Exploring the Objectives of Space Exploration

Exploring space has been a long-standing ambition of humanity, driven by a variety of motivations. From scientific research and national prestige to the union of different nations and the guarantee of the future survival of humanity, space exploration has been a source of inspiration and innovation. It has also been a powerful engine for creating new opportunities to address global challenges, as well as motivating young people to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the STEM disciplines).The Euclid mission is a prime example of this, with Thales Alenia Space acting as the prime contractor on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA). As Tom Wolfe said in The Right Stuff (197), space travel has always had a strong influence on the imagination, inspiring people to sit “on top of a huge Roman candle, like a Redstone, Atlas, Titan or Saturn rocket” and wait for someone to light the fuse.

This is despite the risks involved. The transmission of voice, video and data through satellites in orbit is another space application that began under government sponsorship but quickly moved to the private sector. The United Nations has also comprehensively examined human and robotic exploration beyond low Earth orbit, providing a basis for further consideration of how the United Nations system can contribute to a new era of exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. Thales Alenia Space is proud to be involved in several major space exploration missions. These include ExoMars, BepiColombo's mission dedicated to exploring Mercury, and Cassini-Huygens mission to explore Saturn. A full list of all manned space flights is available in the Timeline of Manned Spaceflight section. The advantages and disadvantages of stationing force-delivery weapons in space have been discussed, but at the beginning of the 21st century, such weapons had not been deployed.

Similarly, no space-based anti-satellite systems had been developed. NASA is continuing its work with the commercial industry to expand an entire industry as private companies develop and operate safe, reliable, and affordable commercial systems for transporting crew and cargo to and from the International Space Station and low Earth orbit. Lagrange points — places in cislunar space where the gravitational influences of the Earth and the Moon cancel each other out — are advantageous areas for exploration and research in which almost no propulsion is required to keep an object or spacecraft stationary. The precise nature of the future benefits of space exploration is not easily predicted. However, current trends suggest that significant advantages can be found in areas such as new materials, health and medicine, transportation and information technology. Thanks to space exploration, countless innovations have been possible in sectors ranging from metals and alloys to biology and medicine. A related but economically much smaller commercial space business is the supply of private and government satellite launches.

Governments have also realized that observing the Earth from space can provide significant benefits to the general public apart from military and security uses. Space exploration has been a common theme in literature and art for many years. It continues to inspire people with its potential for discovery, scientific understanding and application in service of human purposes.

Jeannie Eschenbrenner
Jeannie Eschenbrenner

Devoted internet maven. Incurable zombie nerd. Hardcore travel aficionado. Incurable zombie evangelist. Hipster-friendly twitter advocate.