The way I see it…

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Cassini
Farewell Cassini

BELIEVED to be the greatest love story ever told was the mythical one of Romeo and Juliet, however now there is another one that has unfolded, that could have been made in the heavens? This was between a man called Giovanni Cassini and Linda Spilker, although they had never met. The reason for this is because, astronomer Giovanni Cassini lived in the 17th/18th century, and Linda Spilker is a woman of today, in her late forties/early fifties.

After spending 29 years as the chief scientist on the Cassini project, Linda kept watch over the Saturn explorer. Nicknamed the “Voyager Mum,” a few tears probably trickled down her cheeks as she watched as Cassini, a billion miles from home, running low on fuel, and almost out of time. After 13 years traversing the Saturn system, the spacecraft Cassini plunged to a fiery death, becoming part of the very planet it has been exploring and in a ball of fire disappeared towards the surface of Saturn with the words a “goodbye kiss” from Linda Spilker.

After 13 years producing extraordinary discoveries.

Cassini had travelled 7.9 billion kilometres mostly at 123,607 kph. The incredible journey lasted 19 years, 11 months and 15 days at a cost of £2.5 billion.

Was it worth it? A one-way trip into the heart of Saturn, Cassini’s incredible achievements and discoveries of a mission that has changed the way we see the solar system.

Strange new worlds with gigantic ice geysers, hidden underground oceans that could harbour life and a brand-new moon coalescing in Saturn’s magnificent rings.

Scientists now know a lot more of Saturn and its moons and some of the discoveries will help future developments towards the ultimate goal of space travel and the time earth has to colonise another planet.

Since the day America sent men to stand on the moon, space has changed our lives, in our life time technology and medicine has changed at an extraordinary pace, almost everything we use in our house, at work, and in our lives, has come with the back ground of space exploration.

Planet earth has been home to human mankind for over 200,000 years, now with a population of 7.3 billion and counting, with limited resources this planet may not support us forever.

Professor Stephen Hawking and his team of scientists believe that the human species will have to populate another plant within the next hundred years, with climate change, pollution, deforestation, pandemics, and the population growth, increase in temperature, and failing crops in parts of the world, colonisation must be inevitable.

In the Atacama Desert microbiologist Maria Farias has found a strange life form that could help make an unlimited supply of oxygen on another planet.

In Houston,Texas,ex-astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz has been working on the plasma powered rocket that could revolutionise space travel, taking humans into space faster than ever before.

Even experiments with bears, watching how they hibernate for long periods protecting their body from muscle wastage

It may read like science fiction and only our great, great grandchildren will be able to say if it actually happens.

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I worked for the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday for 30 years retiring as Associate Editor. I then travelled the world as a guest speaker on cruise ships as a professor of natural history and natural sciences. After spending several years working in East Africa and The Congo I also spent three years living with the mountain gorillas, the famed silverbacks of "gorillas in the mist" setting up a charity to protect them from poachers.

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