Exploring space

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Sure, no one wants to see astronauts killed or stranded in space. But should we care about the universe beyond how it affects us as humans? That is the big question — call it question 1 of extraterrestrial environmental ethics, a field too many people have ignored for too long.

Science and History

How we ought to value the universe depends on two other intriguing philosophical questions:. Question 2: the kind of life we are most likely to discover elsewhere is microbial — so how should we view this lifeform? Most people would accept that all humans have intrinsic value, and matter not only in relation to their usefulness to someone else. Accept this and it follows that ethics places limits on how we may treat them and their living spaces.


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People are starting to accept that the same is true of mammals, birds and other animals. So what about microbial beings? Some philosophers like Albert Schweitzer and Paul Taylor have previously argued that all living things have a value in themselves, which would obviously include microbes.

Philosophy as a whole has not reached a consensus, however, on whether it agrees with this so-called biocentrism. Question 3: for planets and other places not hospitable to life, what value should we place on their environment? Arguably we care about our environment on Earth primarily because it supports the species that live here.

Why We Explore

If so, we might extend the same thinking to other planets and moons that can support life. Some have proposed an idea called aesthetic value, that certain things should be treasured not because they are useful but because they are aesthetically wonderful.

Could that apply to other planets? Supposing we could answer these theoretical questions, we could proceed to four important practical questions about space exploration:. Question 4: is there a duty to protect the environment on other planets? But is scientific clarity all that matters, or do we need to start thinking about galactic environmental protection? Drilling for core samples, perhaps, or leaving instruments behind, or putting tyre tracks in the dirt? When combining both human and robotic exploration methods we will use technology and our senses to increase our ability to observe, adapt, and uncover new knowledge.

The first step in embarking on a long and challenging journey involves laying solid groundwork for a successful endeavor.

Should Musk, Bezos, Branson Save Earth Before Exploring Space?

The International Space Station serves as a national laboratory for human health, biological, and materials research, as a technology test-bed, and as a stepping stone for going further into the solar system. On the International Space Station we will improve and learn new ways to ensure astronauts are safe, healthy and productive while exploring, and we will continue expand our knowledge about how materials and biological systems behave outside of the influence of gravity.

EXPLORING SPACE IN GTA 5! (GTA 5 Mods)

NASA will continue its unprecedented work with the commercial industry and expand an entire industry as private companies develop and operate safe, reliable and affordable commercial systems to transport crew and cargo to and from the International Space Station and low Earth orbit. Operating in translunar space, NASA can research galactic cosmic radiation—potentially the most threatening element to humans exploring deep space—and develop mitigation strategies that may also lead to medical advancements on Earth.

The Lagrange points—places in cislunar space where the gravitational influences of the Earth and moon cancel each other out—are advantageous areas for exploration and research in which almost no propulsion is required to keep an object or spacecraft stationary. Missions to translunar space will give NASA and its partners the opportunity to develop tools and operational techniques to support decades of future exploration, while remaining in relative proximity to Earth.

Asteroids are believed to have formed early in our solar system's history—about 4. By visiting these near Earth objects to study the material that came from the solar nebula, we can look for answers to some of humankind's most compelling questions, such as: how did the solar system form and where did the Earth's water and other organic materials such as carbon come from?

COLLECTIONS

In addition to unlocking clues about our solar system, asteroids may provide clues about our Earth. By understanding more about asteroids we may learn more about past Earth impacts and possibly find ways to reduce the threat of future impacts. Future robotic missions to asteroids will prepare humans for long-duration space travel and the eventual journey to Mars. Robotic missions will provide reconnaissance information about asteroid orbits, surface composition, and even return samples to Earth for further evaluation.

These robotic missions are a critical step in preparing humans to visit asteroids where we will learn about the valuable resources available in space, and further develop ways to use them in our quest for more efficient and affordable exploration. Mars has always been a source of inspiration for explorers and scientists.

And that could be a harbinger of a new era of space exploration led, in large part, by private, non-governmental entities. That means space startups can build satellites mostly using off-the-shelf technology, while focusing the real innovation and investment on the components that are core to their mission. But other startups are already looking beyond the microsatellite market. But now the company also wants to supply its engines to makers of larger satellites with masses of 50kg to kg, according to CEO Natalya Bailey.

Understanding the Sun with Ulysses

Space offers not just microgravity but an unfettered view of the heavens and the earth. And sure, we may lose some of the new space startups.


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