The importance of the space race

Let's do this thing. As a child, however, I knew so many African Americans working in science, math, and engineering that I thought that's just what black folks did. Sisters are doin' it for themselves! I'm totally on board with this message.

The importance of the space race

The importance of the space race

Are the efforts of Musk and others putting too much emphasis on human spaceflight at the cost of science? These are the same images, pounded into our heads by pop culture, media, and science fiction novels, which have informed our relationship to everything unearthly.

And, they get played out over and over again with each new discussion on the future of human spaceflight. US presidents since the beginning of the Space Age have used anthropocentric language, alongside common securitizing and frontiers logic, to advocate for the importance of not only space exploration, but also human influence in the extraterrestrial realm.

If we are to win the battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny, the dramatic achievements in space which occurred in recent weeks should have made clear to us all, as did the Sputnik inthe impact of this adventure on the minds of men everywhere, who are attempting to make a determination of which road they should take… Now is the time to take longer strides—time for a great new American enterprise—time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth.

President Obama echoed this sentiment in a similar recent essay. To be clear, the scientific community believes going to Mars is a genuine possibility. Research by the agency in the years since has been directed towards achieving the long-term Mars goal. Do we see space as a venue for scientific intrigue and discovery, or does the public view deep space exploration and Mars as the platform for another Earth?

Most will agree that going to Mars should absolutely be a goal of space travel. But, fewer people will recognize the importance of developing space science for the sake of science. A simple search of Mars-related articles will show that when it comes to reaching other worlds, the state of humanity is a top concern.

Government leaders, Musk, Bezos, and other private sector space leaders have continuously pushed humans to the forefront of their mission statements. This reality and our empirical relationship to spaceflight begs yet another question on the human relationship to science: And, what are the consequences of the answer?

To explore the question and whether there are side effects to an anthropocentrically-driven mindset toward space, we must consider our historical ties to the Space Age, imagination, and science. The consequence of the current paradigm is a potentially dangerous undervaluing of scientific knowledge.

The decision to deemphasize scientific reality may actually render space unsafe for humanity. McCurdy, in his book Space and the American Imagination, charts over the development of the Space Age where these two factors intersect and how it has affected American decision-making when it came to planetary exploration.

These ideas were so compelling and satisfying for the desires of the American public that even the wildest notions extraterrestrial exploration seemed believable. Once scientists embarked on space research, they could not have anticipated how truly costly and difficult the process would have been, or the fact that finding lifeforms in other worlds would have probably fallen short.

Yet, this pristine vision of exploration could persist beyond the scientific actuality. And, one thing was always clear: The human simply could not be taken out of the equation.

Subsequently, leaders of rocket societies, lacking an eminent US scientist to serve as a spokesperson, committed themselves to the grandiose goal of human spaceflight well before the technology had even been conceived. And today, this divide between the scientist and the American public seems to persist.

Even more reflective of the divide between the public and scientific experts is the fact that the original Space Act, which laid out the eight main objectives of the US civilian space program.

This reality cannot be underplayed. These statements suggest that humans will always be at the forefront of space travel and that entrepreneurs interested in getting to space, like Musk, are perhaps not so nefarious in spreading doomsday rhetoric.

She predicted in her book The Human Condition the emergence of theories that are now being supported by leading space figures: Foremost in our minds at this moment is of course the enormously increased human power of destruction, that we are able to destroy all organic life on earth and shall probably be able one day to destroy even the earth itself… However, no less awesome and no less difficult to come to terms with is the corresponding new creative power…we have begun to populate the space surrounding the earth with man-made stars, creating as it were, in the form of satellites new heavenly bodies, and we hope that in a not very distant future we shall be able to perform what times before us regarded as the greatest, the deepest, and holiest secrets of nature, to create or re-create the miracle of life… The subject of human-prioritized space exploration, which emphasizes the importance of preserving humanity, has a potential consequence of not only undervalued scientific knowledge, but also manipulated knowledge, she writes.

However, the planet is later taken over by the Saiyansleaving the Tuffles extinct in Universe 7.
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He argues that each renewed endeavor was the product of whether or not the NASA was able to find details on Mars that pointed toward life. And of course, the US had to scale it back because it was too far of a leap.

The same mentality persists now and will have the consequence of undermining the importance of scientific certainty. Its main purpose was therefore undermined: Instead of the dichotomy between earth and sky we have a new one between man and the universe, or between the capacities of the human mind for understanding and the universal laws which man can discover and handle without true comprehension.

With eager private sector leaders now seeing space an absolute for human beings, there is a grave potential that failure to check ambitions with fact and scientific reality will render space unusable.

An Earthly Ethnography of Other Worlds. In searching for habitable planets, astronomers confront the changing ways they can inhabit their places of science. No longer do they simply dwell at the observatory; they also inhabit increasingly distributed sociotechnical networks… Going to the observatory will not soon fade from practice, but it will be driven more and more by a need to be in place and connect to history of the pression less and less by a scientific need… the making of habitability as the definitive metric of an exoplanet that would have the greatest human significance.Rep.

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The importance of the space race

These researchers do not agree on everything, and they have pointed debates. They are from the number-crunching and bone-measuring side of anthropology.

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