Heroes such as imagined by the ancient Greeks, and exemplified by individuals like Neil Armstrong -- whose actions shift paradigms and extend horizons -- are proving increasingly difficult to come by. At a number of levels this is due to the development of new technologies.
My getting lost is predictable enough now that my children advise their friends to expect delays, even when I've got the printout from Google maps in hand and a GPS app or two at the ready on my iPhone for backup.
In 1960, Don Walsh -- accompanied by fellow explorer Jacques Piccard -- became the first person to venture to the deepest part of the ocean, approximately 35,798 feet into the Mariana Trench located in the Western Pacific Ocean.
The new era of space travel will be known for democratizing space travel, moving it into the private sector, and making it available to the general public, rather than just a few highly trained and government-employed specialists.
This condemnation of boredom is something I have grown to appreciate as an adult, and is a lesson for which I am infinitely grateful. Just as I am sure it bothered my mom to hear me say it, few phrases set my teeth on edge more than when a friend complains, "I'm bored."
Arriving as it will on the heels of the Olympics, Curiosity will continue the flow of good kind of news we have been witnessing from London to the people of Earth. The mission represents the kind of news we want to hear and see, the kind of news that inspires us.
There are several paintings in the museum of people who donated money or collections, but this one wasn't a typical portrait. The man and woman in the painting were dressed in climbing gear and kneeling on a mountain summit, holding an American flag and the flag of the National Geographic Society.
Certainly, there is no replacement for Earth, and Mars will never be a replacement for Earth. But we do need to move forward, and mission proposals, such as BOLD, will be the first step toward a grand vision.