Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Space Exploration 3.0 about to begin

05.11.2007
Space exploration is about to enter a third age where nations will cooperate to explore the solar system.

Nicolas Peter, a research fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), told the meeting in Vienna that the era of launching space missions to bolster national prestige was long past and that new opportunities for cooperation had emerged since the end of the Cold War. He predicted that an imminent third phase of space exploration could inspire nations to work together in a spirit of discovery.

The Vienna conference Humans in Outer Space - Interdisciplinary Odysseys on October 11-12, was billed as "the first comprehensive trans-disciplinary dialogue on humans in outer space." It brought space scientists face to face with historians, lawyers, political analysts, philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, writers and others. It was organised jointly by the European Science Foundation (ESF), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Vienna-based ESPI.

Until recently the humanities had little input into European space policy which has been dominated by political and industrial as well as scientific considerations. The conference is developing the 'Vienna Vision on Humans in Outer Space' which will establish a clear voice for a new and broader constituency to contribute to the future of human beings in space.

Peter said there had been two phases of space exploration since the first Sputnik satellite was launched 50 years ago. The first phase, up to the early 1990s, was driven by Cold War rivalry between the US and the former USSR with cooperation extended to political allies of the two principal space powers. The second phase, up to the present, has seen the emphasis shift to scientific and practical applications of space with many new countries developing space programmes.

The number of space agencies in the world has been steadily rising since the 1990s and reached 36 in 2005. Bilateral and multilateral agreements between agencies are also growing. The advent of the International Space Station has it made it possible for many countries to take part in long-term, structured programmes of space research.

What Peter described as "Space Exploration 3.0" is about to begin.

He said that while humans will play a major role in space in future it would no longer be in the context of competing states but in cooperation between many parties. "It will involve industry, universities and other non-governmental organisations. This adventure will be driven primarily by a quest for knowledge, involving not only the hard sciences but arts and humanities as well. We're evolving towards an open market situation where a lot of new actors will be able to join the new space race."

The catalyst for the third phase of space exploration, Peter said, was a speech by US President George Bush in January 2004 in which he called on other nations "to share the challenges and opportunities of this new era of discovery."

Fourteen space agencies - including big players from the US, Russia, China, Japan, India and Europe - agreed a new global exploration strategy last May. It provided for collaboration on robotic and human exploration of the solar system including the Moon, Mars, the asteroids and the moons of the giant planets.

Peter said that cooperation allowed partners to make the best use of resources and to mount missions that would not otherwise be possible. Cooperation lent legitimacy to space projects and made them internationally credible. He pointed out that internationally agreed projects were also less vulnerable to cancellation through domestic political or financial problems. "So in this context international cooperation is not only seen as a political driver but a building block, a critical enabler for any long-term space activities and in particular, exploration activities."

He added that it was important for space to be open to all countries and not just those with the technical means to build and launch spacecraft. He said there was no conflict between exploratory and economic motives for being in space and called for a future of "utilitarian exploration".

Space exploration, he said, could inspire nations to work together for a common purpose. "For anyone who had the chance to witness the first Moon landing, it was certainly something really important to a lot of people and not only in the US," he said. "However, that was not international cooperation. A global exploration strategy will allow humanity to assemble behind a peaceful goal. Space exploration is mankind's next grand challenge."

Thomas Lau | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esf.org/essc
http://www.esf.org/research-areas/space/activities/inif-activities.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

nachricht Magnetic moment of a single antiproton determined with greatest precision ever
19.01.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>