Man is one among many types of life forms living on this planet. Since the first
man arrived on this sphere, he has adapted and used his intelligence to prosper
and increase in numbers. Today, he is the dominant species on Earth. One trait
that distinguishes Man from animals is his curiosity. In this essay, we are
concerned about his interest in new places, fueled by his exploratory urge.
a certain extent, the Earth has been explored thoroughly. Mountains, oceans,
deserts, rivers, forests - these are habitats Man has launched expeditions to
satisfy his curiosity about and to achieve certain aims.
Mount Everest was scaled to satisfy Man's ego to reach the highest mountain
just as attempting to cross the Sahara desert or the North Pole was a landmark
to Man's resourcefulness, determination and bravery. Natural scientists explored
the Amazon forests or Galapagos islands. Colonial powers like Portugal, England
and Spain went to India, America or China to trade, see glory,
proselytise their religions or simply to
conquer new lands. In this way, colonies were created and empires like the
British or French ones were established. Whole countries like the United States
were formed by Man's need for dominion (the Whites
subjugated the Red Indians) and the need for new lands for settlers.
Man has so thoroughly explored and mapped this planet that it seems he has
practically covered every inch of this place. But this is not so. There is that
part of a forest, ocean, river or desert ever waiting to be explored. However,
we can safely say that almost every inhabitable part of Earth is now his. This
is understandable when we consider his need for arable land to feed an ever
So where does he go from here? The answer is the expanse above his head, the
skies above or what is called space. Of course, there are those who say that he
can explore what lies beneath the Earth, but the exploratory expeditions and
studies made have convinced many that the land below is mostly inhospitable,
made of hot rocks, soil, gases and lava. The space above seems to
beckon more invitingly and has a more
Space has always challenged Man's curiosity. It is not only the discovery of
the planets in orbit but unknown worlds also beckon. Are there other planets out
there? Is there life in space? Can Man solve the problems of his increasing
population by investigating possible inhabitable colonies? Also, scientific
investigations like those into gravity or the study of organisms are also
possible in space.
The Cold War between America and Russia in the 1960s was not only a race for
military supremacy. There was national pride involved as each nation tried to be
the first to land a man on the Moon. Apollo's mission by landing the first man
on the Moon in 1969 climaxed the struggle and was sweet victory for the
Americans. The easing of the Cold War with financial constraints have led to
drop in space travel for strategic and scientific purposes.
Yet, space holds much promise for Man. Planetary probes and cameras recently
have found that the planet, Mars, contains evidence of water, raising the hopes
of existence of life there. Space stations where Man can live and work while
orbiting for long periods like what the Russians did, raises the possibility of
Man living in space. The need becomes more urgent as increasingly, more areas of
Earth become uninhabitable because of pollution and desertification.
In space, telecommunications satellites generate business benefits and
military and weather satellites are of great importance to nations. Space
laboratories may yield important scientific benefits. And there is the ultimate
dream of many scientists: Can they find aliens in space?
Space beckons and the possibilities are endless. Man has almost literally
explored his planet and space is the only option left to explore. It is also the