What Are We Doing in the Space
World facing major environmental and demographic crisis cannot and should not spend resources for exploration of outer space with the aim to conquer it, which most probably would be destined with the same sentence as the Earth. Not until we learn how to treat with solicitude each and every child of our planet, which readily provides everything needed for human being survival...
Myriads of stars glimmering and shimmering unexplored and obscured kept tempting inquisitive minds for centuries. Humanity always tried to comprehend its assignment in the Universe, adoring and fearing it and strongly believing it to be the home of supreme absolute.
Space exploration started from ancient times, when humans learnt to read stars and mould constellations, which were used for finding direction and for navigation. Only four hundred years ago, the invention of telescope gave a powerful spur to the development of astronomy bringing more and more discoveries into the science of stars and constellations, planets and comets, the Sun and the Moon.
XVI century turned to be transitional for the science of astronomy, when people obtained the scientific methods of space exploration, such as spectroscope, which allowed the light to be analyzed, thus getting information on temperature, chemical composition, mass and some other measurements of heavenly bodies.
Launching of the first space shuttle in XX century was the huge milestone not only in the science of astronomy, but also in the history of humanity. Many believed that travelling into the space will become very ordinary by the beginning of 21st century, that it will become possible to visit other planets of our Solar system and maybe even risk setting off for interstellar space.
Almost half of the Earth population believes there is life out there, at least some form of it, the thought so frightening and at the same time so alluring. That is why those looking for extraterrestrial civilizations, are ready to go further and install more and more orbital observatories to obtain information on chemical indications of any forms of living organisms in atmosphere far beyond our Solar system.
Others stated that space exploration would provide huge advantages for the Earth itself. Scientists believe space exploration is very important and name several reasons such as protection of our planet from asteroids, study of Earth from the space, potential for extraction of valuable minerals and various treasure materials from other planets and stars.
The arguments are persuasive and demanding, making governments spend billions of dollars for deeper and broader exploration of outer space.
There are even ideas of using other planets as the living space, which, from the first glance, might be not so absurd taking into the consideration the environmental and demographic situation on the Earth. It does sound absurd, when we look back at our planet, – polluted, deforested, desertified, covered in waste and totally exhausted under human being weight, with many of them suffering hunger and malnutrition.
What can be easier, than moving to other “space” when the first one became impossible to stay at? Surely it is much more difficult, a lot more energy, funds, and time is required to repair it. Blind minds do not want to see environmental and population problems, unless they are directly affected. Utopic dreams about abandoning the Earth when it becomes unserviceable make nations spend more and more funds for the space exploration, instead of using them for improvement of the damage humanity caused over centuries or improve lives of people from the “Third World”.
The planet Earth is capable of feeding its every inhabitant, yet, every 5 seconds a child dies of starvation. UN statistics proves that up to 850 million people are suffering malnutrition. Public opinion on hunger is often mistaken on real reasons, believing it generally happens due to natural disasters, such as floods or droughts. From this perspective it is seen as some sort of visitation. However the real issue is lack of infrastructure and modern technologies, hence funds.
I am talking about the funds, which would secure many countries against any whim of nature, the funds which would save lives of millions, who do not have rights and whose only destiny is to die of hunger in the plentiful world. I am talking about the funds spent to find out if there is water on planet Mars, while our own planet’s water requires cleansing from heavy pollution we have caused.
“The problems of the Earth must be solved here on the Earth and we must not divert attention from that necessity” stated 59th President of the Royal society, astronomer and astrophysicist, Martin Rees in response to the idea of humans colonizing distant planets in order to survive.
World facing major environmental and demographic crisis cannot and should not spend resources for exploration of outer space with the aim to conquer it, which most probably would be destined with the same sentence as the Earth. Not until we learn how to treat with solicitude each and every child of our planet, which readily provides everything needed for human being survival.