Sky's Up Summer 2016 - Page 20

Technicians use an overhead crane to lower NASA’s Juno spacecraft onto a fueling stand where the spacecraft will be loaded with the propellant necessary for its mission to Jupiter. The image was taken at Astrotech’s Hazardous Processing Facility in Titusville, Fla., on June 27, 2011. “We shall never cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.” — T.S. Eliot Pushing the limits Space exploration reveals our Solar System’s secrets A By STEVE EDBERG Guest Contributor merica’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, has been exploring space for more than 55 years. Pioneer 4, its first Pioneer 4 successful effort to venture into the Solar System – the Moon and beyond – came just over a year after its first successful mission to Earth orbit with Explorer 1. The history of NASA’s, and the rest of the world’s, exploration beyond Earth orbit is filled with both failure and success — a true human endeavor. Humanity’s robotic exploration of the Solar System can be characterized by the stages it COURTESY OF NASA follows. Remote observations are made by robotic observatories in geocentric (Earth-centered) or heliocentric (Suncentered) orbits. Often left out of the (