Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Importance of Space Exploration

Humankind’s another dream became reality by succeeding in space missions. From Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight to construction of big space station MIR. Thousand of spacecraft were launched into space by humans. This process has helped humanity to improve their science knowledge in related subjects. Many mysteries of the universe have been revealed. Over ten thousand astronomic objects were spotted by using complex space technology instruments. Space exploration not only helped space missions in terms of getting to know the universe better, but also provided many more advantages in the other fields. Space explorations will help scientific developments, aerospace and daily life technologies, all of which are very useful for humanity; therefore it must be encouraged for a brilliant future.

One of the reasons why space exploration must be encouraged is the fact that it contributes to scientific developments. Firstly, space science will enter its golden age with new data that is gained from space exploration. Examining the objects beyond the limits of human’s eye capability is the unique key for all scientific projects. Astronomy uses the same method. Telescopes act like an eye of humans while observing the space. Improved technology affects the telescopes as well. Su mentions that new technology telescopes will give the possibility of access to better information about the universe (Su, n.d., para. 22). Many projects have been developed and produced. NASA launched Chandra X-ray observatory in 1999. Chandra project scientist Dr. Martin C. Weisskopf said; “In four short years, Chandra has achieved numerous scientific firsts, revealing new details on all categories of astronomical objects including distant galaxies, planets, black holes and stars” (Weisskopf, n.d., “Marshall News” section). More projects will be done on this area of science in the future, more dark area of the universe will be revealed.

Secondly, unrevealed scientific facts of home planet will be discovered by the help of space exploration. Earth is placed in our solar system with the other planets. Humankind has always been hunger for the knowledge of these planets. A lot of questions and theories have appeared about them for thousands of years. Today, mankind has a capability of researching other planets. As a result of this action, some valuable data about Mars have been gained. The possibility of the existence of life forms on Mars a while ago has been proposed by scientists and Mars Odyssey spacecraft found ice in serious sizes below the plane of Mars (Adkins, 2004, para. 13). This valuable information will give the possibility of understanding many of the principle laws of the universe and similarities between other planets and earth. Further researches on Mars reported serious size of data, one of which is the fact that; “The salts found mimic the salts in earth fairly closely. There was apparently uniformity between planets” (Pasichnyk, n.d., “Mars” section).Once the connections between earth science and space exploration project are established, more unknown variables will be revealed.

Another reason that shows the importance of the space exploration is the fact that it will be very beneficial in aerospace technologies. First of all, further models of spacecraft must be created for the necessity of space exploration. Early models of the spacecrafts are satellites. They were used for orbiting the Earth generally. In the next years, they will be still main spacecraft for the humankind. Space exploration needs them for space observing and successful coordination with the earth from great distance. Also, earth observing will still have its importance and satellites will be used for this mission, too. New generation earth satellites will contain better intelligence for observing earth missions (Zhou, 2002, para. 1). Another improvement will be done in thrust subject. Propulsion systems of today consume large amount of propellant. Due to the fact that propellant for the rockets is so expensive, space exploration process needs low-cost and efficient propulsion. Hybrid rockets, which are still in development, are one of the practical projects. Benson, who is the president and chairman of SpaceDev says that hybrid rockets are less complex, they produce less harm to the nature; they are also safe and cheap to build (Benson, 1998, para. 3). As a result, these projects, which are needed for space exploration deadly, will do their jobs greatly both space and earth technology area.

Moreover, aircrafts will be better in all ways with the improvements in related to space exploration fields. As the technology and the population of the society is increasing, faster and low-cost transportation will be needed. Aircraft designs have been evoluted because of these perturbations. Space exploration projects carried this evolution to an upper stage. Designing tricks of the aircrafts can be easily used for in-atmosphere vehicles. Some projects have been made until today and they have great success about it. For example Gulf-stream business aircraft’s wings were improved by NASA computer programs, which have a lighter and more aerodynamical design (“Bringing Space Down to Earth”, n.d., “Transportation” section). Researches of aircraft designing force some related projects to improve better ways. Lighter and cheap materials will be needed so much. As a result of these events, many projects appeared. One of them is composite material, which is more powerful and light. NASA research on composite materials is used to achieve a 30-percent weight reduction in a twin-turbine helicopter, resulting in a substantial increase in aircraft performance (“Bringing Space Down to Earth”, n.d., “Transportation” section). In the near future the usage of this new technology will be more effective than today. In conclusion, aerospace technology is the luckiest section by having space exploration project’s advantages.

One final beneficial result of space exploration is the fact that it helps improvements in daily life. To begin with, space exploration missions will help to minimalize most objects which are also useful in daily life. All people, no matter if they are scientist or not, have social life. Minimalization of the objects is a great development and brings a lot of advantages to social life. Minimalized objects are cheap and effective; also they decrease the finishing time of works. Computers have the most benefits of minimalizing. Memory short stock, which is designed by NASA, offers very low size (“Bringing Space Down to Earth”, n.d., “Transportation” section). As a result of this, more space for other technological objects, which are waiting to be invented. Food technology which is used in space exploration is a great development for social life. New ways of producing low-weight fresh food and storing methods have been invented. Rehydratable food storage not only reduces the weight of the food stored but it also makes a more efficient way to store food. Required amount of water is added and the meal is ready to be eaten (“Exploration”, n.d., para. 3). Future of the food technology will be like this and people will spend less time for preparing food. In conclusion, if the place of the technology remains only where it is born, it will be useless for most of the people. All side of human life must have benefits of the new technology somehow.

Finally, subcategory developments of space exploration will create its related products for daily life. Communication is one of the related subjects with the space exploration projects. Also, it is a very important progress for humankind in all ways. Development of communication can be seen in all stages of the history. From the shaping smokes to telephones, its evolution continued. Today, it is affected by the benefits of space exploration. World wide satellite telephone systems, which are able to make communications on large areas including land and ocean, have been made and most of them are in progress (Katz, 1995, para. 1). High technology communication made the world more reachable. Humanity and the military are bounded together until today. It appears that will be the same in the future. Like other technological improvements, space exploration has helped the military as well. Militaristic devices have the earliest benefits of space technology. Radars, militaristic satellites and nearly all types of aircrafts have their first services to army. After the development on the space exploration area, more complicated devices have been invented and they are ready to have usage in nearly all country’s armies. The main purpose of the new militaristic devices is making successful damage with less money costs. Directed weapon systems, which are used in rockets, are more successful in point-shot with their increased damage capability as well as using satellite navigation (“Satellite Navigation System”, n.d., “Civil and Military Uses” section). These powerful weapons must have a dissuasive role for a peaceful earth for humankind. Otherwise, there will not be a space exploration project which will carry humanity to the unexplored areas of the universe.

In conclusion, researches and technologies about space exploration are very important for humanity. Despite the fact that space exploration projects need huge money and labour, it can not be totally cancelled. It is the main thrust of humanity’s future dreams which expands their limits as new projects accomplished. Also, relations between space technologies and other technologies are so bounded with unbreakable chains. The future of humankind is highly dependent on space exploration, no matter how difficult it is, the sources of humanity must flow to space technologies.

Emre KARADENİZ

References

Adkins, J. (2004). Space exploration key to future life, technology. Retrieved October 6, 2005, from http://www.easternecho.com/cgi-bin/story.cgi?3261

Bringing space down to earth. (2004). Nasa Spinoffs. Retrieved October 27, 2005, from

http://www.thespaceplace.com/nasa/spinoffs.html

Exploration. (n.d.). The space shuttle food system. Retrieved October 7, 2005 from http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/academy/astronauts/food-system.html

Katz, R. H. (1995). Direct broadcast satellite technology. Retrieved November 8, 2005, from Berkeley University, BNGR Faculty Website: http://bnrg.eecs.berkeley.edu/~randy /Daedalus/BARWAN/DBS.html

NASA. (2003). NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory marks four years of discovery firsts. Retrieved October 27, 2005, from http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/ news/news/releases/2003/03-158.html

Pasichnyk, R. M. ( n.d.). The similarities of the planets (and other celestial objects). Retrieved September 11, 2005 from http://www.livingcosmos.com/celestial.htm

Satellite navigation system. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved October 7, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navigation_satellite

SpaceDev acquires hybrid rocket technology. (1998). Space Daily. Retrieved September 29, 2005, from http://www.spacedaily.com/news/spacedev-98e.html

Su, F. (2000). New telescopes herald a golden age of astronomy. Retrieved November 8, 2005, from http://www.spie.org/web/oer/march/mar00/telescopes.html

Zhou, G. (2002). Overview of International workshop on future intelligent earth observing satellites. Retrieved November 8, 2005, from http://www.isprs.org/ commission1/report_denver_fieos.pdf
(This page is also available on http://mentatemre.blogspot.com/2006/04/importance-of-space-exploration.html)

2 comments:

ira said...

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Anonymous said...

Very energetic post, I loved that bit. Will there be a part 2?


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