Major Tim Peake has finally arrived on the International Space Station after an eight hour journey from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, home to the Russian space administration, Roscosmos where all the visitors to the ISS take off. He is the first British astronaut sent up into space that was supported by the British Government. The first Briton in space Helen Sharman was financed by private donors with the support of the Russian Government. Other Britons in space such as Michael Foale and Piers Sellars had to gain American nationality to get into space with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.) because the British Government had a policy of not providing support for Britons into space. That had recently changed and Tim Peake became the second Briton in space.
Space it should be pointed out is a multi-billion pound industry not just in the United States but also in Britain. British company Inmarsat provides and supports communications across the world through its numerous satellites. Logica I.T. Consultancy was unique amongst the major I.T. consultancy such as CapGemini and Accenture in providing Space Consultancy. They are now part of the CGI Group, a Canadian I.T. Consultancy and they carry on providing space consultancy.
Critics of space exploration say money should be spent on the ground and not wasted on space exploration. Those who do should look at N.A.S.A. site to see what inventions might not have happened had it not been for space explorations. The one that stands out the most is artificial limbs, the same limbs that help amputees get back on the ground and walking. NASA didn't design cordless tools, they got Black and Decker to design and build the tools. 1. NASA also didn't invent CT Scan or MRI scans but they designed the technology that would one day be used in those technologies.
Our future is space, this planet won't be able to support us forever, our resources are dwindling, the population is ever-increasing and isn't looking at slowing down any time soon. The critics will argue why mess up somewhere else when we can't look after ourselves. The way we are going, we are probably going to end up like Coruscant the city planet in the Star Wars entertainment franchise. If we survive into billion years into the future somehow, the planet will become inhospitable and we'd have to get off it, either to Mars or further afield, maybe to an extrasolar planet (exoplanet) somewhere out there. By then, we may have broken Einsteins Law that says the speed of light is the absolute speed limit. If we did manage to get to light speed, it would still take four years to get to the nearest star Rigil Kentaurus, better known as Alpha Centauri.
Picture from the European Space Agency website with copyright E.S.A./Stephane Corvaja
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