This month, I am participating in a rather LARGE blogging challenge which involves writing a series of 26 posts – one for each letter of the alphabet – based around a theme. My theme is about nature and all its amazing features. The Tao Te Ching speaks often of nature and then patterns of nature are where the I Ching gets its roots.
So, today is all about Deep Space.
When I was a kid, my sister was a huge Star Trek fan. This was the original Star Trek, before Star Wars was invented. I would sometimes watch the show. I liked how they had cool stuff, like little radios to talk to each other, and they were able to beam themselves up to the spaceship from a planet. I remember wondering if this would be possible in my lifetime, as I am sure many did.
So just how realistic is deep space travel? My husband insists that, IF they come up with a way to live on Mars before we die, he wants to go… I do not want to live on another planet. He may have to do his own laundry from that point on.
So I did some poking around to see where we are, in reality, with our space adventures. Turns out, just last month the European Space Agency (ESA) sent something called an orbiter to Mars. It is expected to land in October 2016. It isn’t the first orbiter that’s been sent to Mars. We’ve sent a few of them. The international space scene is pretty focused on Mars right now. The ESA let NASA put some equipment on board their latest craft. They are working together to try and figure out if there has been life there, and if so, when. Progress is extremely slow. This is really big picture stuff. Progress is measured in decades and centuries, not years.
There is also an international space station hovering somewhere above the earth that is a testing station for people to do research on living out in space. One of the things that they are testing is the effects of space travel on vision because it seems that the different levels of gravity affect people’s eyesight. Three people live at the space station at all times. When a new ship arrives, there can be as many as ten people on the station. Each person who stays up there, stays from 4 to 6 months at a time. People from all over the world share it. The international space scene is truly a global adventure. If you want to learn more about the space station, click here and here.
As far as intergalactic travel, we have a ways to go yet. The furthest we have gotten from Earth with any spacecraft is the (unmanned) Voyager I, which was launched by NASA in 1977. It is still going, and still reporting back data. The Voyager I is the only spacecraft that has passed into interstellar space, beyond our solar system. Nothing man has created has gone any further than that yet, and certainly nothing with living beings on board. We have a long ways to go before we could attempt such distances with people.
There’s a lot we could talk about here. I haven’t even started on the Virgin Galactic program, but I am already writing too long a post so I will have to let you dig into that on your own. Deep space is a fascinating subject, one that gives me some perspective on how small my daily troubles are. Just as a person who lives in one town all their lives can gain perspective by traveling to other countries, I think that we can also gain a lot of perspective by learning about places other than Earth.
For those of you fellow space fans out there, here’s a list of the 10 Most Realistic Space Movies (Variety Magazine). If you are interested in learning how deep space is like our bodies, read my post Our Bodies are Just Like Deep Space. Enjoy.
This post is part of a series called the A to Z Blogging Challenge, taking place during the month of April 2016. Each day is a new letter throughout the month. My theme this month is NATURE. To view other bloggers writing about this alphabet, check out the list here.
The list so far…