Monday, April 27, 2015
Exploration, Post #2: Curiosity. Victoria Lay, H01 - Group 3
Curiosity and Advancement
Although curiosity may have killed the cat, for humans curiosity has led to the advancement of our species in amazing and previously unimagined ways. Our desire to explore the unknown can inspire teamwork and a sense of comradery. Former enemies can forge together towards a brighter future of discovery that can benefit everyone.
The discovery of the New World encouraged the trade of new plants and animals which helped stimulate the European economy. Not only that, the new crops proved to be able to help solve Europe’s food shortages, for these new crops proved to provide more food from the same amount of space. The pioneering of space technology has in a similar way provided benefits to all humanity. Those who ask, “Why are we trying to go into space when it cannot help our problems here,” do not realize that space technology and research has been repurposed to help people back at home. Things like scratch resistant lenses, artificial limbs, space blankets, chemical detection, and more were developed by or had influence from NASA. People should not jump to the conclusion that space travel is useless or frivolous when they do not realize all of the important things that have come from it.
We have been sending rovers and satellites to other bodies in our solar system for decades. These have given us an up close look at the other planets, moons, and asteroids of our neighborhood. However, these robotic missions can only tell us so much. Manned exploration is key to understanding the deeper aspects of these places. Also, never going to these places makes them feel distant, impersonal, and unreachable. We feel the need to step on the surface, to feel the ground beneath our feet, and to gaze upon the alien landscape with human eyes, not robotic ones. A manned exploration would cure us of these feelings and satisfy our wandering nature, and we could one day gaze up at the night sky and think, “There are people there, reaching what was once unreachable.”
Discovery is key to understanding the world around us, and perhaps to providing a clue of who we are and where we come from. The study of space has provided us with some possible answers, but it also baffles us with many more questions. What makes us who we are as a species is our undying need to know, or at least to try and know. I believe it is in our nature to go into the unknown, and all of us will feel the call at some point in our lives. The greatest things are not discovered by staying in the comfort zone.