Exploring the Science of Space Travel

Deep space exploration is the branch of astronomy, astronautics and space technology that focuses on the exploration of distant regions of outer space. It is a field that has captivated humanity for centuries, and in recent years has become increasingly relevant as our planet becomes more populated. Space exploration is the continuous discovery and investigation of heavenly structures in outer space using ever-evolving space technology. The 1960s saw NASA make progress towards President Kennedy's goal of taking a human to the Moon with Project Gemini, in which astronauts tested the technology needed for future flights to the Moon and tested their own ability to withstand long periods in space.

Reasons for exploring space include advancing scientific research, uniting different nations, ensuring the future survival of humanity, and developing military and strategic advantages over other countries. The first human-made object to go into space was a German V2 missile, launched on a test flight in 1942. This reality meant that space exploration had to serve very broad interests and, in fact, it has done so in a variety of ways. John F. Kennedy's successor, Eisenhower had decided not to compete for prestige with the Soviet Union in a space race, and his successor, John F.

Kennedy, made it his mission to put a human on the Moon before the end of the decade. Governments realized early on that observing the Earth from space could provide significant benefits to the general public, apart from military and security uses. All these activities of discovery, scientific understanding and application of that understanding in the service of human purposes are elements of space exploration. It may also explain why space exploration has been a common and enduring theme in literature and art. Humans have been asked to return to the Moon, travel to Mars, and visit other places in the solar system and beyond.

After the first 20 years of exploration, the focus shifted from one-time flights to renewable equipment such as the space shuttle program, and from competition to cooperation as was seen with the International Space Station (ISS). The development of space travel technology can lead to beneficial “derivative” technologies with practical applications such as the Curiosity Mars rover, the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moons, and important space-based astronomical observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope. Finally, there is also the growing cloud of space debris to deal with in Earth orbit (extinct satellites, discarded rockets and other debris) that move just as quickly.

Jeannie Eschenbrenner
Jeannie Eschenbrenner

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