After Earth, Where Will We Be?


| 2 Comments

There have been hundreds of films on the prospect of extraterrestrial life. There have been billions of dollars put into space exploration. But in this study of space, people have found out of this world results, literally.


In an article by the New York Times based on a journal from the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences we learn about the existence of hundreds of thousands to even billions of Earth sized planets in the universe. With the universe seemingly expanding each and every day, even more could be in the process of forming. Matter is mysterious, yet representative of new opportunities.


As humans, we aim to make the most of our resources and in a world that seems to be running low on resources of value, it makes sense to look elsewhere for possibilities. In movies like Avatar , the interest in exploiting other planets is making way into the general public as well. The idea isn't too farfetched, it's just a matter of making it economical. Another area of concern involves the existence of aliens. What if these possible entities are intelligent, or what if they're unbelievably simple? Also, could these planets be possible homes for our growing population if need be?


Questions like these are generally raised in excitement. I know I personally would prefer something life-changing enough to redefine what we call home. I'd want intelligent life that was cooperative. I only hope we wouldn't take as much advantage of that opportunity as we have with past opportunities given by various species on Earth already.


While reading this, I was thinking about how we have segmented Earth's human population into different countries. What if we had actually segmented ourselves onto different planets. With numerous Earth sized planets, and some maybe even favorable to our preferred living conditions, we could split up and avoid international wars. Though, an interesting thought, it would be difficult to promote that interconnected growth and each planet may revert into re-segmenting anyhow.


Overall, of the many different areas to study within fields of science, I feel that space exploration and discovery is one that is ever-growing as substantially more creativity and dreams have been left in the stars. When I wish upon a star, I know that it can grow and shine with a power that cannot be handled by any technology on Earth. It's amazing how intricate nature really is. We should not only continue to see this intricacy in the galaxies, but also in the undiscovered regions on Earth.

After_Earth_large.jpg

Picture Source: (http://www.esa.int/ESA/Competition/Explore_After_Earth_with_us)

2 Comments

I feel that spending more of our money for space exploration is very misguided and almost a waste of the money that could be going to something else more important. The money we spend on trying to find a new world could be used to help sustain the one we already have. Last year NASA was budgeted with 17.8 billion dollars (Discovery). Out of that 17.8 billion more than 4 billion dollars will go towards space exploration (NASA). I believe that in this case our curiosity is getting the best of us. There are already so many other countries with space programs, why does the U.S. have to be the first ones to find what ever it is were looking for out there? If China's the first to catch a glimpse of a new sustainable planet are they just going to keep it to themselves? All of this money we use to fund the space program could be used to help wit so many other things. Saying that may not be fair to the people thousands of years down the line when the demise of Earth is actually in sight, but even if we keep pouring all of this money into our space programs we still might not come up with anything that could save us in the future anyway.

Resources:
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/feb/HQ_11-041_NASA_Budget.html
http://news.discovery.com/space/history-of-space/nasa-2012-budget-ups-downs-111202.htm

Michael, I agree with every single word you said, I was always shocked by the amount of brilliant individuals we have collectively and how they sometimes make some decisions that seem like they were not thinking of other groups like teachers, and families because so much funding is indeed going into research but not enough is spent to help human beings. As an outsider looking from the outside it seems that technology is more important than human life(opinion).

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