Carl Sagan’s Message to Mars

A few months before he died, Carl Sagan recorded a message which he dedicated to future explorers to Mars. Since early Monday morning, in the wake of the Curiosity Lander arriving on the surface of Mars it has begun to do the rounds throughout the internet. Sagan’s passion for the future of space travel is clear in this piece, which is heavily truncated in most of the common versions available online. Happily, I09.com hunted down the extended version of it and what is revealed is a thoughtful and emotional message from an inspirational man, passing a message he hopes will be heard by those that will fulfil his dreams.

Whatever you might think of Sagan, or of the Mars landing and little Curosity making it’s lonely way across it’s surface – he speaks for most of us on some level. Sagan’s passion for the breaking down of environmental boundaries and conquering of new worlds is more profound than most of us but millions huddled around TV sets to watch the first Moon landing, and quietly or not – without the fanfare affording Apollo Astronauts, Curiosity carries a little bit of Sagan across that distant, desolate landscape – and fills it with the potential of dreams. That is the border between science fiction and fact, where wheel or foot fall on previously imagined earth and spark a new generation of Sagan’s to wonder ‘what next?’

Advertisements

Top 5: Dropping Science

I started Dropping Science back in April as a way of sharing science & space stories that were of interest to me. As you might imagine for someone who writes a comic about the Moon, science is a pretty big part of my writing process and it seemed like it would be cool to share some of that stuff with fans of the book. 8 months on and it’s become one of my favourite parts of the whole site. I spend hours some weeks, scouring the net for interesting stuff to post here and in doing so I’ve discovered some amazing vidoes. Some are crazy, some are inspiring but they’re all a tonne of fun to watch. So without further delay, on to my top 5 Dropping Science posts of 2011:

5. The Ghost Rocket

This video is a short documentary by Coffee and Celluloid Productions which tells the story of Florida’s short lived space program. During the space race a company called Aerojet-General built the world’s largest solid fuel rocket at a facility deep in the Everglades. The rocket was intended for the Apollo program but Aerojet lost the contract and the base has just sat quietly rusting away in the swap ever since.

4. How Much Does The Internet Weigh?

 has fast become one of my favourite stops for zaney science facts. In this video, Michael walks us through one of the great questions of humanity…just how much do all those cat videos weigh?

3. The Physics Of My Little Pony

While a lot of the science covered on DS is about astronomy, we do occasionally like to branch out into other fields of science such as magical flying ponies. Physics student, Stephen Magnet put together this presentation for his class, in which he examines just how faithful to the laws of physics those damn ponies are. He became my new hero overnight.

2. Time Lapse Video of the Milky Way

I have a bit of a habit on Dropping Science of being sidetracked by pretty timelapse videos of the night sky. These films don’t necessarily teach us anything new about our galaxy but as an inspirational tool I think they more than earn their place among the other offerings. This video by the incredibly talented Terje Sorgjerd was the first such film that I came across and it remains my favourite.

1. The Pale Blue Dot

This is the video that made me want to start Dropping Science in the first place, so I think it’s only fair that it takes then number 1 spot here. Adam Winnik‘s gorgeous animation accompanying the timeless words of Carl Sagan. I still get goosebumps when I watch it.

Dropping Science runs every Saturday here at Beyond The Bunker. You can find the full archive by clicking here

D
x

Dropping Science: Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” Gets Animated

I’ve been wanting to do some regular updates about science stories that have interested me for a while now. As you might expect for somebody who writes a comic about a guy with a Moon for a head, I’m an entirely unabashed lover of all things space and I figure it’s only right that the book’s scientific inspirations get as much acknowledgement as its artistic ones. That and space is fucking cool

If we’re going to be posting stuff about space then I suppose it makes sense to start with some Carl Sagan. Seridan College student,  Adam Winnik produced this short animation to accompany Sagan’s own narration of an excerpt from his book “Pale Blue Dot”. It’s a beautiful bit of animation to go with a beautiful bit of “scientific poetry”. I hope you enjoy it.

D
x