Volume 29 No 2
The image shown above is of NASA’s Juno spacecraft that had been barreling towards its final destination of Jupiter, which landed successfully on July 4th of 2016 (when this specific magazine was published, Juno was still on its way to Jupiter). Juno’s mission is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter as well as measure water and other elements in deep atmosphere, map magnetic fields, and look for Jupiter’s planetary core.
When flipping through the Physics World magazine (in print), this image caught my attention mainly because I have always been interested in the developments and progress NASA and other companies have been making out in space. I was able to recognize just by looking at the image that it was Jupiter in the background and I was able to assume the article that followed was about some mission to explore Jupiter. When I look at this image, I think about how far we have come and how technology has advanced so much. This image makes me think there are no limits to what we can accomplish and nowhere we won’t be able to eventually go. This image makes me believe that eventually we will be able “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no man has gone before” (Star Trek).
When I asked my stranger what she thought of this image, she was unable to recognize which planet was in the image, but she was able to assume it was a mission to explore and understand one of the planets in our solar system. Although less interested in space exploration, she too was impressed by the progress companies such as NASA, SpaceX and others have made with this technology that allows us to travel and spend time on other planets for years at a time. When I asked her how this image made her feel, she said “optimistic,” meaning there is so much more here on Earth and in the Universe that has yet to be discovered.
I found my stranger in Salsarita’s and she was more than willing to give me her thoughts on the image shown above. She is 21 years of age and is in her 4th year of study towards a degree in Chemical Engineering at RIT. She has done two co-ops thus far and is currently trying to get a co-op somewhere in Europe. She has already been all over the world with her family and she was able to give me a lot of additional advice for my month long European trip come graduation, which was awesome.
Comparison between Reactions
As I mentioned above, my stranger was less interested in space exploration than I, but I think our reactions to this image were fairly similar. We were both amazed about the advances society and these large companies have made and were optimistic for the future. We agreed that there was so much out there in the world that has yet to be discovered/invented and there are truly no limits as to what we can accomplish, both individually and as a whole.