Thursday, July 01, 2004
And from the Pasadena hills, the sounds of nerds rejoicing
Listening to the report on NPR this morning about Cassini's successful entry into its Saturn orbit made me a bit teary-eyed. Lame? Sure, but as a kid who grew up attending math and science magnets (remember, I'm this nerdy) in Southern California, JPL was, like, the best field trip ever.
And so often something goes wrong with these things, right? A space pebble breaks a billion dollar orbiter. The focus is off.
But this time, the little guy (little bus-sized guy) made it. Nearly 7 years and a billion miles later, his brakes worked for the 95 needed minutes, and into orbit he dropped.
Just for a moment, I could remember the chills I got the first time an astronomer explained to me how it is that we're all made of stardust.
So, congrats Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Geeks everywhere salute you.