Human beings are capable of horrible things. You think times are tough today? Go back in history to any previous period, the cruel methods taken by empires, mobs, and local societies, behavior we would decry as inhuman was all too common. Life was brutal and short. We are fortunate to live in today’s world. At least most of us bathe daily.
Of course human beings are also capable of creating astounding beauty and amazing feats. Rather than focus on a great work of art, look today to the final act of the Cassini exploration of Saturn and it’s rings. I can’t possibly give a full report of the mission in this brief blog. Planning took decades, the trip from Earth to Saturn took seven years and the mission has lasted thirteen years. A terrific video summary of the final act is in the New York Times video:
There will be plenty of great summaries of the discoveries mankind has made from this mission to be found online and in science magazines. Dig in as far as you are interested, some highlights are listed below. The fact human beings are capable of this achievement is astounding.
This morning the spacecraft will purposely be plunged into the Saturn atmosphere to burn up and disappear. This will provide one last burst of data and prevent future accidental contamination to the moons as we lose control of the device in the future. Like so many items that burn up in our atmosphere it will be little noted on Saturn but we will learn a great deal. Hail Cassini, Hail Saturn.
NEXT WEEK: What could bring together Pirates, Edward Albee and Hobbits? Check in to see!