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Astronomy and Space Exploration

Updated on July 1, 2012

Space exploration is the use of astronomy and space technology to explore outer space. Physical exploration of space is conducted both by human spaceflights and by robotic spacecraft. I feel space exploration is beneficial and will help greatly.

Everything has disadvantages. Crossing the ocean hundreds of years ago had disadvantages but new continents were discovered. Similarly exploring space has disadvantages, but it will bring long term benefits.

Disadvantages include the expense. People have suggested that the money would be spent to better affect here on Earth. The environment is damaged as well. Every rocket that goes up affects the upper atmosphere and creates space pollution. There is always a threat that we could be caught defenseless against a hostile race.

However, some even claim that space exploration is a necessity to mankind and that staying on our home planet will lead us to extinction. Stephen Hawking, renowned British theoretical physicist, said that he didn’t think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space.

Through the exploration of the solar system, we can begin to unravel the mysteries of our universe, and to better understand our place in the cosmos. Theories like the moon is made of cheese were proved to be untrue which shows the advancement of human knowledge of space. This is of course good news for us, but bad news for mice.

Cellular technology, for example, is dependent on satellite communications. Satellites are also used to monitor changes in Earth's climate and ocean circulation, for weather forecasting, in aviation and marine navigation.

Space exploration doesn't simply produce flags on the Moon and pretty pictures of Saturn's rings, as many people suppose. Because of space-age technology, many conveniences, from CD players and VCR's to microwave ovens have become common household items. Lubricants, alloys, and high-strength plastics enhance our lives by making the products we buy better and safer. They are also cheaper, thanks to the development costs having been borne in large part by space exploration.

Microsurgery, CAT and MRI scanners owe their existence, in large part, to space technology. Cancer can now be diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages. Thanks in part to techniques, tools, and materials developed so far in the space exploration effort.

Most importantly, the space program provides an opportunity for nations to work together in international cooperation through participation in joint missions, thereby promoting peace and understanding between governments and their people.

Space exploration has in no way inhibited feeding the hungry. On the contrary, it has provided powerful tools essential for increasing food production to meet present and future demand. For example, nowadays we rely on weather satellites to monitor precipitation patterns and predict crop yields, and we depend on communications satellites in all phases of food production, processing, and distribution.

Some explanations for extinctions and evolution include strikes by asteroids or comets. Our technology is reaching the point where we can detect such a threat and might be able to do something about it. Many ideas such as nuclear fission, which could allow travel to another galaxy far away are being developed. Another widely accepted theory is terraforming. There are many plants that can survive in an environment as harsh as Mars. If they were planted there, oxygen could be renewed, other plants such as trees could be grown. It is hypothesized that in a hundred years, if this theory were used, Mars could be inhabitable in the same way as Earth.

Wal Mart has not opened stores in deep space yet, but surely the adaptive ability of humans would allow other planets and moons to become inhabited. The old adage, do not put all your eggs in one basket hold true for humans and cultures. The more a culture expands, the less chance of it becoming extinct. As far as I know space exploration would aid in counter acting any space tragedy we might face in the near future and on top of that human curiosity has been around with everyone wanting to know where we started or how did everything come to exist. With the projection that life on earth won't last forever space exploration could come in very handy in terms of finding escape routes when the time comes.


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    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Well written. When Walmart has stores in space, will the products still be made in China?

    • TheFuturist profile image

      TheFuturist 5 years ago from United States

      Nicely written. Very interesting.