At the very basis of humanity, is a yearning to know more and so we investigate to
find answers. Over centuries, mankind has managed to make numerous leaps into the unknown in the name of gaining more knowledge of their surroundings. This has led to the exploration of oceans, skies, land expanses and outer space.
Cosmic evolution is the idea that upon understanding and studying other planets and
aspects of the galaxy we will be able to better understand our place in the universe
resulting in the efforts of space exploration. The use of satellites in space exploration
has opened doors to advancements in different areas of technology such as medical
equipment in the detection of breast cancer tumours; the use of entertainment services like television broadcasting; and location services like GPS that help people navigate unfamiliar surroundings. Satellite technology has also made the prediction and detection of natural disasters and weather forecasting possible.
The 12th of April 1961, marks the first day man ventured into the vast universe. The Soviet Union was the first nation to set the record in the space race while the United States (US) came second. Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, a Soviet space program member, was the first man to orbit around the planet in 1 hour and 29 minutes. An orbit is a repeated path that an object takes around another object. Two years later, the Soviets set the record again with the first woman to ever travel into space, Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova, who acted as the sole pilot for the voyage on the 16th of June1963. Decades later, history was made again when the US astronaut program admitted and sent the first ever black woman into space, Dr Mae Jemison. On the space shuttle, she acted as the mission specialist with six other astronauts for a period of eight days and managed to complete 127 orbits around the earth. An orbit is a repeated path that an object takes around another object.
Once Dr Jemison completed her space travel, she founded the Jemison Group. It is a non-profit organisation with the focus of science literacy in society and sustainability in developing countries. It also provides numerous programmes aimed at introducing STEM subjects to young children and empowering women of colour in aviation and space sectors worldwide. The foundation acts as the leader in the '100 Year Starship' vision which supports the initiative for human travel beyond our solar system within the next 100 years.
As much as the world has gained and learned immense knowledge already, it is seems to be far from over as we have only explored our solar system within a galaxy of billion other galaxies. Until then, we celebrate 58 years of seeking the fundamentals of the universe by taking one small step in the hopes of taking a giant leap for world kind.
Read more on space exploration:
Reasons Why We Explore, NASA
The Jemison Foundation, Jemison Foundation
The Importance of Space, Teenink
By Lela Pea, Editor