Vice President, Rational Complex & Embedded Systems
IBM Software Group
To have the engineering spirit is to never be satisfied with the accomplishments we've made so far. Engineers are always reaching further, higher, faster, smaller, etc. Last week brought a huge milestone for an engineering marvel that has traveled further than any other man-made device. The Voyager 1 space craft has now traveled beyond the outer reaches of our solar system.
There are a lot of things that should amaze us all about this. First, this was launched in 1977, a time when Star Wars was just released. It was designed and missioned to explore Saturn, but look how far it has come. It is now 11.7 Billion miles from earth and is traveling at 38,000 miles per hour, hurtling into the unknown. And, it is doing all of this on technology that would be considered worthless today.
"By today’s standards, the spacecraft’s technology is laughable: it carries an 8-track tape recorder and computers with one-240,000th the memory of a low-end iPhone. When it left Earth 36 years ago, it was designed as a four-year mission to Saturn, and everything after that was gravy. "
This is truly a huge accomplishment for such an early generation of technology and tools. Imagine what the next 36 years will bring.