The stars, the sun, and the moon have long enchanted humans. Numerous cultures across time and space worshipped celestial bodies. Many of those who didn't have them yet felt that they could determine fate, including medieval Muslim mystics. Even in this scientific age, millions of people read their daily horoscopes. Briefly, space is magnificent. But it's also terrifying. It's the infinite expanse that surrounds our tiny blue home. It is the void that looks back. Are we alone? What is the meaning of life? We can't help but wonder. Thus, the New Space Race comes into play.
A philosopher once asked, 'Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?' P pointless... Do the stars gaze back? This is indeed a question. -Neil Gaiman, Stardust.
The Ancient Space Race
The greatest phobia is an apprehension of the unknown. Therefore, we must understand space to overcome our apprehension of it. On the 20th of July, humanity commemorated the 53rd anniversary of putting ma on the moon. Neil Armstrong stated that it was a little stride for man but a great leap for humanity. Apollo 11 marked the conclusion of the Old Space Race, a competition between the United States and the former Soviet Union for dominance in long-range projectiles. Just another prolongation of the Cold War.
While it is indisputable that the Space Race considerably advanced our understanding of space and physics and enabled us to launch satellites into space, the Old Race was primarily a weapons race. The Treaties of Paris marked the end of one conflict between the Allies and the Axis Powers and the beginning of another between the capitalists and the communists. Both sides want the means to deploy nuclear missiles over the seas.
The Old Space Trail was responsible for the creation of ballistic missiles. Some 1,600 scientists who collaborated with NASA to create this technology were war criminals and were granted amnesty for their Nazi affiliation. Unquestionably, The Race had both perks and disadvantages.
In 2022, Space Technology
Since the 1960s, the world and space exploration has become more multipolar. Only recently, Japan and India launched their separate lunar exploration missions, Kaguya and Chandrayaan. In this way, China has also made progress. Currently, corporations are also entering the competition. Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and SpaceX, to mention a few, are just a handful of the many space travel companies.
Additionally, humans are learning to search beyond fighting. In recent years, space tourism and hospitality have been discussed. Jeff Bezos, billionaire, and owner of Blue Origin, went on a prototype space tour last year. Internet service providers have also considered satellites for global coverage, and the telecom company OneWeb and Elon Musk's SpaceX have struck an agreement to launch hundreds of satellites into space. In the next ten years, there could be 35,000 satellites orbiting the globe.
This does not mean that we have abandoned firearms entirely. Since 2021, Blue Origin and the Pentagon have conducted collaborative military programs. The United States also developed a "Space Force" in 2018, and the weaponization of space can only result in grave repercussions.
Pros and Cons of the New Space Race
Humanity discovers new vistas through space exploration. Humanity could become a multi-planet species if we master space travel, as depicted in Star Trek. Mars would be the first planet to be inhabited, and Musk already has plans for this. Colonized worlds could potentially provide resources unavailable on Earth and revolutionize technology. Moving to other planets would also reduce Earth's stress and give it a chance to heal.
The New Space Race offers scientists the opportunity to explore the secrets of the universe by studying planets, stars, and black holes up close. It could also help us find extraterrestrial life. How fascinating! A complex network of satellites could aid in detecting meteorites, allowing governments to respond and prepare promptly. The New Space Race may be what prevents humanity from sharing the fate of the dinosaurs.
However, the New Space Race is not without its consequences. First, space travel is too expensive. Instead of setting our sights on alien worlds, we may spend that money to help reduce poverty and injustice on Earth and develop more eco-friendly technology and types of energy. In addition, launching rockets into space requires a great deal of fuel and generates enormous quantities of pollutants. As the rockets enter orbit, they disintegrate, producing space debris that can crash with satellites and spacecraft.
The logistics of Elon's Mars Colony proposals will cost trillions of dollars and are currently nothing more than a pipe dream. Numerous individuals believe that the effort is not worth the return. Even if humans can settle other worlds effectively, territorial conflicts between nations could erupt, as in the past, and interplanetary weaponry would only exacerbate the situation.