Space exploration is an expensive challenge and a single nation can only investigate a small portion on its own. This is why, in 2007, 14 space agencies around the world developed The Global Exploration Strategy: The Framework for Coordination. This strategy provides a vision for robotic and human space exploration and focuses on destinations within the solar system where humans may, one day, live and work. It is not a proposal for a single global program, but instead allows nations to collaborate and strengthen both individual and collective projects. This should mean that technology and knowledge is transferred between space agencies and that time and effort is not wasted repeating similar projects.
The next 20 years or so will therefore see a more global approach to space exploration, with many nations contributing to the scientific, technical and financial challenges posed. Human missions to the Moon will be used to test systems, operations that could lead to sustainable human missions to Mars and beyond, and also determine whether we can live on other worlds. Robotic missions will explore our solar system and may provide answers about the origins of the planets and whether life exists beyond Earth. Space technology has already produced spin-offs for use on the Earth. For example, robotic instrumentation developed to search for life on Mars is now being adapted into a portable tuberculosis diagnostic machine for use in the developing world. It is hoped that other spin-offs will be developed, probably in the fields of medicine, agriculture and environmental management, which will benefit all mankind.
KeywordsSolar Wind Solar System Propulsion System Launch Vehicle Solar Radiation Pressure
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