A century after the Wright brothers briefly piloted an ungainly aircraft 12 feet above the dunes of North Carolina, humanity is reaching another milestone: getting a craft to the threshold between the solar system and interstellar space. —Peter N. Spotts —Voyager Sails to Edge of Solar System (CS Monitor)
I was glued to the TV set every night during PBS coverage of the latest photos beamed back from the Voyager probes during their encounters of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. I don’t recall being as captivated during the encounter with Neptune, maybe because I could read it online anytime I wanted to, and didn’t have to wait for the next night’s broadcast. When my sister found the CD of the sound track to “Cosmos” (a PBS series created by astronomer and science-fiction author Carl Sagan) I was thrilled — it’s one of maybe six CDs in heavy rotation at work. Boy.. those were the days for a geek kid. The Viking spacecraft landing on Mars in July of 1976; the original Star Wars, Superman, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (okay, ST:TMP sucked — I couldn’t admit that to myself for over a decade), Battlestar Galactica on TV, the launch of the first space shuttle… wow! Not to mention Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Zork, and on and on and on.