Transcripts of Seas_Of_Infinity_OAO2_Shortened

[Music] The universe appears to be infinite, but starting from his tiny dot in one corner of the Milky Way, man is beginning his conquest of it. [Music] [Music] After his first trial steps, he will one day walk the Moon. We can marvel at such exploits, even as we realize the chances are slight that man will venture personally beyond his own solar system. It is a long way to the stars. The sole source of knowledge of objects beyond our solar system is electromagnetic radiation. But despite the fact that we receive almost all our knowledge through our eyes, the visible spectrum is a narrow one. We might see many new colors if we could see into other wavelengths, and the light invisible to us can tell us much about the mysteries of space. Already, this invisible light has led us to a new understanding of the universe, and provided unsuspected puzzles for our solution. The envelope of air which protects life on Earth also screens out, or absorbs, the starlight in this portion of the spectrum, and it is these invisible radiations that could one day tell us how stars are born and die. And how the universe was created. For Earth-bound astronomers, the challenge is tantalizing. Yes, it is beyond the air that we must go if we seek a clearer image of the heavens. Above distortion that makes the stars twinkle, above the blotter of air that absorbs the ultraviolet, the X-rays, the gamma rays, on which much of the study of starlight depends. We need a solid platform, hundreds of miles out in space, from which to make our studies. Not a rocket, not a balloon, but an orbiting astronomical observatory, and that is what has been developed by scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center, where Dr. James Kupperian headed a group of distinguished astronomers. [Music] To know the stars, we must capture starlight, light that is cut off forever from human eyes on Earth. For this, we need special telescopes. [Dr. Kupperian]: With the Goddard telescope in space, we can sample radiations emitted from within our own galaxy and compare them to emissions from galaxies tens of millions of light-years distant. It's an exciting prospect. With the OAO man will go a long way toward solving the mystery of the creation of matter. [Narrator]: Through our new window on the universe, we shall search the stars in many ways. An early project will be the mapping of the entire sky by ultraviolet light. In charge of making this unique celestial map is Dr. Fred Whipple. [Dr. Whipple]: The new map of the universe, which will be very different from these maps, will be made by a celescope. With four such ground-controlled telescopic cameras, we intend to make an all-sky map in four separate ultraviolet colors. In addition, we plan to catalog more than 30,000 very hot stars much brighter than the Sun, many times more than astronomers have previously recorded in the ultraviolet. [Narrator]: This satellite, the OAO, is the biggest and most complex unmanned satellite in the NASA program. Built by the Grumman Aircraft Corporation, it basically a shell, into which various kinds of telescopes can be mounted. When it has been placed in an orbit 500 miles beyond the Earth, this space observatory will give us eyes to see into regions until now invisible to man. [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music][Rocket launch sound] [Rocket launch sound] [Rocket launch sound] Launched by a Centaur rocket, the OAO sheds its protective fairings in space. [Music] The OAO powers itself through solar panels, storing electrical energy derived from sunlight. Once in orbit, it relies on solar sensors and star trackers to stabilize itself. Then, it opens its eyes to look through a new window in the universe. With each succeeding year, a new OAO will be orbited. The first one in space carries telescope packages in both ends. [Music] From a ground control station, men reach into space 500 miles to point the OAO toward any part of the sky they wish to study. Precision is such that the OAO could fix on the eraser of a pencil 100 miles away. Observations can be stored by magnetic memory, and all information flashed to Earth within seconds. Recorded as numerical data, starlight images can be translated into pictures by the trained scientists. The OAO will be another significant advance in astronomy since Galileo aimed the first telescope to prove the Earth was not the center of the universe. From the time when prehistoric man wondered at the bright pin points in the sky, astronomy has developed as a challenge. The OAO, the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory, will extend man's range of vision across the universe. Man, on his tiny planet -- a sand grain on the shoreline of the seas of infinity--longs to find out what the stars are, why they are there, how they came to be there, vast, in the immensities of space, that may, or may not, have a beginning, or an end. [Produced by Film Graphics, Inc.][Music] [Music] [Music] [Music]