Planetary geologists have mapped the hills and dales of Venus by radar, Mars by magnetometer, Jupiter with photopolarimeters, the moon in person. Paleoecologists have mapped the location of lakes that dotted the Sahara until disappearing four thousand years ago, and climate modelers are mapping the climate as it will appear one hundred years hence.
The strongest affection and utmost zeal should, I think, promote the studies concerned with the most beautiful objects. This is the discipline that deals with the universe's divine revolutions, the stars' motions, sizes, distances, risings and settings ... for what is more beautiful than heaven?
The interstellar roller-coaster ride of Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames does what the analogous sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey should have: it gives the full impact—instinctual as well as cerebral—of contemporary scientific theories.
Hiro is as interested in the exploration of space as he is in technology. He keeps an astronomical telescope by his window. The launch of Apollo 11 in 1969 presented Hiro with the possibility of a photograph that could truly capture the spirit of the time.
Rather than embodying a linear progression to a new world that discards the old in pursuit of endless freedom and limitless bounty, Apollo's path is circular. Humanity's boldest and most audacious movement outward from its home found itself relentlessly looking in the opposite direction—back toward Earth—from the moment it began.