So, you have probably seen movies that have to do with space exploration, aliens, futuristic weapons, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, and all that fun stuff, but what does that mean for the present day world? Are we supposed to be doing something about space exploration or are we supposed to keep watching these movies and hope that by the time humanity reaches the time period in the movie, we would have miraculously achieved everything we were supposed to? I believe that space exploration is key to find out more about what the universe is and how it was created, the answer to the question of “are we alone in the universe,” and the interstellar travel of the human race.
What is the universe? The dictionary says that the universe is the totality of all the known or supposed things throughout space/the cosmos. What is the big bang? It the expansion of matter according to a theory that supposedly marked the origin of the universe. The mind boggling question is, where is the matter expanding from? My guess is just as good as anybody else’s. Space exploration through enhanced telescopes could be used to determine exactly where the big bang started. Some might be wondering why this is an important question – the “how the heck does the universe exist” question – but then again, why the heck did we humans go to the moon? The answer to that question is, aside from collecting a few samples of the moon’s surface, humans really traveled to the moon just to say they did. People during the 1960’s marveled at the picture of Earth as one whole planet, all fit together. Space exploration could also be used to learn more about our own galaxy let alone the whole universe. Keep in mind that our own solar system is full of diverse planets (think about the difference between Earth and Jupiter – you’re lucky I didn’t compare Uranus and another planet). As humans, we are all explorers as seen from the dawn of the first incarnation of any human being.
Now I am going to ask you another question – are we alone in the universe? If so, what made Earth the right choice to have life and if not, do you think we will ever have any contact with extraterrestrial beings? It would make complete sense for extraterrestrials to exist, but the controversy lies with whether or not those extraterrestrials ever visited Earth. Put the controversy aside, though, and I think that expanded space exploration could be used to find out where these extraterrestrial beings are in the universe, if they do really exist. SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence) is an organization that tries to find out where these beings are, whether they are small microorganisms or humanoids that look just like us humans. They also try to communicate with aliens via radio waves, but so far, no extraterrestrial life has been found. However, if one were to explore space in a more in depth manner, literally looking beyond the atmospheres of the different planets that are found, one will one day be able to answer the question of whether or not we are alone in the universe.
As our technology becomes more advanced, it is critical to keep in mind as to how we can potentially travel in outer space. This endeavor could be achieved through a space shuttle, similar to those sent before, but one that can clearly navigate throughout space. In outer space, there is nothing to push off of to guide a spaceship in any direction it wishes. We need to create repulsors that throw mass into space which then gives the shuttle something to push off of. This idea could possibly lead into the creation of long term space travel as people would be able to travel with full control over the ship. I have always wondered how the spaceships seen in Star Wars and Star Trek were able to navigate their way through space. As our technology in this field increases, so will space exploration. Astronauts will finally be able to walk on the surface of Mars and learn more about the barren planet, and probes will be able to be sent to faraway places to study the galaxy outside our own solar system. What ever questions astronomers have now regarding space will be solved through enhanced technology in the future.
The first thing that physics taught me is that these geniuses like Newton and Galileo were human beings, just like us here today. It is fully in our capability to think and find out new answers to unsolved mysteries. Star Trek was right – space is truly the final frontier.