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The Next Space Race

World  (tags: conflict, china, blog, environment, world, space, solar system, mars, moon, solar energy, conservation, terraforming )

- 3140 days ago -
The thrills of the last space race between the United States and the erstwhile Soviet Union still invokes the passion of humankind's desire to expand its domain beyond its current confines. Are we on the path of another space age or is it an illusion?


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. (0)
Monday December 13, 2010, 8:45 am
Thank you for the wonderful article, Vikram! Posted to twitter for you.

Krasimira B (175)
Monday December 13, 2010, 8:50 am
I like this: "Perhaps the 'real' universal exploration should occur within, to awaken the dormant jewels gifted to us by the universe.". Noted, thank you Vikram.

Carol H (229)
Monday December 13, 2010, 8:51 am
very interesting article, thanks Vikram, noted

Matloob ul Hasan (81)
Monday December 13, 2010, 8:52 am
Noted, thanks.

Toni C (508)
Monday December 13, 2010, 8:58 am
Thank you, Vikram... you hit on a very important fact... as we are entering the age of the new world order, instead of working together in unison to attain optimal results, be have again become rivals... who gets where and when. At the rate in which we're depleting the world's resources... the winner will take all in the space race. I totally agree we should become kinder to our world as we know it, and turn inward to find the hidden jewel inside... along with peace and harmony with our fellow man.

Monday December 13, 2010, 9:14 am

Monday December 13, 2010, 9:24 am
copy/paste Krasimira B. comment...

Great article again:))
noted with thanks

. (0)
Monday December 13, 2010, 10:08 am
Great article. Thanks for posting it, Vikram!

Monday December 13, 2010, 10:40 am

Vikram Chhabra (394)
Monday December 13, 2010, 11:11 am
Thank you all for your wonderful comments!

Toni, you are very correct. The way we have depleted our resources aand shown lack of respect toward all other forms of life on our planet, gives an indication that we are a species that thrives in an environment of selfishness and greed. Throughout history the greatest advancements have been unfortunately been fueled by rivalry rather then the inner urge to explore.

Whereas there are individuals who do have the inner urge for knowledge, it is the needs of society that outweighs the whole. It is the greedy who rule and run the show.

Past Member (0)
Monday December 13, 2010, 11:12 am
Becoming kinder to our world and to each other, yes, I totally agree that this is our needed new world order. And we would be happier too, as happiness is directly related to the number of souls we love. Thank you, Vikram.

Apolonia Pl (392)
Monday December 13, 2010, 11:25 am
"Maybe we are just looking in the wrong places " - I agree....

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Monday December 13, 2010, 11:34 am
We know they are searching for another inhabitable planet. It's a shame we don't work to save the one we have. Thank you Vikram

kay h (156)
Monday December 13, 2010, 12:56 pm
Thanks Vikram ..shame we dont look after our home planet before we start destroying others..

Georga G. (0)
Monday December 13, 2010, 1:33 pm
@Vikram..New World Order? This is a disturbing thought unless it's meaning in this article is explained.

Vikram Chhabra (394)
Monday December 13, 2010, 1:39 pm
Georga, you are correct. A "New World Order" can be misunderstood if taken out of context. The context in the article is more about how things are naturally evolving from a unipolar world to a multi polar world.

A perfect world would not have such rivalry and realize that there is enough space under the sun. Unfortunately we do not live in such a world, at least yet...:)

Abo r (107)
Monday December 13, 2010, 1:53 pm
Noted thaa\nks for psting.
More care ,is needed

Susan S (187)
Monday December 13, 2010, 2:39 pm
I worry about people trying to search after an elusive mirage, throwing billions of dollars away on competition when it could be used for constructive projects. For me the space programs are far too expensive. Thanks for posting.

Albert M (112)
Monday December 13, 2010, 2:48 pm
Manned space missions to other planets are technologically challenging and prohibitively expensive. It stands to good reason for nations to cooperate in this endeavour but this is unlikely to happen anytime soon as rivalry still exists between the US and Russia. And the Chinese, Indians, Japanese and Europeans aren't likely to work together either with the Americans and Russians. Well Heaven can wait while we are still grappling with all the problems we face on Earth.

Kit H (173)
Monday December 13, 2010, 2:48 pm
The earth does not have unlimited resources to support all human activities.

Vikram Chhabra (394)
Monday December 13, 2010, 2:57 pm
You raise a very good point Kit. The human population explosion has definitely stretched us thin. More so is our proficiency in destroying the climate and environment with our heavy industries and dependence upon fossil fools.

It could be argued that all this was necessary for human progress. But it could also be argued that was the destruction of pristine environment and pro-earth cultures (like the native Americans), part of the need for human progress.

I personally do not have the right answers. I am over awed by the possibilities of space exploration but at the same time dismayed as why we have come here in the first place...:)

Robert O (12)
Monday December 13, 2010, 3:04 pm

Bob A (47)
Monday December 13, 2010, 3:26 pm
TY Vikram

August Cardea (36)
Monday December 13, 2010, 3:50 pm
I have no doubt we'll get there -- and pretty soon.

I saw a program on TV a couple of years about about cold fusion. Given our current technology it's almost impossible to do UNLESS we have one ingredient: hydrogen3. With H3, it's pretty simple. And cold fusion could solve a lot of our energy needs -- unless, of course, it brings with it those pesky 'unforeseen consequences' we're so good at discovering after it's too late.

Now, the sun churns out H3 in massive quantities -- and has been doing so for millenia. The Earth's magnetic field keeps it from getting to earth but the moon and Mars are covered with the stuff.
On that TV program I heard a businessman say, "The moon will be the next Middle East." Oh, goody -- just what we need.

So, heaven forbid we should develop energy sources that 1] are renewable and 2] people can generate themselves [solar panels, small wind turbines]. How much better it is [for big business] to mine a finite resource which people need to buy from the corporations!

So, of course, we'll go to the moon and Mars -- not for scientific reasons but in order to exploit them. In a couple of hundred years there will be a halo around the moon as the dust is churned up during mining operations. That 1/6 gravity won't be sufficient to get it to settle once it's disturbed.

Kit H (173)
Monday December 13, 2010, 4:22 pm
I had 2 extreme pleasant moments. One when I was late teen reading a book on space and universe. The second was when I wrote a research paper on global warming. I felt that I, especially my brain, became totally nonmaterial and free.

Kit H (173)
Monday December 13, 2010, 4:28 pm
If the moon is reduced, it will cause changes of earth's orbital axis and the climate system, not survivable for highly evolved living forms.

. (0)
Monday December 13, 2010, 4:39 pm
The exploration of space is one of humanity's most exciting endeavors. And, as the article pointed out, the process has brought with it astonishing and very practical benefits to us here on earth through new technologies and discoveries. I hope that exploration continues.

And while a certain amount of cooperation is helpful so is a certain amount of competition, since competition can sometimes bring with it exceptional results.

Animae C (508)
Monday December 13, 2010, 4:53 pm
THAN.Q Vikram

Penelope P (222)
Monday December 13, 2010, 4:59 pm
Thereare another two aspects to this
1 American industry has always saved on research and used as spinoffs the technological breakthroughs that this sort of research always makes2 A position on the moon is an ideal one for monitoring earth and letting loose on it weapons shouls one require it

Kerrie G (116)
Monday December 13, 2010, 5:33 pm
Noted, thanks.

Ann Eastman (31)
Monday December 13, 2010, 6:05 pm
Vikram- thank you for another excellent article. It seems like the rush towards what is novel too often leads us to insufficiently cherish-or explore- what we already have. I also worry that the hope of finding further habitable planets will reduce the perceived need to heal and protect this one.

Teresa K (33)
Monday December 13, 2010, 6:38 pm
Noted thanks.

Ann L (15)
Monday December 13, 2010, 6:45 pm
Noted. Sad the world can not seem to work together. Competition is great for somethings. We need to look at what we have and try to repair the Earth first. Thanks

pam w (139)
Monday December 13, 2010, 7:41 pm
We've ALWAYS looked to the skies for answers, salvation, etc. This article is correct...we SHOULD be looking within! Why do we feel the compulsion to give birth to LITTERS? Why do we allow our innate tribalism to poison our relationships with others? Why do we cavalierly destroy the planet and other species just for our own petty satisfaction?

Aletta Kraan (146)
Monday December 13, 2010, 8:06 pm
Noted , maybe we should look after earth for a change !

greenplanet e (155)
Monday December 13, 2010, 11:25 pm
outer space is very interesting, but maybe we should look after the Earth first!

Denise P (65)
Monday December 13, 2010, 11:50 pm
Another wonderful and informative article. Noted. Thank you Vikram!

Charmaine C (177)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 12:47 am
There should be complete cooperation in the development of space travel between nations since the massive amounts of money that would be saved by working together, could instantly wipe out hunger for the 1 billion people who don't have enough food to eat and clean water to drink, medical care, free spaying and neutering of strays that add hugely to the overpopulation and unnecessary death of millions upon millions of animals every year, research, global warming. It could be a long list of benefits.

None of this would be such a burning issue if our planet wasn't fast running our of space and resources. Surface space for people to live is finite, clean air and water is finite. Food must be grown.

I read a comment on a blog the other day that suggested we could get rid of all our unwanted garbage by tossing it away in space. Doesn't that just say it all?

Klaus Peters (14)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 3:55 am
Shouldn't we look after our own planet first? We have enough problems as it is.

Albert M (112)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 4:19 am
Unmanned missions to space are more cost effective and do not risk human life. Technologies developed for such endeavours also have flow on benefits. Sending humans to explore the planets is a luxury. Having to ensure their safety requires massive expenditure in resources and technology which I believe are better spent on alleviating suffering on Earth.

Michela M (3964)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 5:28 am
Noted!! Thanks, Ciao!! Michela

Little A (33)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 6:46 am
Space exploration is to me the play grounds of billionaires.

But since the US, at least some senators who feel WikiLeaks is acting illegally, thereby officiously ending the empire that used to be the USA, founded on freedom.
That leaves the race who'll rule next wide open.

Those that rule, are those that have the highest point. You can't get higher than outer space.
It is a race and it's just starting. While most of us here are suffering of taxes, we'll be subsidizing space exploration as part of the military strategy.

Taking our inner demons into outer space, sounds like a terrible plan.

Thanks Vikram!

Vikram Chhabra (394)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 7:07 am
Thank you all for your wonderful comments and making this an engaging discussion!

The dangers as far as space environment is concerned is definitely a major concern. Given our history on Earth, it is very possible that we could mess up the delicate balance here on Earth. As pointed out by Kit, liffe on Earth is wholly dependent upon the moon. Some drastic operations on the moon could have disastrous effects on the home planet (See ).

Our society has always been based upon greed. Irrespective of whether it is capitalism, communism or dictatorships. The people have always been just greedy consumers with scant respect for the world and for others. We are not really a knowledge based civilization. Knowledge is good only if a business case behind it.

On the other hand space exploration can enhance earth based economies that could help bring many sections of society out of abject poverty. Huge space based projects can provide employment and down the road, immigration to other planets where the need for labor will be imminent.

It is indeed a difficult philosophical question. We are on the verge of a new space age, and yet we still have to prove to ourselves that we are worthy enough to take up such a responsibility...:)

Alice C (1797)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 7:42 am
We need to take care of our earth.
This money needs to be spent on feeding the hungry, giving the homeless, shelter, cleaning up the messes that have been created by greed, and for many, much needed medical care.
First things first. Then, and only then, should money be spent on the new space age.

gloria c (7)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 9:35 am
the rich guys need somewhere else to live.

Mitzie W (42)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 10:10 am
As usual, very well written and interesting articles! I like this stuff.

John Farnham (52)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 1:23 pm
Frankly, many of the premises brought up in the thread were treated in the the movie based on the TV series 'Lost in Space'.

Natividad P (104)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 1:37 pm
Nice and interesting article. Thank you

. (0)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 6:02 pm
Thanks for the news noted.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 8:38 pm
noted and this is why do we always have to be jealous or competitive??? if we want science to enrich our souls, to provide satisfaction, happiness....then maybe the answer is in working together...think of all we could accomplish if we set aside our petty differences and work to benefit all mankind...we might then become a world nation...think how exciting that could be....

Alicia N (87)
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 11:53 pm
GREAT article Dear Vikram, thanks for posting....

Anna Smith (493)
Wednesday December 15, 2010, 2:40 am
Wonderful article...Thanks..Noted !

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 15, 2010, 3:11 am
It would certainly be wisest for all of us to explore the 90% unknown capabilities of the human brain. We could well discover our passage to farthest galaxies, our solution to the world's gravest problems and our lust for adventure could be more easily achieved if we had full power of mind.

Jacki Hileman (20)
Wednesday December 15, 2010, 3:14 pm
Whatever the outcome, that's a pretty pic !

Stan B (123)
Wednesday December 15, 2010, 4:27 pm
Unfortunately, the new space age will, once again, not be based upon the concept of global cooperation,
but that of rivalry. Nations will strive to outdo one another and compete for the attainment of resources, to enhance national power and prestige.
Isn't this what has been happening since the advent of the nation state?
Another fascinating post. Thanks Vikram


jane richmond (10)
Thursday December 16, 2010, 6:45 pm

Sonny Honrado (5)
Friday December 17, 2010, 9:15 am

patricia lasek (317)
Saturday December 18, 2010, 5:06 am
Dear Vikram, you are wise beyond your years. Thank you for a wonderfully written and thought-out article.

Trequl M (170)
Tuesday December 21, 2010, 9:15 am
Noted with thanks.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 21, 2010, 9:33 am
Thanks for the article Vikram. I suppose some rivalry within certain parameters can be good if it serves to advance our knowledge. Uncontrolled rivalry, however, gives way to many subsequent problems.

Lika P (130)
Monday December 27, 2010, 2:35 am
Thanks. This was a very interesting article. Noted & kudo'd! :)

Ben O (129)
Wednesday January 5, 2011, 12:22 pm
Space Race...??? OK, go ahead when the mess on Planet Earth is fixed!
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