When people ask me are we spending to much money on space exploration, i get a little annoyed. My usual answer is to explain how much money we spend on the military and all those small scale and proxy wars. When people hear the numbers, they usually change their opinion. It is a well-known fact that the US spend 600 billion dollars a year on the military, and only about 20 on NASA.
I believe that it is very important for people to know that and that people still need to dream about exploring new worlds. The Earth is still essentially important to us and it will be our home for centuries to come, but a day will come when we will have to fly away. For that, we will need to be a much more technologically advanced civilization. Keep reading to see what are the most important technologies we will need to develop before we fare off into the distant space.
It is no use to travel far from your planet when you have no means to communicate with home. It turns out that long-distance space calls are a major obstacle. NASA is currently working on something called LCRD – Laser Communications Relay Demonstration. This technology will enable us to send information from ships to the Earth and back at about 10 to 100 times the current speed.This, to put it in wi-fi terms, means we could send a 100Mbs signal from Mars to Earth. This means we could send a photograph of Mars to Earth in about 5 minutes, instead of 90 minutes, our present rate.
We employ robots here on Earth every day. But we will have to master the science of robotics if we are to land a spaceship on a hostile planet. You will agree that having a fully functional robot copy of a human comes in handy when you have to face severe athmospheric condition of even unfriendly intelligent life. Ok, we might not see C3PO or R2D2 any time soon, but smart rovers or capable exploration robots will certainly be available.
Sci-fi movies make us forget about gravity. But not having gravity while traveling through space is a major problem. Mainly because it can cause severe problems with your body if you do not approach it the right way. For example, the muscles of astronauts will atrophy quite quickly. Another problem is bone mass loss, followed by a disturbed sense of balance, and so on.
Today, scientists constructed special suits and machines which astronauts use to avoid these debitilitating changes of their bodies. They have to undergo specially designed training programs and take medications and special types of food. For longer space travels, we will need a permanent solution which will, most likely, revolve around carefully designed, spinning spaceships which will employ centrifugal force as a substitute for Mother Earth’s gravity.