If you know me a little bit, you know I’m a sucker for space stuff. And research in general. Doing something that has never been done before, or furthering an agenda that goes into that direction has always been something that gives me goose bumps in an awesome way.
2014 has been a wonderful year for space buffs, but two very recent missions have hopefully recaptured the interest for everything interplanetary, Rosetta/Philae and Orion.
“It’s like hitting a bullet with a smaller bullet, while wearing a blindfold, riding a horse”
In march 2004, some people thought it would be a cool thing to achieve. Rosetta was supposed to come close enough to a comet to take detailed pictures and perform analysis, why not try to land on it too with Philae?
Think about it: a route spanning 6.4 billion kilometres in 10 years, to hit a rock 4 kilometres in diameter ( 1/1600th of Earth ). Mind boggling. And yet, it was done, in the name of science. There are a lot of reasons to do such a thing, and the ESA explains it nicely.
“To Infinity and Beyond!”
Earth isn’t doomed just yet (even though it’s getting there), but we all know in a corner of our minds that we will have to leave it for another planet at some point in the future. Almost 50 years after our first baby steps in interplanetary travel and the Apollo Program, NASA tested a new craft designed to take us back to the Moon, and even Mars. Even if it’s currently empty, it signals a commitment to a spacefaring culture once more. Sure, we are nowhere near having a solution for interstellar travel, but when we start colonizing the Solar System in earnest, we’ll be closer to the stars.
THIS is why funding research is important
Does it make any difference today to know what that comet is made of and what it’s seen during its travels? Does landing on mars allow me to have a summer house there? Of course not. But our grandchildren will be thankful we didn’t spend to much time navelgazing as if the universe was restricted to Earth.