The Magnetism of Exploration

Stephen Harvill
November 23, 2015

Stephen Harvill

Founder and President of Creative Ventures

Like iron is drawn to a magnet we, as humans, are drawn to exploration.  It is damn near impossible for us to leave a rock unturned.  At Creative Ventures we share this passionate curiosity as we build and launch our strategic ideas, always looking for  new ways to express value.

In 1990 NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope.  Up it went and set up housekeeping about 370 miles above our address of “third rock from the sun.”  From there we have been able to peer into reaches of space that earthbound sky watchers could only dream of.

The Hubble Space Telescope, named after Edwin Hubble, the father of modern cosmology, is basically an optical / ultraviolet ray telescope.  Though it has opened the near universe to us, it is limited in what it can “see”.  The next generation space telescope is coming, not necessarily to replace Hubble, but instead as a worth successor.

Enter the James Webb Space Telescope, named after the early leader of a fledgling space agency that would soon become NASA.  Under development with NASA at the James Hopkins University, this $8.8 billion dollar international project will take its place in our solar system in 2018.  17 different countries are involved under the NASA leadership flag.  In fact, the telescope will be launched on a European Space Agency Ariane 5 rocket from a launch site in New Guiana.

The James Webb is pretty big.  While the Hubble is about the size of a school bus, the James Webb is bigger than a tennis court.  It won’t be orbiting earth, oh no, it will be orbiting the sun about 940,000 miles from earth. That’s why you need a rocket to launch it.  The home orbit for the James Webb is a LONG WAY from here.  Where Hubble was an optical / ultraviolet telescope, the James Webb is an infrared telescope looking at the electromagnetic spectrum with long wavelengths that go well past visual.  Infrared telescopes can penetrate the great cosmic stellar dust shrouds that block our vision of deep galaxies, allowing us to see farther back in time than imaginable.  Since light travels at a fixed speed when you see the light from a sky full of star’s you are actually seeing the distant past.  It takes those twinkles a long time to reach us.  The night sky is our time machine and the James Webb will give us a +/- 12 billion year window into the birth of the universe.  WOW, hard to even get your head around!

So, as the heavens open to our curiosity, so should we all be explorers.  The search for opportunity and solutions is not so different from our search of the dark depths of our universe.  It’s only the field you are playing on that’s different.  So think and may curiosity and risk drive your passion!

Exploration is the engine that drives innovation.  Innovation drives economic growth.  So let’s all go exploring! 

Edith Widder


Source: Creative Ventures 

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