The place of humans
In 1610, having received from Galileo a copy of Starry Messenger, Johannes Kepler gave his response in his Conversation with the Starry Messenger: “There will certainly be no lack of human pioneers when we have mastered the art of flight. Who would have guessed that navigation across the vast ocean is less dangerous and quieter than in the narrow, threatening gulfs of the Adriatic, or the Baltic, or the British straits? Let us create vessels and sails appropriate for the heavenly ether, and there will be plenty of people unafraid of the empty wastes. In the meantime, we shall prepare, for the brave sky-travellers, maps of the celestial bodies — I shall do it for the Moon and you, Galileo, for Jupiter”.75 At the start of the 17th century, following in the footsteps of Copernicus and Giordano Bruno, Galileo, Kepler and Tycho Brahe were not content therefore with smashing the invisible spheres on which their predecessors had comfortably installed stars and planets. Not only did they expel Earth from the centre of the cosmos to set it in motion and launch it into a universe that would otherwise become, if not infinite, at least unlimited, but they had also already imagined that human beings could be set in motion too and would one day leave this planet. Four centuries later, Konstantin Tsiolkowsky outlined the basics of space navigation and astronautics.
KeywordsMoral Judgement Celestial Body Space Adventure Space Humanism Space Navigation
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