Milestones are important to document, especially if you might forget them over time, or they if they might seem insignificant compared to expected future achievements.

For example, I don’t remember the first time I got a perfect score on a spelling test, but my Mum does and still has the piece of paper to prove it.  I similarly don’t remember my first steps, first, hug, or first words, but I bet my Mum remembers those too.

At a later stage, other firsts were embarrassingly recorded for posterity (read: bragging rights) by yours truly, across various adolescent diaries/journals.  Mercifully, my teenage years pre-date the elephantine memory of social media/internet/NSA archives).

So, what inspired this little digression down memory lane? The great George Takei, course. Or at least, his noting the importance of marking NASA’s Voyager 1 embarking on the final frontier…again.  Thanks George, I find your internet musings important, enjoyable, and often enlightening.

Yesterday NASA confirmed that Voyager 1, first launched in 1977, has become the first man-made object to break free from our solar system.  How exciting!  They estimate Voyager 1 is now 18.8 billion kilometers from earth.  It has now reached inter-stellar space, the space between stars, a vast expanse so great it will be 40,000 years before it reaches another star.  Amazing!!

Yesterday NASA also confirmed the authenticity of the frog photo (above). That little guy was blown clear off his lily pad by the blast-off of ‘Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer’ (LADEE??? I guess the days of Discovery and Endeavor are well and truly over).  NASA tweeted this instagram pic.

At time of going to press, the frog’s condition remained uncertain…

The company I work for has some cool Lesson Plans that relate to this historic moment (no, I won’t be cruel and post a biology dissection tutorial… I meant about Voyager 1!).  You can check out these teaching resources related to astronomy if you’re as interested in the stuff as I am.  The first lesson plan covers the history of the science, the second lesson plan is a fun one posted by NASA about space telescopes and how they capture images and communicate with earth.

Have a great weekend.  Never stop looking up.


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