My dad worked in the space program during the Apollo missions. His love of science and exploration was passed down to me; I love thinking about new worlds and exploring the cosmos. One of my favorite images to focus on during meditation is floating through space, gazing at stars and galaxies and planets. And if I couldn't be an astronaut (that whole math thing), then I could pretend to be one. It's one reason I write sci fi and wrote articles on space.
And it's why I'm traveling to the sun with the Parker Solar Probe.
If you read the above 'ticket,' my name will be on a memory card on the Parker Solar Probe as it journeys to our sun, collects data and gets closer to a star than mankind has ever been. Yes, the probe will burn up once it gets too close- along with my name, but in spirit I've traveled the universe farther than I dreamed.
Here's the link if you want to check it out: http://parkersolarprobe.jhuapl.edu
Besides it being so cool to have my name on there, it reminds me of my dad (he collected a number of memorabilia like Lunar Module tech manuals, pictures, design papers, etc. while he worked at Grumman during the Lunar Module construction which I have donated to the Smithsonian. The chances of me learning how to pilot a Lunar Module are less than zero, so those important papers belong in safekeeping.)
And, by connecting with and following NASA, I find out all kinds of interesting things, like how much satellite/rocket garbage is orbiting our Earth, what are the new pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope, where the next possible killer asteroid is, and if there are worlds close enough for humanity to someday seek refuge when our planet is dying. Good stuff for sci fi novels!
Here are some cool links if you're of a sci fi bent:
https://www.nasa.gov (missions, news, pictures and contests from NASA)
https://www.seti.org (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence)
http://hubblesite.org (pics and info from/about the Hubble Space Telescope)
http://chandra.harvard.edu (Info from the Chandra Observatory)
https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html (info about the space station)
https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/signup.cfm (tells you when the space station is flying overhead in your area!)
Spotting the space station going overhead is my next project (NJ always seems to be cloudy or the station is going over at some ungodly hour, but I will track it down!).
Space is limitless....