At the end of January 1986, Miranda was the undisputed star of the Voyager show. Scarred landscapes, ice cliffs 20 kilometers high, a patchwork of the most diverse kinds of terrain – the small Uranian moon, discovered in 1948 by Gerard Kuiper, looked like a geologically deformed celestial body, a monstrous failed experiment in plastic surgery in the solar system. How did Mother Nature manage to create such a freak? It was as though Miranda had once been smashed to pieces and all the fragments stuck back together haphazardly. Planetary scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena were lost for words when the bizarre images from Voyager came up on their computer screens one after the other.