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The Studies Of The Universe Essay

1340 words - 6 pages

Consider the universe. It is never boundless, never-ending and contains everything that has ever been or ever will be. Mankind has always been interested in what lies beyond the world that we know and finding what else is out there. The universe includes everything from the largest stars to the smallest particles. Exploring the universe is more than just space travel it includes exploring the world and all it contains. It can lead to cures for new diseases, the discovery of new elements, finding a new planet to live on or even finding an asteroid hurtling through space towards planet Earth. Whether it is looking into a telescope to see the vast unknown or into a microscope peering down on the smallest particles that make up our world we will always be exploring our universe in one way or another.
Throughout history people have always wanted to know what else is out there. The British explorers of the 16th and 17th centuries would venture into the unknown to find new lands and people. In Ellis Sian’s In the Wake of British Explorers he talks about the impact that explorers like Cabot, Drake, Raleigh and Cook had on the lands and people that they visited. Sian explains the natives living in the lands of interest were not the only ones affected, but the explorers and the people who ventured out after them the to make attempts to settle the new lands were also greatly impacted. Many of the great explorers died on their expeditions and the people who settled were faced with the hardships of living far away from their homelands and the support they provided. The National Aeronautics and Space Association, NASA, has made similar predictions of what would happen if future space expeditions were to land on another planet and encounter new life. NASA believes that is astronauts encountered extraterrestrial beings on a different planet that their reactions would mimic those of the Native Americans when European explorers began landing in America (NASA.gov). Although exploring unknown lands across an ocean and searching for new planets across a solar system or galaxy are different they are also extremely similar. Both Sians and NASA argue the importance and the impact that exploration has upon not only the explorers, but everyone they work for and come in contact with. The two authors also agree that curiosity and the idea of going into the unknown is what drives human progress in the field of exploration. Just as astronauts venturing into deep space would not know what lies ahead of them, the European explorers of the 16th and 17th centuries did not know what they would find or if they would find anything at all. They too went out into the unknown and beyond their known world. Just as NASA has plans to soon launch several new expeditions into space.
NASA’s current space timeline has Mars as the next target for heavy space exploration. They have created a mission plan for a manned mission to Mars following Curiosity. The spacecraft Orion is being developed...

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