Space travel has been on my mind, both the kind we can only speculate over (the visitors from somewhere else) and the tangible and proven variety (the chunks of metal and sensors that we have thrown up ourselves.) I have researched more of both kinds than I am happy to admit too: Nerd or Geek? I try to side-step both labels. “Writer of (Scientific) Speculative Fiction” is the perfect length to fit on the sticky note I’d be happy to wear.
DID YOU KNOW:
Voyager 1 was launched in 1977 to explore the outer solar system? And that a few weeks before Voyager 1's launch, NASA launched Voyager 2 so it would take the scenic route: past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune? Do you think they muddled up the numbers and labelled the spaceships the wrong way around?
Voyager 2 is currently about 8.8 billion miles (14.1 billion km) from the sun and is traveling about 3,000 mph slower than Voyager 1.
After years of pootling along, sending back data that was, basically, the same old/same old, Voyager 1 just got interesting. It has entered a region of space where the speed of solar wind (charged particles streaming from the sun) is effectively zero. NASA scientists theorise that the solar wind has been blown sideways by a more powerful interstellar wind that blows in the spaces between stars .:/.:/.:/.:/ (This is my visual aid ;) )
The region immediately beyond the termination shock, where Voyager 1 is now, is called the heliosheath. The very edge of the solar system is a border known as the heliopause.
NASA is counting down to the day when Voyager 1 starts sending back information from the space beyond.
But, what goes up must come down. I hope Voyager 2 comes complete with a message that says, "Ooops! Sorry!"
If I went to space I would miss the comfort of predictability... that and my family.
What do you think you would miss?