Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I joined The Planetary Society this week. I received what would normally be just plain old junk mail, especially when the return address said ARTHUR C. CLARKE, author of 2001, among other things. I didn't just chuck it though. I always got these envelopes as a kid, with their little surveys and explanations as to why space exploration is so important. Even with their recent failure of the solar sail craft, I believe it is necessary to explore. Maybe it is the Star Trek buff in me with the whole "explore new worlds" thing. Maybe it is the fact that I remember getting caught up when my mom made sure to bring me home the newspapers showcasing Voyager sailing past Saturn and Jupiter. E.T. was probably an influence, as well as the countless comics and science fiction stories I read. I always want to think that it is possible, no matter how unlikely. I always returned The Planetary Society's little surveys, expressing my interest but, sadly, not my money. I could barely afford the comic books I was reading and my mom couldn't really fork out the dough. So this time I did, finally. Luckily the introductory rate was $15 and I get a magazine, but the whole point is that I feel better for doing this. I believe that we are at that stage of technological infancy where we are ready to explode into all the scientific realms. I really do. I feel, albeit on a grander scale, what they felt like with computers back in, let's say, the 1940s. They knew what computers would eventually be capable of and look at us now. I feel like it is back in December of 1903 when the Wright brothers took off for those 12 seconds. Imagine the possibilities formulating in their minds and now we have hundreds of planes that cross the continents every day in what seems an infintesimal amount of time compared to sea-travel. I want this to succeed, and if I can only dream with them, well, dreaming with two fantastic minds like Arthur C. Clarke and the late founder Carl Sagan can't be bad company. PLANETARY.ORG

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