Learning about the cosmos, from childhood onward
December 10, 2012
My learning about the cosmos has been a lifelong pursuit, sparked by countless events and encounters. I remember reading library books speculating on conditions on Venus and Mars in the late 1950's, my first views of the moon and Saturn through a telescope, watching orbiting satellites (Echo), following the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions on TV, viewing the images of Mars returned by the Mariner spacecraft and Viking missions, following the progress of the Voyager spacecraft from Jupiter to Saturn (and Uranus and Neptune by Voyager II), watching the Cosmos series in the 1980's, viewing Comet Halley on Christmas Eve in 1986, learning the names and locations of the bright stars and constellations, and sharing my enthusiasm with friends and family. This has truly been a great time to live, as we have learned so much and come so far in the past sixty years.
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Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.