It was in January 2005, when I—a planetary geologist only recently turned to writing about space for a living—was crammed along with two dozen other reporters into a room at the European Space Agency operations center in Germany.
Europe's Huygens probe had just completed its descent through Titan's atmosphere, and we knew the spacecraft had been working ESA had received its radio transmissions. But there was a delay and the pictures ...more »
Here's how Planetary Society Members answered...
Click through to read the full submission and comment.
What do you want to see next in space exploration?
I grew up on books about space, watching Cosmos as it first aired, so I've always been an enthusiast. But apart from observing the Moon or Saturn with a small telescope, space was something you saw in a glossy photo, or on your TV screen.
Then in 1985 my family moved out west to New Mexico, and in a few months I found myself part of a Scout troop and hiking ... more »
I was fortunate to be an engineering tech working at the University of California Space Sciences Laboratory. Our group, led by Prof. Kenneth Herr, was tasked to build the infrared spectrometers for the mission. My modest contribution was to build the electronic circuit boards that ran the unit. I was trained at JPL in the processes for cable harnessing, soldering and encapsulation of the connectors.
Very difficult to pinpoint exactly what prompted me to become a member of the Planetary Society. Certainly it wasn't only a beautiful picture from space. It were many - and there were a lot of other reasons.
Becoming interested in space exploration, before the Planetary Society was founded, when I was 12 years old and extremely thrilled by watching the Apollo 11 landing on the moon - I also think SF ... more »
I have always felt a very special attraction for space, and all the wonders it displays. One of the images that impressed me profoundly, and still does, is the mind boggling vision of approximately ten million stars that comprise the Omega Centauri globular cluster. It is really fascinating and inspiring!
One image that really inspired me was shortly after I went to work for JPL in 1979, the Voyager spacecrafts discovered the active volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io. These volcanoes are caused by the tidal heating and stresses on the moon due to its close orbit to the giant, massive planet.
This was the first time we had seen active volcanic activity anywhere other than Earth and it made the solar ... more »
On Christmas 1968 I was in New York as a post-doctoral scientist for a year. In late evening I watched, together with my wife,the Moon landscape rolling away under the Apollo space-ship. One of the astronauts was reading the Creation text of the Bible while the images of this strange wiew were unfolding. So my "picture" is really an unforgettable live "TV movie".
There are so many to choose from... But a few that will always stick with me, as they expanded, and perhaps contracted, our view of ourselves. Three come to mind:
The view out the window of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module as it was descending, but still had some altitude so you could see where we were headed. The famous "Pale Blue Dot" shot. Made me feel that we here were ... more »
I remember in Junior High School, my Science Teacher, Mr. Ray Suchy, would show us Cosmos with Carl Sagan (1980's, I was in 9th grade). That started my romance with Science and Astronomy. With the launching of the Hubble Space Telecope, I remember several pictures that struck me with awe, one was the Deep Space Field images, but the one that was the most compelling was the picture of the ... more »
After the flight of Gemini IV I was chosen to represent my school at a program to honor Edward White and James McDivitt at the old Arie Crown Theatre in Chicago. The presentation was deeply inspiring so when Edward White died in the Apollo I fire it hit me very hard. Sometime after that tragedy I came across the photo I sending. This image moved me in many ways. Edward ... more »
While not the image that first engaged me with space exploration, it is the image that solidified its importance and necessity. Barely a generation before, the two super-powers of the world were poised at eliminating each other with nuclear fire. But barely a generation later, those two nations now work together in the difficult venture of space exploration and under the banner of science and peace.
Your story my story how about we call this story our story my favorite picture of space is space i find every picture of space equally intriguing.But i want to share this picture of space from earth.Call it the tree of life, Call it our family tree beyond the Tree to blowing leaves of The Star bark ,Call it the tree dreaming in a desert night, In the pic i ... more »
I was 11 when the first shuttle launched. I skipped school to watch it on TV and it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I watched the launches as often as I could and when the program ended it broke my heart. Ever since I was little I have had dreams of exploring space like Capt. Kirk. I can't wait until we return to space.
My father was a career Air Force explorer. When Sputnick hit the news, Dad and I started a news clipping scrapbook. We kept that book together until I grew up from his young protege into my own adult explorations. Because of my father, I have dreamed of Europa, not missed a single comet, watch as many meteor showers and Aurora Borealis displays as weather in Southeast Alaska permits, and take ... more »
I've always been fascinated by space. I read every book I could get my hands on, and followed every space shuttle mission as much as possible in the pre-Internet era. With the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, my interest was taken to an entirely new level as I was introduced to astrophotography. The famous image of the Pillars of Creation inside the Eagle Nebula motivated me to one day ... more »