Monday, July 9, 2012

Lessons from the Canyon

Nick Perlongo

The universally obvious reaction to seeing the grand canyon is undoubtedly sheer awe in its immensity and apparent timelessness. While I was struck with some sense of this feeling, I couldn't help but think about how  this assessment is merely the resultant of my experiences and is nearly a misnomer considering the sum of the universe. If  a member of a 10 billion year old civilization with the capability of intergalactic travel visited the grand canyon, they would likely draw the conclusion that it is simply a tiny recent geological feature carved in a barely bigger spec of dust on the rim of the milky way. I think this is a rather instructive conclusion to make in that it proves that reality beyond our own perception and understanding can be even more awesome that we have the ability to imagine. This observation gives further depth and excitement to the study of space physics and exploration. Perhaps one day, humans will be that space faring civilization unimpressed by a similar feature on some other infinitesimal rock.  While this feat may be unachievable to its full extent, the possibility is exhilarating. A project this far reaching will require an unwavering commitment to global teamwork and tolerance intertwined with a deep understanding of the earth and ourselves. This future starts now with us, and NASA is leading the way. 

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