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?
Let’s face it, we would all love to board the Enterprise and take off for the farthest reaches of space. However, practicality dictates we first need a base to build spacecraft. If the craft is built in space, the design possibilities are tremendous. Therefore, a base either on the moon, or in space, to house the people and equipment that will build the spacecraft, is needed. We will also need a reliable delivery system. This type of endeavor will require the forward vision and cooperation among nations, with each contributing to engineering, launching and building these stations. The ISS is ... more »
I believe that all humans can easily be provided for by the resources to be found right here in our Star System. There is very little that can not be done with current technology to turn man into a multi-planet species. Many asteroids and planets can be mined for any needed resources (gas, liquids or solids). Life is very resilient. Man is extremely adaptable. As long as we can overcome our self-destructive tendencies, the grand future of man is all but guaranteed.
I tend to believe that manned exploration should first aim at the development of a permanent base on the Moon, probably at one of the poles. Any expedition to Mars will certainly take at least a year, even with only a short stay on the planet or its moons. Any longer stay will necessarily be for three years or longer, owing to planetary mechanics. The lunar base would allow for the development under 'real' circumstances of tecnhologies for long term survival.The study of energy conservation, food production, and physical and psychological limitations for long terms in isolation at low gravity ... more »
It is my dream, to view picture postcards from the rim of Valles Marineris; to witness the Grand Canyon of Mars propel the human imagination to greater adventures. It is my dream, for humanity to probe the equatorial or polar ice castles of Europa and possibly find other life-forms and realize, perhaps for the first time, that life in the universe shares a common bond irrelevant of politics and religion. It is my dream, for humanity to search for untold world's beyond our stellar system. To dare the obstacles before us and move forward, to reach beyond imagination...it is a ... more »
I want to go back to Enceladus and Titan with a single, dedicated Cassini-like orbiter. Except this orbiter will have an ion drive AND an atmospheric balloon probe for Titan. The probe would first orbit Enceladus for 1-2 years thoroughly sampling and resampling the plumes at very low altitude and imaging the moon. Due to the low gravity environment, orbital speeds will be very slow allowing very sharp imagery and detailed plume analyses. Imagine, just by orbiting this small moon and flying through the plumes you can sample the very stuff that's inside the moon. No drilling or landing is ... more »
I really want to see a manned mission to Mars; while Curiosity is already finding interesting data, I believe that only a manned mission can uncover all the secrets of Mars. After that, maybe Jupiter's moons..
I would like to see a human landing on Mars. I like the idea and support the Planetvac system proposed by Honeybee Robotics.We need to move out of LOW EARTH ORBIT and explore deep space and find life forms of any kind.
As a kid I used to watch the television series of 'Space 1999'...then one day my older brother got a telescope as a gift which we used to watch the stars from the roof top of my parents house( and got bitten by mosquitoes while at it!)..it used to be fun thou.. I live on a mediterranean island away from city lights particularly some 30 years ago when the night sky used to be very dark.. I started reading a lot about the subject of astronomy and later became a member in a local astronomy club where I learned how ... more »
I was born wondering about things. As a child on one year old I would sit for hours contemplating a leaf. As I matured my interest in nature, science and our place in the cosmos has never waned.I guess reading Carl Sagan's "Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence" and The Pale Blue Dot" also had a profound effect. I believe there is no effort more enduring and in the end more rewarding than our effort to explore the universe. I also hope that in the process we may be become a little more tolerant towards one another. Our resources ... more »
The two things that lead me to study astronomy as an avocation were infinity and the origin. It is hard to understand that all that we see constitutes only 5% of what there is and that all of this and the other 95% could have been created with a singularity.
Circa 1960, this young Boy Scout, was reading his monthly copy of Boy's Life. The lead article was about a futurist world wide jamboree. One scout related his experience competing in the first solar sail race for scout troops whom had made their own sail planes. A few years later, on those cold, cloudless non-summer mornings, my friend Orion would lead me, biking around the five miles of my paper route. As Orion moved across the sky, the seasons also changed, giving me first hand observations of one chapter from my science textbook.
My first "space" experience came when I was about 10 in the form of a Ccience Fiction book - Assignments in Space with Rip Foster. I was reminded of this when I was clearing my library of old books and found the original hard cover. It would be cheesy now, but it sure fired my imagination. Soon I was trekking to the public library to get my maximum 4 books – Bradbury, Heinlein, Asimov, and later Niven. From Stranger in a Strange Land – can you now use GROK as a word in scrabble and not be challenged? From Glory ... more »
I grew to love the science of space along the route of science fiction. I started reading it when I was 9 (over 60 years ago--my mother was wonderfully progressive and allowed me to explore). Terrific authors like Jack Vance and Ray Bradbury, followed by equally talented novelists and scientists like Silverberg, Wolfe, and Benford, stoked the imagination. Working for NASA after I got my engineering degree was so natural-feeling, I stayed for 34 years. I had bit parts in the Apollo and ion engine programs, along with years in aero and space propulsion research. Now our robotic visitors to ... more »
I loved the stars at night in Kent, England, UK and wondered very much about nebula and things that were not actually stars, so I gave a talk when I was 13 at my school during English lessons - I was allowed an hour and was not stopped!
I was 5 when Neil & Buzz took those first steps by Man on the surface of the Moon. My family worked for Aerojet at the time in support of the space program as well as various defense projects. My folks made sure even at that ealry age I was in front of the tv with them for every Moonshot. Those are my most vivid memories of my early childhood and have stuck with me ever since. When I graduated high school I joined the Marine Corps and attended the advanced Radar & Missile school at Redstone Aresenal in Huntsville, ... more »
Science and science fiction, hand in hand, led me to my fascination with space. The Apollo space program showed the harsh realities and triumphs of venturing into space, while Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek showed what could be in store for us in the future. Roddenberry's optimism that we could overcome our differences and make “space, the final frontier,” coupled with the excitement of our space program really sparked my interest in space and motivated me to study astronomy, physics and engineering. Today, warp drive seems a lot further away than it did when Captain Kirk was commanding the Enterprise. By ... more »
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.
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?