The Future of Human
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What does the future hold
for human space exploration? Our lecturers from the leading
space agencies and research institutions will discuss the
challenges and opportunities for space travel and the role
of science and research over the coming years and distant
Space holds essentially limitless potential
to address profound questions of our existence and push the
limits of exploration and innovation. Space science
continues to generate extraordinary breakthroughs, whether
roving Mars or discovering new worlds, while also helping to
drive public interest in science through blockbuster movies
and other pop culture. Unlike other areas of science such as
medical research or ground-based astronomy, space-based
science has to date been an entirely government-funded
To give a
holistic overview of future space exploration.We will cover
history, methods of exploration, current debates surrounding
its implementation, technology (what we have and what is
needed), and the hazards of such endeavors - that is, both
the critical dangers as well as the misconceptions spurred
by popular media. The purpose of this lectures is to foster
a love and a sense of admiration for space exploration.
This course will be
tailored to anyone, of any major and of any background, that
is interested and passionate about space exploration.
Solar System: Future Exploration
Human or unmanned missions?
Should we build them in
space, or on the Moon?
Propelling spacecraft: Need to
increase speed (currently 10's of thousands of km/h, but
progress could be quick), without heavy fuel; Over the next
few years, NASA will develop a fleet of nuclear-powered
spacecraft; Electric ion propulsion has been successfully
tested; Solar sails that propel spacecraft by reflecting
sunlight (rather than absorbing), NASA has tested engines
propelled by methane, abundant in the outer solar system;
Dangers faced by spacecraft:
Radiation and cosmic rays, bursts of energy from the Sun,
human-made debris, speedy meteoroids; Landing conditions.
Communicating with spacecraft: Currently handled for NASA by
the Deep Space Network, managed by JPL.
Plans: Return to
the Moon and establish bases;
Solar System: Possibilities for Interstellar Exploration
Could we travel to interstellar space? The trip is too
long for one crew (right now it would take 50,000 yr!), but
scientists are discussing the possibility of several
generation-long trips, including what the crew should be
like, how their language would change over the hundreds of
years the trip would take, how to communicate with them, ...
Time travel: Can we circumvent the speed of light limit by
non-conventional means? Wormholes and warp drive?
Hyperspace? And then? Who would we meet out there?
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