Voyager: Exploration, Space, and the Third Great Age of Discovery Info

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A brilliant new account of the Voyager space program-its
history, scientific impact, and cultural legacy


Launched in 1977, the two unmanned Voyager spacecraft have completed
their Grand Tour to the four outer planets, and they are now on course
to become the first man-made objects to exit our solar system. To many,
this remarkable achievement is the culmination of a golden age of
American planetary exploration, begun in the wake of the 1957 Sputnik
launch. More than this, Voyager may be one of the purest expressions of
exploration in human history.
For more than five hundred
years the West has been powered by the impulse to explore, to push into a
wider world. In this highly original book, Stephen Pyne recasts Voyager
in the tradition of Magellan, Columbus, Cook, Lewis and Clark, and
other landmark explorers. The Renaissance and Enlightenment-the First
and Second Ages of Discovery- sent humans across continents and oceans
to find new worlds. In the Third Age, expeditions have penetrated the
Antarctic ice, reached the floors of the oceans, and traveled to the
planets by new means, most spectacularly via semi-autonomous robot.
Voyager probes how the themes of motive and reward are stunningly
parallel through all three ages. Voyager, which gave us the first
breathtaking images of Jupiter and Saturn, changed our sense of our own
place in the universe.

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