As humans find advancement individually and socially in futuristic and scientific sentiments, the captivation encircling mass celestia prevails. This continued prevalence culminates from the equivocality of interstellar phenomena. From a destinicentric standpoint, megacosmic exploration helps in environmental and political security. Furthermore, futurism in popular culture influences the typical psyche, relating to human consternational reverence. Ultimately, it is the ethnology and awe of human beings that constitute our appetite for exploration.
The “intangible desire” which NASA writes of has commonality among the typical psyche. Former astronaut and NASA administrator Charlie Bolden reports “more than 18,300” individuals applied to the 2017 astronaut program, contrasting with the mere 8000 in the year 1978. Secondly, since the earliest civilizations, humans have built monuments with the intention of “leaving something behind” to show the next generation (White 156). Such notions constitute the impulse behind the construction of cathedrals, pyramids, et cetera.
It is common knowledge that the threat of an asteroid collision is inevitable. Prior to the Common Era, older species were wiped to extinction due to cascading meteors colliding with the planet and destroying the habitability. Furthermore, drastic changes in climate and depletion of the protective ozone layering of our atmosphere make it expectable that an alternative planet must be prepared for the continuation of the human race. In accordance with both of these reasons, governmental offices and non-governmental organizations look past our atmosphere, exploring the possibilities that exist beyond our magnetic field.
Besides evolutionary curiosity and the prospect of interstellar threats, our own imagination and unorthodoxy play a significant role in progress. MIT researchers acknowledge the role that science fiction has played in triggering their interest in science and inspiring breakthroughs. Philipp Jordan at the University of Hawaii admits that science fiction provides “an inspiration for the foremost and upcoming human-computer interaction challenges” of the modern era. However, besides the advents of technology, humans wonder of unearthly intelligence in the form of extraterrestrials. Famous films such as “ET,” “Avatar,” and the “Star Wars” series explore the possibility of unearthly intelligence. Even in literature like Lewis Carrol’s “Through the Looking Glass” incorporates the idea of curiosity and the adventure that comes from it. Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at MIT who focuses on exoplanets, concedes that the possibility of life outside our solar system is more than likely.
Politics also have a role. In the middle of the twentieth century, a dispute between the communist Soviets and the capitalist Americans arose. When the communists launched Sputnik, much to the dismay of the capitalists, NASA was formed. As the programs gathered politicoeconomic and social attention, the incorporation of the television invention also garnered additional support from the masses. With the civilians so intensely fixated on the campaign, more attention was allocated to the “Space Race” according to the Roscosmos. Although the termination of the campaign ended with the capitalists successfully landing on the lunar surface, the fascination did not. The long-lasting effects of the space race can still be seen today in occurrences like the accessibility of technologies to the masses. The inventive innovation that was once “bulky” and reserved for corporations is now available in the modern “smartphone” (Dublon 1). This results in a higher interest throughout the populace.
Due to a sense of wonder and inner explorative nature of human beings, and a sense of having knowledge of objects that are so distant and yet fixed, there is another sense of familiarity with star gazing as we recognize patterns in the sky and that does form a universal language across cultures and thousands of years of human history. Every civilization dating back to the beginning of time has seen the stars. Even as languages change and cultures advance, the continuity observed in celestial phenomena will endure.
Earth continues to globally advance belief systems and prioritized values. The equivocality of astronomical phenomena enhances the captivation encircling it. Macrocosmic research aids globalized security. Overall, it is the genetically predisposed awe of the human species that elevate our desire for solving the mysteries of the universe.
Perhaps it is an old cliche, but Star Trek had it right: Space is the final frontier, and it calls to the explorer in all of us.