“The universe has given mankind a sock? Mankind is free!” Mankind have been able to construct thoughts about the universe. Be it about the origin, its contents, and even predicted how it will all end. From Sputnik to the ISS, us as humans have tried many attempts on breaking our boundary and take voyage on what is beyond the skies we always see. Even though some attempts have failed us, there are still hope on answering the very question that haunts people on Earth, “are we alone in the universe?”
Many people have debated over this question and have hopelessly, hilariously, out-debate themselves. NASA have stated that by expanding human presence throughout the solar system, we increase our scientific knowledge, enable technological and economic growth, and inspire global collaboration and achievement (NASA, 2011). So, unless we can hop on the next space shuttle to our next door neighbor who lives on Mars, we are still back on square one.
We barely scratched the surface on the question. Nonetheless, last year, the Obama Administration approved NASA’s request to extend the lifetime of the International Space Station to at least 2024. Ultimately this will serve as a stepping stone to exciting deep space voyages in future decades. We are encouraged to find it and there are no reason to stop searching the universe.
Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator and a former astronaut have stated that American leadership in space will continue for at least the next half-century because we have laid the foundation for success – and failure is not an option. As of this May, it is explained that the ISS extension is a pathway to future exciting journeys beyond Earth and into deep space (Universe Today). If we were to put this into a time table, mankind and space is only a stepping stone away. The only problem is that we are unable to venture deeper without the collision with time, and resources.
The Jan. 9 launch of the Orbital-1 mission is the first of eight operational Antares/Cygnus flights to the space station scheduled through 2016 by Orbital Sciences under its $1.9 Billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA to deliver 20.000 kg of cargo to orbit (Universe Today). The ISS alone is already cost off to $100 billion, combined from Freedom billion, the international contributions, and the direct NASA tab. (Google)
Today’s technology helps mankind explore. But in my opinion, what drives people of Earth to question and ultimately explore is the idea of interest and the need to push boundaries. We cannot help but the feel that way because there is simply too many things left unanswered. Space and its contents has always been the general interest of most people due to the fact that after many discoveries, the new-found knowledge would form new questions. It is endless to think that after we landed on the moon and put Curiosity on Mars, there are still more to come.
NASA is continuing their efforts to evolve technologies such as advanced solar electric propulsion, large-scale solar sails, new green propellants, and composite cryogenic storage tanks for refueling depots in orbit (NASA, 2015). These terms and contraptions are not easy to be digested by most people, hearing them is almost certainly causes your face to fall flat and losing interest. But it is one of the first step towards living like in Star Trek, mankind are still trying and discoveries will be there for us to find.
Movies and televisions are one of the catalysts on the idea of outer space. From Star Trek, Star Wars, Armageddon, even Interstellar have managed to envision what it feels and how it will look like if we were to be able to explore space and beyond. It enables us to pursue the inquisitive nature we have and hopefully we will be able to embark on a new journey across the universe. Movies and film will have their own different post 😉