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NASA Celebrates 50 Years of Planetary Exploration

NASA's Mariner 2 spacecraft On Dec. 14, 1962, NASA's Mariner 2 spacecraft sailed close to Venus, marking the first time any spacecraft had ever successfully made a close-up study of another planet. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

PASADENA, Calif. -- Fifty years ago on a mid-December day, NASA's Mariner 2 spacecraft sailed close to the shrouded planet Venus, marking the first time any spacecraft had ever successfully made a close-up study of another planet. The flyby, 36 million miles (58 million kilometers) away from Earth, gave America its first bona fide space "first" after five years in which the Soviet Union led with several space exploration milestones. Designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., the successful Mariner 2 spacecraft ushered in a new era of solar system exploration.

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This exploration of space began not long after The Urantia Book was completed and published - in 1955

Already, we have seen the advancing of astronomic science - we are even now witnessing the validation of Urantia Book cosmology as never before. What might the next 50 years bring?

From The Urantia Book:

41:3.10 In one group of variable stars the period of light fluctuation is directly dependent on luminosity, and knowledge of this fact enables astronomers to utilize such suns as universe lighthouses or accurate measuring points for the further exploration of distant star clusters. By this technique it is possible to measure stellar distances most precisely up to more than one million light-years. Better methods of space measurement and improved telescopic technique will sometime more fully disclose the ten grand divisions of the superuniverse of Orvonton; you will at least recognize eight of these immense sectors as enormous and fairly symmetrical star clusters.

See also: "Our Starry Associates"

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