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Empowering for Adventure (3 of 4)
Series: The Ultimate Adventure
OPEN: In 1972, NASA launched a space probe named Pioneer 10. The satellite's primary mission was to reach Jupiter, study the planet and its moons, and beam the data back to earth. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, for at that time no earth satellite had ever gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it could reach its target.
But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more. Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Jupiter's immense gravity hurled Pioneer 10 at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system.
At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn.
At some two billion miles, it hurtled past Uranus;
Neptune at nearly three billion miles;
Pluto at almost four billion miles.
By 1997, 25 years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun. Earth finally lost contact with Pioneer 10 on January 23, 2003.
It's trajectory is expected to take it in the general direction of the star Aldebaran, and at its present rate of speed Pioneer 10 will reach that star in a little more than 2 million years.
Before they lost radio contact with the spacecraft a NASA spokesman named Jaroff said:
''Perhaps most remarkable, those signals emanate from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night light, and takes more than nine hours to reach Earth.''
Can you imagine accomplishing that much exploration in space with only an 8 watt transmitter?
Imagine accomplish so much... with so little!
In Psalm 144:3 David asks:
''O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him?''
David openly wondered how God could possibly consider using insignificant men and women for His purposes.
ILLUS: That's what captured the imagination of astronaut Jim Lovell. He said
''At one point (in space) I ...
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