Thursday, October 4, 2007

Happy Sputnik Day

50 years ago today, the former Soviet Union launched the first satellite into Earth Orbit.

Many people who speak about today will discuss it in the context of the Cold War conflict between the United States and USSR. However, these mundane and earthly reasons are not why I think that this day is significant.

Before Sputnik, we (humanity, and all of the flora and fauna of earth) were limited to the surface of a small speck of dust in the cosmos. Sputnik cracked open a door that made everything else - the moon, asteroids, Mars, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and even other stars, available to us. Not only to us, but to every form of life that we decide to take with us (or can stow away).

The whole universe is now available to us.

That is something to celebrate.

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