Positive attributes of space exploration include identifying potentially habitable planets, locating non-renewable resources and driving technological advancement; however, space exploration has negative attributes, such as exposure to radiation and vacuum, and a high cost of access. The continued exploration of space by humans demonstrates that the rewards outweigh the risks.Continue Reading
Space exploration missions can use manned and unmanned spacecraft, with each having its own unique positive and negative attributes.
Manned spacecraft, such as the International Space Station and the now-defunct Space Shuttle, offer scientists the opportunity to perform orbital experiments that examine the physiological and psychological effects of living in micro-gravity on the human body. These experiments, and the data gained as a result, can spur technological innovations that aim to increase the safety and efficiency of human space exploration. The negative attributes of manned spacecraft missions include danger of exposure to high levels of radiation while in orbit, loss of spacecraft and crew due to human error or mechanical malfunction and the high cost of putting humans and life support systems into orbit. As of 2015, the farthest a manned spacecraft has ever traveled is around the far side of the moon.
Unmanned spacecraft, such as the Lunar Prospector, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Stardust, allow for deeper space exploration that is currently out of reach for manned missions. Unlike manned missions, unmanned space exploration missions do not require human life support systems, which allows for more equipment, sensors and fuel, and thus a greater range and exploration potential. The negative attributes of unmanned spacecraft include high cost of launch and mission management, and risk of damage or failure.Learn more about Space Travel
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, astronauts are sent into space to operate the International Space Station, help develop commercial spaceflight, investigate the possibilities of human exploration of deep space, develop new technologies and conduct research in a wide range of scientific fields. Many aspects of scientific studies of the Earth and the rest of the universe are easier to conduct from space.Full Answer >
According to the Science Channel, the technology needed for space exploration ranges from solar sails to power spacecraft to super-precise, atomic-powered instruments for navigation and laser relays for long-distance communication. These technologies are still in early stages of development and may be ready for testing in the next few years, according to NASA.Full Answer >
All the advantages of space exploration stem from the fact that it creates an opportunity to discover unknown facts and generate valuable knowledge about the universe. Several discoveries made during space exploration have helped advance industrial productivity, computer technology, agricultural and environmental resource management, consumer goods production, public safety, transportation and medicine.Full Answer >
There is no specific time for getting into outer space as it depends on the type of technology used in a mission, the destination and the position of the planets. Another factor to consider is the distance from Earth to the destination; for example, Mars is the second closest planet to Earth after Venus. However, the distance keeps changing as the planets rotate around the sun.Full Answer >