All the Arguments for Space Exploration Ever - Part 1


The big-bang of human space exploration — the migration of human ancestors out of Africa — had just begun.

Competing with sabretooths for meat, humans spread through the colder climates of Eurasia as they emerged out of the Sinai peninsula. The borders separating countries and continents weren’t to be drawn until thousands of years in the future. But one by one, we explored.

Newer ways of life emerged. Modern languages began to develop. We laid our bare feet on the Ayers rock, slapped fist-sized mosquitoes out of our way and paddled our boats across the snapping shark-jaws of the Pacific. Music and dance, rules and morals, fire and wheels, dining tables and sarcasm.

We are today, mere followers of that wave which followed the first steps of human migration.

Priests traveling across Kealakekua bay for first contact rituals. Each helmet is a gourd, with foliage and tapa strip decoration. A feather surrounded akua is in the arms of the priest at the center of the engraving. It is not known what the purpose of the ritual surrounding first contact with Westerners was. Source: Wikipedia

IT WAS THE LAST DAY of January, 1961. Since the big bang, the Earth has spun around 1.6 trillion times and the time had come for another homonid with whom we share a common 13-million-year-old ancestor, to explore. This time beyond the tether of gravity.

Ham, the chimpanzee, lay strapped into a capsule on the Mercury Redstone launch vehicle. Ham was taught to use timed tasks by pushing a lever within five seconds to a blue light flash. When the lever was pressed, he earned himself a banana pellet.

The rocket engines fired and pushed out a raging wake of combusted propellants. The barriers of homonid spaceflight were breached at a velocity greater than 2.6 kilometres per second in this historically important mission that took explorers beyond the pale blue dot.

It was an extra-terrestrial step that was to be a sign of things to come. A giant leap followed when a certain Mr. Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface.

We were wanderers still.

Source: MaxPixel

MY BACKSPACE KEY HAS JUST emerged out of an extended period of torture while I looked for a coherent arrangement of words that clearly convey my excitement about writing this piece. I have had the time. I think I have had the will and desire to begin this earlier. I aimed to solve all the problems in life before beginning this. But of course, that wasn’t meant to be. Doubts still exist- should the narration be in first person? Isn’t this too ambitious a title? Can I really do any justice to the enormity of this subject?

But something tells me that I must begin. I must get over with this preamble and explore.

For the benefit of the reader, the term space exploration considers both terrestrial and physical space exploration through manned and unmanned missions. The arguments here are classified into levels. Each of the successive levels is an attempt to cover ground on deeper realizations and arguments.

Over the next few weeks, I will take you through this attempt to convey the romance of space. Stay tuned.

Also read other parts of the series:

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