of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex. Courtesy of NASKIES, CC-BY-SA-3.0
What price do you put on stimulating the imagination and scientific interest in someone? I don’t know about you, but I think it’s priceless. Certain events in our history are enough to get us dreaming about the infinite possibilities that lie out there among the other planets and the distant stars and galaxies. Or course, those events did cost something in terms of money and human effort. There’s always a price, a cost, a tradeoff. The payback is knowledge, which comes with both costs, plus the chance to look at places we’ve never seen before. That’s the essence of exploration.
The New Horizons team celebrates a successful flyby of Pluto. Image by Carolyn Collins Petersen.
New Horizons cost around $700 million, and has certainly inspired people around the world. Worth it? I’d say so. We are supposed to be learning about our universe, using the brains and intellect that evolved along with our bodies. This mission just showed us a world that was long seen only as a point of light. It’s now a place with mountains and ...