Space, Where No Man Has Gone...Yet

4490 words - 18 pages

Executive Summary There are many reasons that the Earth may become uninhabitable to human life and many benefits that arise directly from space exploration. The major benefit may well be the ultimate survival of the human race. Some of the reasons that the Earth may become inhospitable are attributable to the actions of mankind such as war and pollution. Other reasons are beyond the control of humans such as disease or natural catastrophes. The major difficulty in exploring space is the practicality of space travel; as yet the human race does not have sufficiently advanced technology to make such transportation cheap enough or reliable enough to make exploration or colonization feasible.There are, however, research programs aimed at solving the technological hurdles. National governments, colleges, and individual scientists sponsor the programs, and new discoveries are being made that incrementally move researchers towards their goal. The advances in technology that are being made also result in improvements in engineering, medical science, and electronics, to name a few.The question is, are the leaps in knowledge and technology worth the price in money and human lives? Where No Man Has Gone?Yet Introduction The exploration of space beyond our solar system will not be easy, cheap, or in the near future, but it is necessary to ensure the ultimate survival of the human race. Nobody can tell us what may happen to our planet in the future, so the best way to ensure our survival as race is to spread out as much as possible. It sounds extremely paranoid, but if the unthinkable happened and the earth was destroyed, where would humanity be? Some of the ideas discussed in this paper are highly improbable, but none of these speculations are impossible. The largest part of the problem is simply that we do not as yet have the technology that we need to solve the problems or make the ideas reality.The Reasons for Space Exploration There are various ways that the earth may be rendered uninhabitable. The most likely reason might be that humanity itself causes the destruction of life on earth through accidental or purposeful actions. For the purposes of this report, the terms ?destruction of earth? and ?destruction of life on earth.? mean the same thing - the extinction of life on earth. The actual physical demolition of the earth would take more energy than is currently available in the entire world?s nuclear arsenal (Sagan and Turco 27).A good example of accidental destruction could be the slow poisoning of earth?s ecosystem from pollution. Substances such as industrial wastes, biological wastes, and even nuclear wastes are emitted into the environment through both accidental and purposeful actions. The ecosystem that humans live in is a delicate balance with cyclic changes (Canby 5). Historical records and the science of geology have proven that weather patterns are slowly and constantly changing over time, and the actions of mankind influence and alter those...

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