“Sailors on a becalmed sea, we sense the stirring of a breeze.” ~ Carl Sagan, from Pale Blue Dot

                   

“We were hunters and foragers. The frontier was everywhere. We were bounded only by the Earth, and the ocean, and the sky. The open road still softly calls. Our little terraquious globe as the madhouse of those hundred thousand millions of worlds. We, who cannot even put our own planetary home in order, riven with rivalries and hatreds; Are we to venture out into space? By the time we’re ready to settle even the nearest of other planetary systems, we will have changed. The simple passage of so many generations will have changed us. Necessity will have changed us. We’re . . . an adaptable species. It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri and the other nearby stars. It will be a species very like us, but with more of our strengths, and fewer of our weaknesses. More confident, farseeing, capable, and prudent. For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness. What new wonders, undreamed of in our time, will we have wrought in another generation? And another? How far will our nomadic species have wandered by the end of the next century? And the next millennium? Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds through the solar system and beyond, will be unified by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by the knowledge that whatever other life there may be, the only humans in all the universe come from Earth. They will gaze up, and strain to find the blue dot in their skies. They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of raw potential once was. How perilous, our infancy. How humble, our beginnings. How many rivers we had to cross before we found our way.”

~ Carl Sagan from his book “Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space”

 

“When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see; | Saw the Vision of the world and all the wonder that would be.—” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson, from “Locksley Hall”

                  

“We have your satellite if you want it back send 20 billion in Martian money. No funny business or you will never see it again.” ~ Seen on a hall wall at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs

It took me four tries to type in my password just because I kept tripping over the keys. Today is not the day to sit down for a writing session. Instead, enjoy the beautiful images that follow:

From My Modern Met

Not many people get to travel to outer space, but here, we can at least see what it looks like from amazing aerial perspectives. Landsat 5, a satellite that observed our planet for more than 29 years in space, will soon be ending it’s mission. Originally set to orbit Earth for three years, the satellite lived well beyond its intended means. But, a recently broken gyroscope has declared the end of the machine’s time in space.

It orbited Earth more than 150,000 times, capturing more than 2.5 million images of our world’s terrain. In honor of the mission’s end, here are a collection of Landsat 5’s best images of our planet. Landsat 7, which has been orbiting Earth since 1999, will remain overhead and Landsat 8 will be launched into space in February 2013.

Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
Mount Elgon, Uganda-Kenya Border
Belcher Islands, Canada
Wabash and Ohio Rivers
Painted Desert, Arizona
Dhofar Region, Oman
Erg Iguidi, Algeria
Rhodes, Greece
New England
Lake Eyre, Australia

Okavango River, Botswana

Landsat website