The Space Race Is On

The Space Race Is On

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The Space Shuttle may have taken its final, valedictory tour across the United States, but that’s no reason to think that our exploration of the heavens is over. The Space Race — both in terms of manned travel and remote sensing expeditions — is as competitive now as during the days of Sputnik. Some new astronauts never leave the ground, but their remote probes travel hundreds of thousands of miles, sending back hi-res images and collecting terabytes of data.

One person with her eyes on space is Fiona Harrison — principal investigator for NASA NuStar explorer mission, which explores black holes, and the remnants of supernova — who also spoke at The Atlantic’s Big Science Summit in San Jose, Calif., exploring innovations in science and technology. “We can see the heart of our galaxy,” she said, referring to being able to take breathtaking pictures from telescopes and space probes. Her future goals include expensive projects like creating robots that can assemble high-powered telescopes in space, and she’s firm in her belief that “the limitation is imagination.”

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