India’s first mission to Mars will attempt to put a spacecraft in orbit around the red planet next week, in a crucial test of a low-cost project carrying the country’s hopes to join the leaders of a global space race.
They say big things come in little packages. That may never be more true than with what astronomers have just discovered: A “monster” black hole hiding inside one of the smallest galaxies ever known.
Long before NASA’s Curiosity rover ever existed, the US sent a couple of intrepid missions to Mars thanks to the Viking program. Viking 1 and Viking 2 reached Mars orbit in 1976, way back when bell-bottoms were in style.
It was the culmination of a decade of pioneering work in space exploration, a grand attempt to challenge the limits of ordinary human existence by accomplishing the extraordinary. I find the Apollo missions to be among the most inspiring human endeavors of all time.