I am excited. For the first time in my life – and probably the only time in my life – I will be part of a major planetary breakthrough.
Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with space and the universe beyond us. The moment I first laid my hands on a space encyclopedia, I was mesmerized. My small young eyes bulged as I took in photos after photos of our Solar System and the other heavenly bodies beyond. I know they were just artist renditions and the real photos were less stellar, however, I remain fascinated.
I dreamed to be an astronomer, maybe even an astronaut, and be part of space exploration.
Space was what drew me to science at such a young age. A passion I’ve long since explored and cultivated eventually ending up mastering the science of life by taking a course in Biology. As my scientific knowledge grew, I veered away from space science and no longer followed it as closely as I once had.
I simply knew bits and pieces – major milestones in history. And now, with this major milestone, I am all glued to watch it unfold bit by bit.
Pluto, in my mind, has always been the ninth planet. Even when they re-classified it into a dwarf planet and said it was no longer part of the major planets of the Solar System, in my heart it remained a planet. I guess I was being more emotional than rational, affixing childhood memories to the far-flung planet. But I was hopeful that one day, we will discover more about the planet.
And now that moment has come. Although Pluto might not really become a part of the major planets, the mere fact that is has been explored – and that I am part of the generation who witnessed it for the first time – is enough for me.
It is humbling to be such a tiny speck in this vast universe filled with such wondrous things.
To read more about Pluto and the New Horizons project, here are some really great links: