This week celebrates the 50th aniversary of human travel in space. 50 Years ago Yuri Gagarin became the first man to leave earth’s atmosphere. That was a huge accivement then, and even in today’s scope it is truly epic. We are no longer bound exclusively to the planet on which we grew. It’s probably the biggest step in the evolution of humanity since we discovered how to use tools.
But in the years since then, we seem to have lost our will to explore space in person. Sure, we’re sending out a lot of robots into the universe… but we’re retiring the Space Shuttle and NASA is seeing massive budget cuts. It’s expensive to send people into space, keep them alive and them bring them back safely… but does it really count as exploration if we’re not the ones doing it?
I think we’re missing an opportunity here: Space exploration has the potential to act as a unifying force for humanity, to bring us all together for a common goal. The International Space Station is a good example of this, but in an environment of shrinking budgets and little political will, I’m worried that programs like this will become a thing of the past.
Thankfully the Chinese (it’s always the Chinese) are still spending a lot of money on space exploration, and they may be the new leaders in humanities efforts to touch the stars.
On another note: There’s a poll over on the right hand side of the page… I think it would be interesting to get your feedback on some stuff, so please check it out ^^. Thanks for reading, and please share this with your friends/family/imaginary friends.
“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the drug store, but that’s just peanuts to space.” – Douglas Adams