What branch of science is space travel?

Astronomy: The general field of natural sciences that deals with celestial objects, including Solar System, Galactic and Extragalactic objects. The majority of students enrolled in the field work in this general area. Variations in space weather can cause geomagnetic storms that interfere with the operation of satellites and even terrestrial systems, such as power grids. If you want to measure the probability of life in space, exobiology considers the planetary conditions for life.

As with all space races, there are many paths you can take to become a space scientist depending on the questions you want to help answer. Some scientists in the space sector use satellite data to study the cause and speed of climate change on Earth and its effects on wildlife. Instead of the physics that drives motion in space, astrometry focuses on the precise position of heavenly bodies. Finally, heliophysics studies the constant and dynamic radiation of the Sun that affects its environment in space.

Finally, astrobiology relies on astrochemistry to better understand substances in heavenly bodies, stars, and interstellar space. Space science added a new dimension to the search for knowledge, complementing and expanding what had been obtained from centuries of theoretical speculation and terrestrial observations. In particular, the presence in space of human beings as experimenters and, in some cases, as experimental subjects facilitated studies in biomedicine and materials science. In addition, many other countries became involved in space activities through the participation of their scientists in specific missions.

Planetary science (planetology) deals with how planets form in the solar system, including their composition and dynamics in history. In addition to the United States and the Soviet Union, several other countries achieved the capacity to develop and operate scientific spaceships and, therefore, carry out their own scientific space missions. After Gagarin's flight in 1961, space missions involving human crews carried out a series of important investigations, from on-site geological research on the Moon to a wide variety of observations and experiments aboard orbiting spaceships. To carry out the necessary research to address these scientific issues, the United States, Europe, the Soviet Union and Japan developed a variety of space missions, often in a coordinated manner.

The data can come from satellites, telescope images, experiments on the International Space Station, field work in different regions of the Earth, or even from heavenly bodies that have fallen to Earth.

Jeannie Eschenbrenner
Jeannie Eschenbrenner

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