A Great Risk for an Even Greater Reward
By: Charles Bohannan, UX Writer at Embroker
Take a break from social media and the news and check out these recent photos of Saturn from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The 20 year mission ended last week after intentionally disintegrating in Saturn’s atmosphere, but not before gifting the world some of the most stunning and breathtaking extraterrestrial images ever captured.
Nearly all space exploration missions today are government-funded and thereby shielded from the competitive forces of the private market and investor demands. Yet these missions often represent the biggest risks in science and technology that all of humanity can take.
Space agencies like NASA must painstakingly coordinate the science, research, engineering, personnel, and contracts to produce the hardware, software, launch, and data collection for each mission. We’re talking decades of risk for the chance to produce some of the most aspiring and inspiring innovations of our time.
Cassini’s images are a mere glimpse of a planet we can barely comprehend, and they wouldn’t exist without NASA’s quantum leap of faith and planning in the face of enormous risk.
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