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?
The first time I saw a Hubble deep space image, with seemingly hundreds of galaxies, some as small as individual stars, it just blew me away. To think that each galaxy could contain as many stars as our Milky Way galaxy (200 billion) and that there could be as many as 200 billion galaxies, just became impossible to fathom. But what really totally stopped me in my tracks was trying ... more »
When I was a child this was my greatest memory of the Apollo program next to Apollo 11. Commander Dave Scott proved that Galileo was right after all. Several years ago I was lucky to meet Dave Scott in person through my work in Near Earth Objects. I was able to tell him what a difference he had made in my life that single moment in time.
My father was in the Naval Research Lab group that used V-2 rockets (and some of the German personnel) at White Sands proving grounds that took the first "official" photo from space 60 miles up. He had it hanging on a wall at work for many years when I was a kid (he was one of the founders and the director of Goddard Space Flight Center). It was a crude ... more »
March 6, 1979 was quite a day! We got our first close up views of Jupiter's dynamic cloud system - and then the bizarre lava-covered surface of Io. I was at Goddard Space Flight Center waiting for the Plasma Science data to come across the line-printer to reveal the ions of sulfur and oxygen - products of the volcanic gases escaping from Io. I remember that the next day this ... more »
The Hubble photo of the Eagle Nebula star "hatchery" brought home to me the amazing process of star formation. Although there have been many other photos of nebulas, that particular one with its majestic columns of space dust and debris coalescing into stars was mind expanding.
it wasn't an image on paper or the internet that inspired me. It was the image of Hale-Bopp comet that I saw every evening as I took my walk, right above Cucamonga Peak. I would watch it get brighter and brighter with excitement. Then I would take my family to the dark skies of the desert and enjoy an even closer relationship with Hale-Bopp in my first telescope, an 8 ... more »
For my 8th birthday I received a small 3” Newtonian telescope with a claw mount from my Father. I used to carry that little scope out at night to a small hill about a hundred yards behind the house. The stars were incredibly bright and numerous; even more appeared through the eyepiece. Although, I didn’t know how to find anything in the night sky, except for the Moon, I really ... more »
There are so many inspiring images to choose from. This image of Buzz Aldrin's footprint on the moon represents what is probably the most inspiring moment of my life. The lunar landing. With one small step, a giant leap for mankind. What a really profound step that was.
Mankind's first step onto another world, out of the cradle so to speak, was a turning point for our species and the beginning ... more »
I was 10,I think. Image I first saw was a book cover showing a rocket standing on its tail on the Moon surrounded by jagged peaks. Spacemen where standing on the surface and if I recall correctly, another was climbing up, or down, a ladder on the side of the rocket, which was shaped like a V2. This exciting vision was entrenched when I saw George Pal's Movie "Rocket to ... more »
From the time I can remember I have always been interested in the night sky and our place in the universe. I read a lot of books on Astronomy when I was very young and was hooked on the Space Program from the beginning. Being born at the exact right time to witness the birth of the Space Program and the moon landings as well as watch the technology of ... more »
In my teenage years, the cold war era threw a cold blanket over thoughts about the future. The appearance of Star Trek gave me hope that the future could be very exciting indeed. I firmly believe that Star Trek was, and still is, a potent message that we are capable of space exploration. Even at the age of 71, I would like to help build a permanent base on the ... more »
I remember when the Soviet craft landed on Venus and managed to survive the lead-melting,acid corrosive atmosphere long enough to transmit this. Although I was disappointed to see that this was not Bradbury's tropical planet, getting the image back to earth seemed to mean that anything was possible if we put our imagination to it.
I distinctly remember the first time I saw the image of the Hubble Deep Field. It was one of those rare moments when you actually "feel" the immensity of space and the vast size of the universe. I was one of those humbling moments when you suddenly realize how tiny a speck our Earth is, and how much we still have to learn - both about our own corner of ... more »
I remember refusing to leave for work on the morning of July 20, 1976 because Carl Sagan on TV was promising that, any minute now, the first image from the surface of Mars would be received. Then it began to appear. Technology was different in then, so instead of an instant complete image, we saw it start to appear one video line at a time. We were late for work ... more »
This photo, Pillars of Creation, was, I believe, taken by the Hubble Telescope within a year or two of its launch. I have always been an astronomy hobbyist, but I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this! It made me realize how much out there exists beyond our knowledge and imagination and how much there is to see and discover! We are not just of this world but of ... more »