Planet Earth has been our home for like forever. Of course, that’s our only reality. Man can’t survive living on other planets because of inhospitable conditions not conducive for man. But the state of our planet is deteriorating by the minute. Our very presence hastened global warming that greatly contributed to climate change. Mankind has been so good not only in populating the planet but also in polluting it and abusing its resources.
It’s no wonder that scientists are looking at ways on how we can possibly survive living on other planets when life on earth is beyond salvageable. Is there any planet out there that can resemble conditions on earth and can we possibly thrive in it like we do here on the planet? They’re just simple questions but have remained unanswerable for as long as we can remember.
The future of space exploration and technology is a hot topic these days, fueling blockbuster movies and heightening attention about travel to Mars and other planets one day.
On Friday and Saturday, the University of Massachusetts Lowell is convening scientists, former astronauts, and industry leaders for two days of talks on the topic. The symposium — Space Exploration in the Upcoming Decade: The Domestication of Space— is presented by the college’s Center for Space, Science, and Technology.
Much has changed since the center held an event 10 years ago to mark the 50-year anniversary of the start of the “Space Age,” a period begun by the famous 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik, said the center’s director, Supriya Chakrabarti.
We’ve always seen blockbuster movies depicting what it is like to live on another planet. However, real life is far from their make-believe world and there are many factors to be considered before we can even consider stepping inside a rocket ship as we bid the planet goodbye (to hopefully greener pastures).
Members of Carnegie Mellon Student Pugwash attended the Student Pugwash Conference 2017 at Purdue University. The conference focused on space exploration and policy, ranging from topics like “Repeat Mars Missions” to the “Future of International Space Exploration”. Each of these talks had interesting angles on how the world could approach space exploration. This article focuses on the talk on international progress on space ight given by Dr. Daniel Dumbacher.
Dumbacher framed the entire presentation in the form of the past, present, and future. For the past, he focused on the progress of the United States in space exploration, starting with the last lunar mission and ending with the closing of the space shuttle program. He also noted that, at the moment, space exploration has ventured to every planet in the solar system. Dumbacher drew parallels between space exploration and the Lewis and
Clark expeditions, suggesting that expeditions in unknown territory result in the eventual expansion.
He moved on to the current state of space exploration. At the moment, the International Space Station (ISS) remains one of the few international projects still in operation. There are also robotic exploration missions on Mars. Currently, the biggest movement in space exploration is commercial space ight. Companies are driving new and innovative technologies like reusable spacecraft.
As of now, a few people (professional astronauts) live in international space stations for an extended period of time to perform various functions. But their job isn’t just for anybody. Exceptionally smart and able individuals who pass the tests and training can board the next rocket out to space.
Think space travel is just for skilled astronauts and fictional characters from your favorite “Star Wars” films? Think again. You don’t have to be a professional scientist to fly into suborbital space, but you will have to pay a steep price.
With a variety of pioneering companies competing to launch humans into space, lunar exploration is taking off. Take SpaceX, the brainchild of Elon Musk, which plans to transport two passengers aboard its SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket to cross over the moon and back in 2018. Or Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket company, which aspires to launch six lucky tourists into space via a capsule, and that’s testing its New Shepard rocket ahead of plans for commercial suborbital journeys in 2018. For those more inclined to board a spaceship, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic aims to send tourists — including world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking — aboard the SpaceShipTwo (a six-passenger aircraft) into space this year.
If you’re not interested in gliding into deep or suborbital space — or you lack the funds to support a $250,000 journey aboard the Virgin Galactic — you can enjoy epic space events from Earth this year, including watching the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, stargazing in prized national parks or even checking out the northern lights.
Money happens to be the name of the game. Whoever has the dough can do as they wish and even reach for the stars quite literally if they wish to do so. Space travel tourism may be wishful thinking now but who knows in the future, right? After all, if there’s a will, there’s a way, especially if you have the cash to burn.
We can not tell yet whether mankind will be able to find a surrogate home somewhere out there in the vast realms of space but for sure, someone brilliant will find a way if it’s really meant to happen. But since there is a high probability it won’t happen in our lifetime, we should start cleaning up our act now and start saving what’s left of the planet before we have nowhere else to go.