We want to know—and to share our Member's stories with the world as an advocate for space exploration on our new Infinite Visions, One Planetary Society web forum.
Although your vision of space is unique, the Society is the one place we all come together to create a vibrant future for space exploration. You help strengthen our voice as the world’s largest private space advocacy group, an international force in humankind’s drive to explore and discover!
This week's question from Planetary Society Board President Jim Bell:
What might the future be like without space exploration?
Here's how Planetary Society Members answered...
Click through to read the full submission and comment.
What do you want to see next in space exploration?
I am HUGELY inspired by women in SPACE and would of course love to see them featured more. My personal dream for the future of SPACE exploration would is to see the brave women such as yourself featured more! I am currently producing a web show that finds girls who are interested in Science and Sci-fi and develops YouTube shows around their interests! Would love to see this expand! It is sad to me that so many women are not given the opportunity to showcase and pursue their passion and intelligence. Thank you Emily for your example and inspiration.
My wish is to know that life exists out there, this in my life time, i am 70, therefore, please get on with the exploration. I want to see soon, robotic exporers leave for Titan, Europe, Io and Enceladus and elsewhere the potential exists. The other is the launch of the james Webbs Space Telescope, what wonders, what discovers that will bring, what a great advanture awaits.
I love the night sky. It is filled with mystery and magic. And the wonder of space, time, and Planet Earth - where she sits in her family and within the greater family, in a tiny area of the Milky Way Galaxy. I am a soil scientist by profession and initially entered the competition run by The Planetary Society to design a Mars Rover. I designed a sediment sampling arm that you appreciated and then forwarded my design to NASA. I haven't heard whether or not my design was used in the first Mars Rover. Nevertheless, this is where my ... more »
I was born into an environment surrounded by short-wave radio and piston-driven aircraft. While growing up I witnessed Sputnik, Moercury, jet aircraft landing by themselves, Gemini, the first computers, Apollo, , amazing space probes, then screech, the natural evolution derailed. The Space Lab was fun, but a waste of what should have been Apollo 18. The shuttle was an interesting distraction. So what should be next. Humans on the moon. Let's learn to live in the vacuum of space. And more interplanetary probes. We need to know more, lots more, before we choose where we are going next. The moons ... more »
Life with no gravity quickly causes bone and muscle damage. If we travel to Mars, we will need artificial gravity, but there's a problem. The craft must be kept in balance as it rotates. Like a satellite being "spun-up", everything must be evenly distributed for it to rotate about its center. Otherwise, it will quickly become uncontrollable resulting in the loss of the mission. How would we live in such a condition that we couldn't move about freely?
As A Citizen Scientist at SetiLive with over 3900 Classifications on the Telescope, and also active in Seti@home, I am very passionate about our future in space and believe two principles: 1. At some point, tomorrow, next week, or in ten years we WILL find ET. 2. Mankind needs to move forward establishing a base on the Moon and Mars and continue space exploration. Future discoveries and the assistance to mankind to help enhance the quality of life will be immense.
PARAGRAPH I believe that man's long term future in space depends on building up the necessary technology for long term habitation in extremely hostile environments, with low pressure or poisonous atmospheres or total vacuum , high radiation, low gravity,and other hazards possibly as yet unthought of. For this reason it seems clear to me that the construction of a permanent base on the Moon is essential. PARAGRAPH. This would enable the development in a real situation of the many technologies needed: in particular food production and the total recycling of all essentials to life. At least on the Moon the ... more »
Explore the near universe with a swarm of robots and the further out universe with a swarm of telescopes. To do this in an economical way, the international community in private-public partnerships needs to develop a modular family of robots which can be routinely built at reduced cost obtained through mass production and then configured to their specific missions. The same goes for telescopes; leverage the development cost and reduce production cost by building multiple copies of the same design. Then multiple teams of astronomers can observe more objects in space for more hours than ever and the diversity of ... more »
I understand that taxpayers money spent on space exploration in these tough economic times need to be well spent with a clear path in mind that would benefit humankind best. At present the most compelling question perhaps is how will a change in earth climate affect human civilization and therefore I fully agree with the Mars exploration programme(unmanned) which is providing a lot of data on another planet and help us understand the climate changes that unfolded on Mars that would teach us a lot on our own planet Earth. A sample return mission is a must! My disappointment is ... more »
Space exploration is full of intriguing and fascinating objects from our backyard to the most distant galaxies. In the first place it would be very important to know whether there is or has been life on Mars. This is a major task for planetary scientists. Let's hope that Curiosity and Opportunity and their teams are able to reveal the truth - be it negative or positive it will have an impact on our understanding on life. Continue exploring the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. As we all know Europa and Titan are extremly interesting objects in mankind's quest for life ... more »
I have been a PS member for a while, and have always been interested in space and astronomy, but ended up as an oilfield chem. engineer. Now retired since 2009 at age 71, then enrolled in Liverpool John Moore U distance learning courses and completed 120 credits for a cert. My passion is astrophotography. I now have an AG12/Titan/H35 system. Next step towards getting off this planet is Mars. We have to go where nobody has gone before if we are going to survive as a species. Cheers, Don
I must have been 8,or 9, years old and I read a book of a journey to the Moon and back. The front cover of the book had a picture of a rocket standing on its tail somewhere on the Moon. How exciting the concept was for me! My Dad and I would discuss the possibility of space travel--he was a skeptic-- and I remember clearly saying to him one day that a rocket had been fired into the stratosphere and had reached the height of 47 miles, to which he responded with a question--"How far is the Moon?" Answering ... more »
For me, it all started back in 1956 when I got an astronomy book from the Library On Wheels in Brooklyn NY. I was fascinated by the immensity of the numbers, i.e., the speed of light, light years, distances in miles of space objects, the diameter of our sun. That Christmas I asked for a telescope, got it, then went to scanning the night skies from my 6th floor apartment in the Kingsborough Houses. I was hooked. [paragraph text] Like my hero, Neill deGrasse Tyson, I became entranced by the Hayden Planetarium, though I didn't think of a career in ... more »
As a young man it always fascinated me that we all live on a relatively small spinning piece of rock and water, which itself revolves around a burning ball of gas, which itself revolves around the core of our galaxy, which itself moves around in relation to other galaxies. This is our home. This is where everyone we've ever known or heard of has lived, and this realization opened a floodgate of questions I'm still striving to answer to this day. And when I learned from Carl Sagan that we are all made of "starstuff," and that our connection to ... more »
I am a particle physicist with a special interest in cosmology and the long term future of humanity. Our planet is a small dot in the universe and there are so many possible ways it and we can be destroyed. As an example it is well known that our sun, the energy source that powers our planet, will eventually expand to a red giant and engulf the planet. It is also well known that before that happens there are many other possible ways that disaster can beset us. Therefore the future of humanity depends on our getting out of here.The ... more »
When I was a child always loved science fiction and science, thanks to Carl Sagan I was able to know the first things of Astronomy and thanks to, for example, Star Trek my imagination was ignited. Now a mixture of both things keeps my passion going, I love science and I want to know the answers to all the questions even if the answer is different to my expectation and at the same time, when a question is answered I try to imagine the next crazy thing what we can try to test and prove. I know what the universe ... more »
It was a time in the 60's when every child looked at the space program on tv in awe. I was already a fan of sci-fi, jumping from the expected Nancy Drew stories, right into Isaac Asimov. I decided to write to NASA to find out what I needed to do to prepare to be an astronaut. My letter was well crafted (for a 9 year old) and I sent it off with eager anticipation. Weeks went by, then months, so I figured they didn't get the letter and I sent another one. Within a short time a large manila ... more »
What makes a child wonder? The real Milky Way on a warm midwestern night? Knowing that Dejah Thoris was really up there waiting for John Carter? Asking questions that no one could answer such as "What is where space isn't?" All of these sparked more exploration - Arkady Darell, attempts at lens grinding, a subscription to Sky & Telescope and constant visits to library shelves numbered 523 in the Dewey Decimal System. These were the beginnings, however no one ever told me that the journey never ends - it only gets better!
We will always explore with whatever resources we have. We are limited in funding to the economic pulse only but never the spirit. We will build with bone and rock if necessary. lured by the moving target of expanding space, we find answers. It is why we are.
We are born explorers. As infants we first learn to use our senses -- vision, hearing, touch, taste -- to learn about the nature of the world around us. And then -- gloriously! -- as toddlers we add mobility and can finally rove around and explore not just what is within our vision, but also the unknown across the room, or around the corner. It turns out that that urge to explore never leaves us as we continue to grow, as individuals, and as a civilization. Nowadays our fascination with the unknown compels us to explore not just the world around us, but the limitless frontiers of distant planets, stars, and galaxies.
If we lost our dedication for exploring, our human spirit would so decline. It lives within our hearts and souls. Adventure, discovery, search for knowledge and sharing our finds is critical to evolving within and without! Not to mention the science created by space exploration, how has it benefitted so many here on Earth? So very important, so necessary for all of us!
The great falicy in the debate over space exploration is that there is a choice. I don't mean a choice of how to go about it, but rather whether to do it. There is no decision to be made. Without space exploration we are condemned to living on a small planet with an ever growing population consuming its limited resources. The choices are Soylent Green, being obliterated by a bolide, or freedom. Choice? What choice? We will have to leave this place to accommodate our species.
Those born after 1969 have no idea what life was like without space exploration regardless of the motivation that made it happen. Other than the nerd with the coke bottle glass lenses looking through two pieces of ground glass at opposite ends of a tube while wearing a shirt with a full pocket protector, space exploration never happened. The weirdos growing up on Star Trek were first seen as idiots who were social outcasts and living in their own fantasy world. Anyone pursuing a potential career in NASA were just social misfits who can't get a life put together with ... more »
What might the future be like without space exploration? Well, just take a look at what space exploration was in 1940 or 1950. That should give you a pretty good idea. In short, there won't be any space exploration.
The human race faces a bleak future at present. The World's population has increased from around 2 billion to over 7 billion in my own lifetime (I am 70) There is no way this rate of growth can be sustained. Global warming (apparently denied by many Americans in particular), overpopulation and mass extinctions (we are currently going through one of the Earth's 'six' great extinction events) mean that the world will become almost uninhabitable in the next century or so. PARAGRAPH In the view of James Lovelock (the Gaia hypothesis) the human race may soon be limited to a few ... more »
I feel that for the collective "us" to continue to grow as a species we need to stretch our wings and fly, preferrably up versus down. Should space exploration be denied to us for whatever reason, our ability to evolve spiritually, physically and mentally would take a severe negative hit. Without space exploration, we would stagnate and eventually fade into galactic history.
The original logo of The Panetary Society was an 18th century sailing ship drifting off to explore the realms of space. Don't get me wrong, I love the new logo, but I just mention it to emphasize the spirit of exploration our society represents. The lure of discorvering new places could not be held at bay in days of yore and it cannot be stopped now. It may be delayed. It may be subverted. But the need to explore, and especially to explore space, is intrinsic to human nature and will not be suppressed for long. This is because the ... more »
We'd be back in the Fifties w/o the resources we've gained from space exploration such as fiber optics. Of course we'd still have the atom bomb so if we didn't blow ourselves up we can still groove to Elvis.
Space exploration has deeply transformed our world and our culture. Although its roots are traced in the Cold War politics of its beginnings, it soon transcended them, and started becoming what it really is: a path of exploration like none other! If we are to answer about the impact of space exploration's absence on the future, we must examine what space exploration meant in the past and what it means today. And its meaning is simple, yet profound: a spiritual journey of exploration and discovery! In my view, space exploration is the nobblest of all of man's endeavours. It's not ... more »
Every scientist at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences had his or her own vision for what should come next in the exploration of our solar system and beyond. Here are a few of those visions.
What might the future be like without space exploration?