July 4, 2004


Artist's rendition of Cassini from [http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gs2.cgi?path=../multimedia/images/artwork/images/image16.jpg&type=image] (25k image)There’s been a lot of hoopla in the news lately about NASA’s probe, Cassini-Huygens, and its visit to Saturn. I grew up reading science fiction novels and I’m fascinated that in our current exploration of Mars and Saturn we could be on the verge of discovering life (albeit of the single-celled variety) on other planets and moons in our solar system. If a discovery like that is verified, I can only hope that the public consciousness will then latch onto what might be out in the near infinity beyond.

Despite working in a department that actually rebroadcasts the NASA channel; I regrettably have very little time to pursue all the latest news of their findings. Still, the bits and pieces that I catch online and on the news are intriguing; what’s more, they sparked a memory I had of doing some research on the Cassini probe back in 1997 while I was still in college.

This is where being an amateur archivist pays off. I was able to dig up an old CD-ROM backup of the screamin’ 90Mhz Pentium (with 16MB of RAM, and an impossible-to-fill 730MB hard drive, baby!) I had throughout my college career. Written for Freshman Comp. (taken in, yes, my senior year), this is an unexciting, compare-and-contrast, research paper, but I thought I’d post it here for nostalgic purposes and for a look back at the NASA hoopla of seven years ago.