Space exploration


Space exploration attainable for everyone

Space exploration is the discovery and exploration of outer space, using space technology. The actual physical exploration of space can be carried out by spaceflights manned by humans and by robotic spacecraft. It was the development of large and relatively efficient rockets during the early 20th century that made physical space exploration a reality. The reasons for countries to explore space include scientific research, uniting different nations, ensuring the future survival of humanity and developing military and strategic advantages against other countries. The reason for ordinary people to be interested in space exploration is adventure! To see the Earth from space is a truly life-changing experience.


Politically fuelled space travel

The exploration of space used to have a political component to it. With the "Space Race" between the Soviet Union and the United States as its culprit. The launch of the first man-made object to orbit the Earth, the USSR's Sputnik 1, on 4 October 1957, and the first Moon landing by the American Apollo 11 craft on 20 July 1969 are often taken as the boundaries for this period. After the first 20 years, the interest of travel into space shifted from one-off flights to renewable hardware, including the Space Shuttle program, and from competition to cooperation, for instance with the International Space Station (ISS).


Commercial space travel

Since space is potentially unlimited, it is hardly surprising that its exploration is still in full swing today and will be in the future. China initiated a successful manned spaceflight program in the 2000s. The European Union, Japan, and India have also planned future manned space missions. China, Russia, Japan, and India have even mentioned preparations for manned missions to the Moon during the 21st century. And the European Union anticipates manned missions to both the Moon and Mars during the 21st century.


Starting in the 1990s, private interests began promoting space tourism. Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) is one of the enterprises offering commercial space travel for everyone, and will be launching its Lynx Mark I in 2013 from the Mojave Desert in the USA. Unlike all other previously developed spacecraft, including the Space Shuttle, the SXC Lynx Mark I spaceship is equipped with an independent take-off and landing system. The ship’s four revolutionary rocket engines can be shut down and restarted in-flight at any time. There are no disposable carrier rockets, carriers or landings at sea. The Lynx Mark I simply departs from the runway at Spaceport Mojave, and glides back to a runway landing after the flight. In 2014, SXC will launch its Lynx Mark II from Curacao, to make space exploration a reality for even more space enthusiasts.


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  • Spaceflight


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