If you are a student of the late, great astronomer and physicist, Carl Sagan, then you should be paying very close attention to English physicist and Professor of particle physics, Brian Cox. Perhaps you have seen him in his science series ‘Wonders.’ Perhaps you know him from his work at CERN.
Along with Robin Ince, he has been co-hosting ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’ which according to BBC Radio is “An irreverent look at the world through scientist’s eyes.”
Today, I downloaded four episodes of the podcasts and listened to two episodes called ‘Parallel Universes’ and ‘So You Want To Be An Astronaut.’
It was as I was listening to the second episode, ‘So You Want To Be An Astronaut,’ that I found myself searching for a pen as I was desperate to write down the insight that was being shared.
The first set of remarks that had caught my ear was the discussion of the photographs taken by the Apollo 8, Apollo 11, and Apollo 17 astronauts that virtually changed the world.
Perhaps you remember them. One photograph was the planet earth as a backdrop against a close up of the moon’s lunar surface.
There were those in the 1960’s who feared that to gaze upon a picture of the Earth from space would be to go mad. This was because, they reasoned, that the human psyche was unable to comprehend actually seeing our planet from space. “It would be too much for the mind to comprehend,” they argued.
In reality, mankind greatly benefitted from photographs of the Earth and moon from space. The sight of our beautiful planet proved to be an inspiration for many. It was something to protect and keep safe, especially from our impending self-destruction.
Before we knew it, we were gathering in groups to talk about and find ways to take steps to ensure that our descendants would inherit an Earth free from pollution and undamaged by the horrors of the nuclear age we found ourselves in.
I remember how smitten my Father was with the picture you see above taken by the crew of Apollo 8. He even bought a poster of it and hung it over our sofa in the family room. That’s when he started buying astronomy magazines.
That’s when I started paying attention to NASA.
In this podcast, I heard a remarkable statement from one of the show’s panelists.
What was said is as follows:
“In the last 40 years what we really learned was how to cooperate in space. The first thing that I remember is 1975, the Apollo-Soyuz test project and the Americans and Russians at the height of the Cold War, cooperating, carrying flags through the airlock, and realizing that they had to have a partnership in space and the future of space flight totally depends on global cooperation in space. So, most of what we learned in the last 40 years in space is that how to get 16 member nations to work together to build this platform that floats around the Earth at 250 odd miles at 70,000 miles an hour, and that’s a massive, massive, massive achievement.”
This is insight which I can learn from.
This is insight which gives me hope.
If you would like more information on ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’ podcast, please follow the link given below.