Space exploration is an essential part of scientific research, allowing us to test and verify theories developed on Earth. From studying the solar system to exploring Mars, space exploration has enabled us to gain a better understanding of phenomena such as gravity, the magnetosphere, the atmosphere, fluid dynamics and the geological evolution of other planets. It also helps us search for biosignatures, which could reveal if life was abundant in the past and if it still exists on Mars today. Moreover, space exploration can provide us with the knowledge and tools needed to make a living in space one day.
Governments around the world invest in space exploration programs such as NASA and Roscosmos for this reason. An article in Nature suggested using asteroids as a gateway for space exploration, with Mars as the final destination. Supporters of space exploration argue that it is a necessity for humanity and that staying on Earth will lead to extinction. However, there are some technical factors that could prevent humans from living in space.
For instance, the lack of private property and difficulty of establishing property rights in space have been an impediment to its development for human habitation. Additionally, the Sun generates most of the space weather which can affect energy generation and transmission systems on Earth and interfere with satellites and space probes. The first era of space exploration was driven by a space race between the Soviet Union and the United States. Since then, spacecrafts have been used to explore outer space, with some remaining there indefinitely, some disintegrating during re-entry into the atmosphere, and others reaching planetary or lunar surfaces to land or impact.
Every 26 months, Earth and Mars align in a way that minimizes travel times and expenses, allowing spaceships to travel interplanetary in approximately half a year. The manned exploration of the Moon began in 1968 with the Apollo 8 mission that successfully orbited it. This was also the first time an extraterrestrial object was orbited by humans. Common reasons for exploring space include advancing scientific research, national prestige, uniting different nations, ensuring humanity's future survival and developing military and strategic advantages over other countries.
The exploration of Mars has been an important part of many countries' space exploration programs. It has been flown over, orbited and landed by spaceships, making it the only remote celestial object visited by humans. Scientists have conducted biological experiments on Martian soil designed to discover signs of life in space but their results were inconclusive. In conclusion, space exploration is essential for scientific research as it allows us to test theories developed on Earth and understand phenomena such as gravity or climate change on other planets.
It also provides us with knowledge that could help us make a living in space one day. Governments around the world invest in space exploration programs for this reason.