What NASA moment is most inspiring to you?

-September 12, 2013

Welcome to Voice of the Engineer (formerly 5 Engineers), where we toss out a question and invite our audience to respond with their wittiest answers.

This week we can’t help but be thinking about NASA’s Voyager 1, which NASA announced today became the first human-made spacecraft to enter interstellar space. … Boldly go, Voyager, boldly go …

To be sure, that does not mean Voyager left the solar system. @NASAVoyager shared the following tweet at about 3:40 eastern time:

I'm in #interstellar space, but I haven't left the solar system. The regions overlap. This explains: http://go.nasa.gov/17SGOZ6

This is a tremendous accomplishment. As NASA points out “no one has been to interstellar space before, and it's like traveling with guidebooks that are incomplete.”

NASA has also commented that “uncertainty is part of exploration. We wouldn't go exploring if we knew exactly what we'd find." And in that is the wonder and triumph in exploring that NASA has brought us so many times.

The two Voyager crafts, launched in 1977, are among my favorite NASA endeavors. Between them, they had visited Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune all by 1989. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their accomplishments. They are so beloved, Voyager crafts often appear in sci-fi books, TV shows, and movies. Here’s a photo of Captain Kirk “finding” Voyager.

That brings us to this week’s question: What NASA moment is most inspiring to you? Perhaps it’s the moon landing, or a Mars Curiosity, or when the Apollo 13 crew returned safely, or one of many, many other moments.

Post your short answers below and be sure to stay tuned to this blog for more 5 Engineers questions in the weeks to come.

Also see:

Voyager: The mathematics of interstellar space travel

Voyager 1 takes 1st photos of Earth and moon together, September 18, 1977

Voyager 1 makes closest approach to Jupiter, March 5 1979

Voyager 2 launches, August 20, 1977

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