Space, the final frontier

THE moon is the first milestone on the road to the stars!

These words by Arthur C. Clark are, in many ways, the most important words ever said in human history.

However, in light of the Mars Rover landing, many politicians, scientists and members of the public have begun to question whether or not we should continue with our journey into space. Surely this is something which defies our very human nature.

We as humans have a need to discover – if we did not have this need we would probably still be in caves eating a joint of mammoth.

For those people who are against space exploration, who say we should just be solving problems here on earth without space exploration, well we would still not be able to solve any problems here on earth if it were not for reaching the moon.

The x-ray, which many people think is just one of the many day-to-day things which we have at our disposal, without our journeys into space would not have been discovered.

Another example is one of those things that many people have and don’t realise what good it does – the smoke alarm that saves countless lives every year was designed to go up on the international space station.

Items which we now barely notice in our day-to-day lives have originally come from space exploration. If we stop space exploration we stop invention.

Space exploration may also eventually save us; one day this world will not be enough. All our resources will be depleted and the Earth will not be able to sustain our ever-growing population. One day we will have to turn to space to find a new planet and with stopping space exploration there is no way any of that will ever happen.

As children we were always fascinated by space. It is one of the things which awake our greatest dreams and desires. And if we do get rid of space exploration a whole chunk of our human ethos will be gone.

Space has always been something to turn to. In our most basic literature there is mention of space and that longing to go into it, in our music there is mention of space, in fact, a huge part of our humanity revolves around space and that basic desire to explore it and exercise our curiosity.

And with that I hope you realise how important and fundamental space exploration is, be it for the resources it brings or the chance of a new start.

It is part of humanity and our longing to know what is out there, if we do stop space exploration there will be a huge basic thing removed from our lives – the longing to know what is out there. The curiosity to explore and the urge to go where no man has gone before.

I leave you with a quotation from one of the few people who have fulfilled that longing and desire to discover new things. When asked why humans should travel to the moon Neil Armstrong said: “I think we are going to the moon because it is in the basic nature of the human being to face its challenges, we are required to do these things just as a salmon swims up a stream.”

GABRIEL FARTHING, Year 10