10 NASA Images That Will Inspire You - InformationWeek

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8/11/2015
07:06 AM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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10 NASA Images That Will Inspire You

The next time you hear the term "visionary" applied to business leadership, think about what NASA has been doing for years. Images from NASA's satellites and spacecraft show technology at its most inspiring.
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(Image: NASA/NOAA)

(Image: NASA/NOAA)

The ubiquity of digital cameras makes it easy to overlook the glory of the visible world. Facebook in 2013 said users had uploaded more than 250 billion photos, and were adding 350 million photos per day. And that doesn't include photos uploaded through Instagram, or photos stored elsewhere, to say nothing of videos.

We have so many images that we don't have time to view them all. Such abundance obscures the meaningful moments we capture amid all the unremarkable snapshots of friends, food, and fingers that couldn't stay out of the way of the lens.

Photo-sharing services can help separate the best from the banal, but so, too, can ambition.

NASA shoots for the stars, and the images it captures offer inspiration, instruction, and scientific enlightenment. The agency describes its vision thus: "To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind."

The late Steve Jobs described Apple's philosophy back in 2011: "Technology alone is not enough. It's technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing."

NASA shows us that technology married with the common goals of humanity -- tending to our well-being, our environment, and our society while advancing the knowledge necessary to do so -- can accomplish the same thing.

Few images demonstrate that as well as the picture of Earth taken during the 1972 Apollo 17 mission. The "Blue Marble" photo was the first photo of the entire round Earth from space ("Earthrise" taken during 1968's Apollo 8 mission offered a partial view of the Earth). It's considered to be one of the most widely seen photos in history, and it has been credited with amplifying the environmental awareness emerging at the time of its publication.

A NASA camera on NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite provided a similarly inspiring picture this week: An image of the moon passing in front of the Earth, taken from a million miles away. It's a viewpoint seldom seen, one that highlights the difference between our lush planet and its barren moon.

NASA's satellite imagery isn't only a visual record of technical achievement. It's valuable visual data that can be enriched with data from non-visual sensors. The photo informs the graph, the artful presentation of data about our world and other worlds. NASA's pictures can make your heart sing.

The next time you hear the term "visionary" applied to business leadership, think about what NASA has been doing for years. Technology alone is not enough. It must be joined with human aspirations.

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/11/2015 | 11:26:58 PM
Data analysis
"The next time you hear the term "visionary" applied to business leadership, think about what NASA has been doing for years. Technology alone is not enough. It must be joined with human aspirations."

Thomas, datas can be collected through various mechanisms, but interpreting and analyzing it with correct senesce of intelligence can make it into a treasure of knowledge. Otherwise they are only junks.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
8/19/2015 | 11:52:13 AM
Re: Data analysis
@gigi I agree with you. It is always better to use the right tool to interpret data. 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2015 | 7:55:48 AM
Re: Data analysis
"I agree with you. It is always better to use the right tool to interpret data. "

Shamika, you have any tool to share/suggest with the community.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2015 | 8:04:23 AM
Don't forget Space X
I'd throw some of Space X's recent imagery in this list, as the short video of its Falcon 9 almost touching down on the automated barge and then slowly toppling over is amazing and heart breaking in the same moment. 
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2015 | 4:17:01 PM
Re: Don't forget Space X
Sensors have changed the world and it is good to see that the economics is falling in place for private firms to deploy space based sensors. NASA is still the world's leading source of inspiring and it would be great if the organization can describe dark matter and dark energy in greater detail in the next few years.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2015 | 8:01:53 AM
Re: Don't forget Space X
"Sensors have changed the world and it is good to see that the economics is falling in place for private firms to deploy space based sensors. NASA is still the world's leading source of inspiring and it would be great if the organization can describe dark matter and dark energy in greater detail in the next few years."

Brian, I won't think any country will allow private players to install any such sensors or observing objects in sky as a part of national security. Only government agencies like NASA, ISRO etc are allowed for such experiments.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
8/22/2015 | 2:00:40 PM
Re: Don't forget Space X

@ Gigi dark matter is that about which we do not have any credible info. To see things we need light and dark areas are difficult to explore may be due to this limitation. Giving NASA only few years to come up with something about dark matter is very little time. I believe that it might take quite number of decades if not centuries to come up with a little explanation about that.

Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/24/2015 | 1:47:21 AM
Re: Don't forget Space X
"dark matter is that about which we do not have any credible info. To see things we need light and dark areas are difficult to explore may be due to this limitation. Giving NASA only few years to come up with something about dark matter is very little time. I believe that it might take quite number of decades if not centuries to come up with a little explanation about that."

Nomii, you may be right. like collaborative efforts for Mars  & Jupiter excavation; NASA can get collaborate with other countries space research centers.
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2015 | 12:04:10 PM
inspiring as well as humbling
What an inspiring set this is! And more than inspiring this is also very humbling when you realize that with all your apirations, achievements, ownerships, dreams and fulfillments - you are less than a dot in big vast  space; less than a milli second in billions of years of time; in bigger scheme of things.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2015 | 9:15:41 PM
Re: inspiring as well as humbling
nasimson, I  know it's easy to think like that. But that approach to our own destinies is almost defeatest. "The universe is so mighty and infinite, what do my aspirations and accomplishments matter? I may as well just sit on this couch, prop my feet up and drink beer all day while reading a great book." No! As small minded as our goals and needs are, we are living beings and must continue to strive and survive to make any sort of mark on this universe, no matter how small.

 
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
8/15/2015 | 11:26:46 PM
Re: inspiring as well as humbling
Thank You Broadway. You make a perfect point. We have to strive hard no matter how little our accomplishments look.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
8/17/2015 | 10:32:41 PM
Re: inspiring as well as humbling
Or disconnect oneself from the traditional American capitalist definition of self as: I am what I do for a living. You could take the Western U.S. definition instead: I am what outdoor activity I pursue on the weekend, after I make my billions investing or creating tech.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
8/13/2015 | 11:06:28 PM
1st Photo
It looks like Death Star is ready to attack earth. May the Force be with us.
mmcgann334
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mmcgann334,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/18/2015 | 6:00:15 AM
Very interesting photos
While lookig uo to the heavens yesterday I pondered what all the satellites do up there that we gave launched and here is a great representation of their work!  Thnks NASA!
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
8/22/2015 | 1:56:03 PM
Re: Very interesting photos
@mmcgann

"While lookig uo to the heavens yesterday I pondered what all the satellites do up there that we gave launched and here is a great representation of their work!  Thnks NASA!"

What I have heard that we have been able to explore only 3-5% of the visible universe. There is more than 90% of the dark matter still persists in the sky about which little or not known. I believe that it will take many more centuries to get to know any thing concrete about the universe. But what we have known till now is a great achievement indeed.

Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/24/2015 | 1:49:44 AM
Re: Very interesting photos
"What I have heard that we have been able to explore only 3-5% of the visible universe. There is more than 90% of the dark matter still persists in the sky about which little or not known."

Nomii, is it true? Then it's a failure of space research organizations and technology. I mean with respect to earth and not about any other planets.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
8/24/2015 | 8:34:13 AM
Re: Very interesting photos
is it true? Then it's a failure of space research organizations and technology. I mean with respect to earth and not about any other planets.

Gigi I am not sure but I have also read it somewhere. But it is for sure that Vastness of universe is difficult to comprehend in few years. There are stars who are many many light years away from us and once we are seeing them on the sky, they might have already been gone out of existance. This is a little bit idea of our universe. Do you think we can know every detail about the universe in few years time, I doubt it very much.

Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/25/2015 | 11:45:59 PM
Re: Very interesting photos
"Vastness of universe is difficult to comprehend in few years. There are stars who are many many light years away from us and once we are seeing them on the sky, they might have already been gone out of existance. This is a little bit idea of our universe. Do you think we can know every detail about the universe in few years time, I doubt it very much."

Nomii, you may be right about universe and the galaxy system. Recently NASA and some other countries like Russia, India etc had started some space/other planet missions for study purposes.
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