retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

This has nothing to do with business. But I just think it is incredibly cool, and it appeals to my inner geek.

Yesterday, the New Horizons space probe that was launched by NASA in January 2006, flying at 31,00 miles an hour, came with 7,800 miles of Pluto - a planet that is three billions miles from earth and that takes more than 247 years to make a single orbit around the sun - and sent back a picture (above).

The scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson said that getting such a small probe (about the size of a grand piano) to precisely the right place in the solar system at the right time was like hitting "a hole-in-one on a two-mile golf shot."

Much more is expected, and it apparently will take as long as 16 months for all the pictures and data to be sent back to Earth.

Mow, New Horizons continues its journey, into the outer solar system, where icy planets and dwarf planets may await it, and then into interstellar space.

And I just think this is not just Eye-Opening (and potentially enormously so depending on what New Horizons finds out there - I'm hoping for Vulcans), but awesome in its implications about our capabilities, and our potential.

We all ought to feel not just good about, but great about the fact that we can do it.

I hope that NASA is giving New Horizons just one command:

Second star to the right. And straight on 'til morning.

KC's View: