The name conjures up mysteries and wonder but, above all immeasurable possibilities of space. And that is at the heart of this year’s fifth grade Young Astronaut mission.
The marvel that is the Hubble Space Telescope continues to peel away layers of the universe’s unsolved questions and replace them with stunningly discovered answers. Its stunning revelations have replaced uncertainty with working answers. Theory has become reality. Since its deployment 25 years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope has altered our perspective of humanity’s place in the cosmos.
The Hubble Space Telescope represents, to a large degree, a tangible vision; the ability of its components to see and record data. But, its intangible elements – the ability to fuel curiosity and encourage dreamers – is what brings us here today.
While Hubble’s launch in April 1997 began an astronomical revolution, there was a smaller, quieter, but no less important revolution happening at a school in Norwalk, Connecticut, where seven wide-eyed fifth graders began the first of what is now 20 consecutive years of Young Astronaut missions. Under the tutelage of principal, Arthur Perschino, these first explorers defined a different aspect of vision – a belief, a feeling, and an attitude that a universe of possibilities is available to children through the experience of space, science, and teamwork. Indeed, for those who followed in the footsteps of that first mission, Cooperation 7, the dream is most definitely alive.
So, with this, the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope and this, the 20th Columbus Young Astronaut simulated mission, Infinite Vision looks forward and beyond. What began as a mere notion years ago has blossomed into an ongoing inspiration. Just as the Hubble sees deeper and farther, so too do the astronauts of Infinite Vision, and their possibilities are just as limitless.