1. Exploration is about observation, the first step of the scientific process. Without exploration we do not have the intellectual fodder for scientific discovery.
2. Exploration is about knowledge, about expanding our horizons and answering questions that we haven’t even thought of asking yet.
3. Through exploration we can gain knowledge about earth, life, and potentially other planets.
4. Exploration leads to technological and engineering innovation as we strive to meet new challenges.
5. To explore the unknown means discovery with ramifications unseen.
6. Through exploration, nations become great.
7. A humans we are a naturally curious species, we deny our humanity if we do not explore the unknown world around us.
8. Exploration allows for the unification of humanity around great achievement.
9. Exploration allows us to inspire others to be explorers and scientists.
10. We should explore because it’s cool, awesome, and amazing.
"Taking an observation at the pole". In: "The South Pole", by Roald Amundsen (via NOAA)
A New Era
Commonly known simply as the shuttle, the orbiter is both the brains and heart of NASA’s Space Transportation System. Hence, the STS before the number of every shuttle flight. About the same size and weight as a DC-9 aircraft, the orbiter contains the pressurized crew compartment (which can carry up to seven crew members), the cargo bay and the three main engines mounted on its aft end.
On April 12, 1981, commander John Young and pilot Robert Crippen roared into space on the first ever shuttle mission. Twenty years earlier on April 12, 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin ushered in the era of human space flight when he became the first person to orbit the Earth. (via NASA)
Today is the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering flight into space. […]
[…] This historic 108-minute flight, orbiting Earth once, made Gagarin the first human in space, and a global hero. He was only 27 years old. […]
On 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space, launched into orbit on the Vostok 3KA-3 spacecraft (Vostok 1).
(via ESA Portal - “I see Earth! It is so beautiful!’ )
The pioneer spirit is still vigorous within this nation. Science offers a largely unexplored hinterland for the pioneer who has the tools for his task. The rewards of such exploration both for the Nation and the individual are great. Scientific progress is one essential key to our security as a nation, to our better health, to more jobs, to higher standard of living, and to our cultural progress.
↳ Vannevar Bush -
Letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
while director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development (5 July 1945).