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William C. Altreuter
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm still enough of a science geek to be excited by the information coming back from NASA's Messenger mission to Mercury, but it reminds me about the key reality with respect to space travel, one which most SciFi conveniently glosses over. Holy crow, there's a lot of space in space. The Messenger spacecraft took six and a half years to arrive. You know who isn't going to spend 12 years in a space ship to go to Mercury and back? People.


Even so, reading things like "Mercury's day is about twice as long as its year, which lasts for 88 Earth days," takes me back to my childhood visits to the Hayden Planetarium, with its set of scales that showed how much you'd weigh on each of the planets, and real meteorites that you could touch.

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