And now we can watch the moon Daphnis plowing through the rings of Saturn, trailing a wake like a speedboat. Awesome. And see splendid views of Mimas, that bears the scars of a titanic collision long enough ago that the crater is pocked with craters.
And we can read Elizabeth Bear's remembrance of first seeing Voyager's images of Io's sulphur volcanoes:
I remembered those images as if it were yesterday. Io's dragonskin colors, the plume of the volcano--the first active exovolcano ever witnessed--rising from its surface huge and spherical as a partially eclipsed sister moon. The false-color images, painstakingly chicken-pecked across interstellar distances and long minutes of light-speed lag by a data recording and transmission system that basically consists of an 8-track tape deck and a 160-baud modem.
And that was over thirty years ago. Some of you weren't born then.
Listen. We went there, but not in person. Some of the hands and minds that launched the craft are dead, but we bound what the machine saw, and you can see it. Long ago, one of our ancestors learned to bind what he learned and pass it on beyond his lifetime. Or hers.
That's our inheritance. We add to it, and pass it on.
And this is what we do.