Until a couple of months ago, I had no clue that NASA’s Space Shuttle Program was coming to an end. Realizing that I knew very little about the program, I tried to soak up all the information I could before the last mission was long gone. After all, I love astronomy and there’s no way I could let something this historic occur without understanding its true meaning, its real importance.
Then it was time. As I watched space shuttle Atlantis launch into space (albeit, a couple of minutes late), I could only hope I wasn’t witnessing the end of exploration.
The whole situation got me thinking: Why didn’t I know anything about the program? While in elementary and high school, we certainly talked about the first steps on the moon. But the Apollo 11 landing and moonwalk occurred almost 12 years before the Space Shuttle Program officially began. If we didn’t talk about the successes, we certainly weren’t going to discuss some of the tragic missions such as those of the Challenger and Columbia shuttles.
Overall, there was very little space-related information relayed to us youngsters. We didn’t learn about the rovers that were going to be sent to Mars, or the crafts sent to orbit Saturn and Jupiter; and we were never taught about the Hubble Telescope or the International Space Station.
The only thing I remember about science class was: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pies. You remember that mnemonic tool, right? It helped children remember the order of planets in our solar system, starting from the celestial body closest to our sun. I wonder what the mnemonic device is used now since Pluto is no longer considered a planet …
I guess the lack of science education in my life is the reason why I’m starting this blog. There’s so much interesting science news out there, but it’s not talked about as much as I think it should. The more we talk about it, the more we can ensure that future space exploration continues. After all, learning about other planets and solar systems helps us learn where we come from and what’s in store for our future. More on that in future posts.
I hope to provide information on new space exploration technology, new findings (did you know the Kepler mission has found planets outside of our solar system?!?!) and odd stories you won’t read about in common places. Want to learn about a specific topic? Send me a note and my next post could be based on your specific interests.