Sunday, May 29, 2016

[Week 9] How Art Influences Man's Race to Space



The Milky Way galaxy.
Artists and visionaries have driven space exploration more so than any other fields we have studied so far in this class. Achieving the impossible begins with imagining the impossible. Mankind has looked to the sky since the beginning of time. From ancient Chinese folklore to twenty first century novels, artists have been envisioning space and depicting it with words. Creativity gives birth to vision, which then propels the development of technology. Artists and scientists play distinct but equally important roles in the commencement and continuation of the age of space exploration.

Mankind’s first breakthrough into space, marked by Sputnik, was prompted by the cold war. Sputnik then sparked what was known as the space race between the United States and Russia, where outer space technology development served to advance military power, in this case specifically the inter-continental ballistic missiles. However, since end of the cold war and the last Apollo astronaut left the moon, there has been relatively less activity and funding in the space industry, until now. The rise of private companies in space technology marks a new era of growth without the impediment of politics and bureaucracy.


The Space Race between U.S. and Russia.
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, said “given that this is the first time in 4.5bn years where it's been possible for humanity to extend life beyond Earth, it seems like we'd be wise to act while the window was open and not count on the fact it will be open a long time." And he’s absolutely right. Musk himself was influenced by Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, a science fictional novel series that depicts the demise of a Galactic Empire. Musk, along with other visionaries such as Arthur Woods, member of the Leonardo Space Art Project, believe that Space is by far the most optimistic solution for the problems mankind will face in the following centuries.

SpaceX's rocket landing.
Rendering of a reusable rocket for Mars landing by SpaceX.


Space exploration now bears a completely different significance than it did during the cold war. It is no longer about the division between mankind, determining which nation is stronger, but about the survival and preservation of mankind as a whole.

From Television Series Star Trek: Space, the final frontier.

Works Cited

Carroll, Rory. Elon Musk's Mission to Mars. The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 2013. Web. 29 May 2016.

CODED UTOPIA. Continental Drift. N.p., 2007. Web. 29 May 2016.

Dissecting the Technology of 'The Martian' – NASA's Plan for Mars - Tested.com. Tested RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2016.

ISAAC ASIMOV (1982). Foundation's Edge. Halmstad: Spectra. p. 1.

Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers. Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2016.

Now Is the Time to Colonize Mars, Elon Musk Says. Space.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2016.

Pics about Space. Milky Way Galaxy Clip Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2016.

Sputnik. Sputnik. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2016.

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