It is old news that the human race looked upon the stars for guidance and to discover our origins. In order to better our search, we’ve created contraptions to peer and peirce through our skies. The first telescope was seen in the Netherlands in the 17th century, when “the national government in The Hague discussed a patent application for a device that aided ‘seeing faraway things as though nearby.'” Americas first space program, which began in 1959, launched the first Americans into orbit, using NASA’s first manned spaceship, the Mercury space capsule. NASA’s Voyager 1 is the first satellite to cross the heliosphere(a magnetic boundary that seperates the solar system from rest of the galaxy.)
With our ever increaseing appetite for answers, NASA has developed a new traveler to join the rovers on distant planets, the Hedgehog. This genius robot, four years in the making, was developed to handle various terrains encountered in space, from icy and crumbling grounds to sandy and rocky sinkholes. The Hedgehog is a cube-shaped catrapment with protruding spikes. It uses “internal flywheels that spin and brake, which cause the bot to hop and tumble across a surface.” This will allow scientists to better analyze the surfaces of comets and asteroids, which traditional rovers are unable to do. Another plus to this space gadget, is it’s low-cost, which will allow space explorers to deploy “a small fleet of tumbling bots to take samples and explore.” Pretty cool.
The moral of the story is, we as a curious and determined species, continue to invent gadgets of space exploration to answer two of the most compelling questions to be asked: Where do we come from and are we alone? Though we may not be close to a definite answer of these compelling questions, with the effort of great minds to push boundaries and reinvent space travel, we may be able to extract another puzzle-peice from the universe to create a clearer picture of our existence.
What are your thoughts on space exploration?
P.S. Check out this cool essay on the impact of the great philosophers: Ancient Philosophy: All is One
As always, from Around Your Screen.