Updated: Jun 25, 2022
Tuesday - Miranda’s tragedy follows her to Earth.
Todays blogs explores the Perils of Space using the story of Miranda and the Space shuttle Challenger incident to shine a light on a theme that will come into full focus for the final movement in this symphony.
Space Shuttle Challenger Launch January 1986
But to start, I wanted to share the scientist's reaction upon seeing Miranda's exotic arrangement of surface features for the very first time, thanks to the Voyager 2 spacecraft for the imagery it returned during its brief encounter. The only spacecraft yet to have visited Miranda.
When the images transmitted back to Earth, the Voyager team were left perplexed and mystified. Its surface had clearly endured extreme geological upheavals and to this day, Scientists are still trying to piece together Miranda’s epic story.
NASA's Voyager 2 Spacecraft - Miranda January 1986 Credit: NASA JPL
For instance, at a press conference in January 1986, Voyagers lead photographic interpreter opened the event dramatically by stating that;
“no-one could anticipate the exotic nature of what I’m going to show you this morning”
The images did not disappoint. Headlines claimed the Voyager team put on quite a show and Miranda was clearly the star. The press were eager for more explanation, but the baffled scientists requested more time and a briefing was arranged the very next day.
But it appeared Miranda's tragedy followed her to Earth. The following fatal next day, disaster struck the Space Shuttle Challenger, and the press conference got cancelled, also bad news for Miranda, a story buried and silenced by the eclipsed tragedy.
Space Shuttle Challenger - January 1986
And so, the message is loud and clear, whether astronauts are attempting to leave Earth's orbit or a spacecraft exploring a ravaged moon at the edges of our solar system, there is nothing subtle about these themes — SPACE IS PERILOUS.
And conversely this is echoed in the musical landscape underscoring the notion of doom, foreboding, danger and destruction where gongs are smashed, cymbals scraped and choir sings on in horror, narrating the tortured world of Miranda’s primordial past.
Miranda's Musical Excerpt "The deadly shadows of ancient last..."