Tuesday, July 5, 2016

We Can Still Do Great Things

While we may not be able to keep Islamic terrorists from blowing us up or shooting us.  And while we can't find two decent, honest and honorable people to elect as President out of a population of 350-million.  And despite our inability drive at constant speeds on road leading to and from Northwoods destinations, we as Americans are still capable of doing some pretty amazing things.

Take for instance the successful deployment of the Juno spacecraft into orbit around Jupiter overnight.  While you were passed out from day-drinking all 4th of July--or were trying to set off an entire package of illegal fireworks in your backyard all at once--the folks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were sending complex computer commands to an object 365-million miles away.  The 7 button on my remote control sometimes doesn't work just eight feet away from the cable box.  And remember that Jupiter is a moving target--traveling through space at more than 29-thousand miles an hour.

When Juno was launched in August of 2011, engineers had to calculate where Jupiter would be on July 4th of 2016--and correctly estimate the average speed of the spacecraft itself to get to that same spot at the correct time.  If they had missed by as little as 1/100th of a percent, Juno would have missed the target and just floated off into the cosmos.  I doubt those working on those equations used "ten is your friend" math to make their computations.

And Jupiter is massive--second only to the Sun in terms of size in the solar system--and it has a huge gravitational pull--two and a half times that of Earth--so there was a very good chance that had Juno been a little late in firing its retro rockets last night, it would have been pulled toward the planet and crushed.  But everything went perfectly--and the little craft will spend the next month orbiting the plant, providing us with insight into the formation of the universe.

So don't let the constant stream of terror attacks, criminal investigations into candidates, the buffoonery before the cameras of other candidates or someone slowing down to see if every side street is the one they need to turn down to get back to the resort get you down.  We can still accomplish great things here in America.

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