Friday, January 11, 2008

Everest and Mercury

United by a sense of exploration...

This is Sir Edmund Hillary's obituary, which is bound to be better than mine. Particularly since his made The New York Times.
“The whole world around us lay spread out like a giant relief map,” he told one interviewer. “I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men.”

According to the obituary, Hillary preferred to be called Ed. His father was journalist and beekeeper. He was 88.

Meanwhile, NASA is sending a probe closer to the planet Mercury than any man-made thing has ever been:
NASA's MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) probe will make a close approach to Mercury on Monday, one of three scheduled passes before slipping into a stable orbit around the hot planet in 2011.

The probe will be the first to enter orbit there, although the Mariner 10 previously visited the planet in the mid-1970s. But with an approach as close as 124 miles this time, MESSENGER will be able to send back more data, and images of higher resolution, than were achieved by the earlier craft.

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