ERIC Number: ED219333
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Space: The High Frontier in Perspective. Worldwatch Paper 50.
This paper examines how the exploration of space has affected life on earth. Examined are milestones in space, war or peace in space, learning about earth from space, the satellite communications revolution, space industrialization, and the ownership of space. The real beginning of the Space Age was the October 1957 Soviet launch of a 184-pound satellite into orbit. The United States put an object into orbit in January 1958. The Soviet Union has taken an important lead in internationalizing access to space by sending Cuban, East European, French, and Mongolian cosmonauts into space. The current projects of the U.S. and Soviet programs--the space shuttle and the space station--are perfect complements. The superpowers have begun a race for the first time to place weapons of destruction in orbit. Space militarization is being aggressively promoted by both countries. The most valuable contribution space activities have made is the information they have provided about the universe and about the earth. For example, scientists are learning how the atmosphere, oceans, sunlight, and life forms interact to make the planet habitable and how human actions are altering those systems. The biggest scientific advances have been in astronomy and related sciences. As a result of the satellite communications revolution, satellite TV broadcasts are bringing cultural interactions that for the first time begin to match the scale of the world's economical and political interdependencies. Disputes regarding the ownership of space are beginning to emerge. (RM)
Descriptors: Astronomy, Communications Satellites, Earth Science, Industrialization, Peace, Space Exploration, War
Worldwatch Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036 ($2.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Worldwatch Inst., Washington, DC.