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A Connecticut museum, having switched its focus from art to science, has chosen to sell its most valuable statue to finance its own cubesat.

Art vs Engineering: A Connecticut museum, having switched its focus from art to science, has chosen to sell its most valuable statue to finance its own cubesat.

The Discovery Museum and Planetarium in Bridgeport is making a calculated trade-off as it launches a significant upgrade to its science education program for schoolchildren. The 55-year-old museum is auctioning a massive bronze statue Friday to raise money to outfit and program a satellite the size of a milk carton attached to a NASA rocket beaming back data on space dust. …

The statue [is] of a man handing a torch to another man reaching down while on a horse symbolizes the passing of the knowledge of civilization from one generation to the next. …

The satellite will be programmed to capture small space debris analyzed by students in high-school and younger at the museum’s Challenger Learning Center. “We’re building a mission control at the museum,” said David Mestre, director of space science education at the museum. “We’re developing software for a kid to run a space program.” [emphasis mine]

That last quote clinches the deal for me. The statue is impressive, but it merely expresses the idea. Having children operate their own space satellite puts the idea into action.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

2 comments

  • mpthompson

    Perhaps the buyer of the statue will donate it back to the museum.

  • Edward

    The ability of cubesats to let schools, companies, individuals, and even museums directly participate in the exploration and exploitation of space is one of the many things that make these exciting times in space.

    What was once only the purview of governments has become the science lab for the enthusiastic and curious among us. With 300 million (or seven billion) people able to do their own thing in space, we may find that space exploration advances at a much faster pace than expected, perhaps with far more people eager to get into space than expected, too.

    When people have the freedom to do as they wish, they will do more than the government would have done. If all we have is the government deciding what to do in space, we will only get what government wants, not what We the People want.

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