Fifty years ago, on July 20th 1969. It was the first-time humans had left footprints in the moon that they had always looked up at. Even as a millennial, for whom space exploration has become everyday news, it’s still easy to imagine the sense of wonder that people must have felt while witnessing the Apollo 11 moon landing. The sun, moon, and universe in the sky have always been a distant unknown world. Humans have been waiting for the moment to go into space, spreading its wings of imagination about where it could be seen but could not go. To achieve this dream, humans has continued to study and experiment constantly and finally built a spacecraft that was a means of getting to the moon. There is one thing that hasn't changed since the past. It's a constant curiosity about "space," such as what is in space and can we live in space? Let's take a look at how constant curiosity about universe has led humanity.
1. To Approach the Unknown World Step by Step: The World Beyond the Moon
a. The World's First Moon Trip: Apollo 11
Apollo 11 landed safely on the moon, carrying people's dreams of going into space. More than a million people gathered at the Kennedy Space Shuttle in Florida when the launch took place, suggesting the scale of attention the event received leading up to the launch. Three days after the launch, Apollo 11 entered the lunar orbit. It landed safely on the 'Mare Tranquillitatis' chosen as the lunar exploration location. The three Apollo 11 astronauts—Captain Neil Armstrong and pilots Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin—spent a total of two and a half hours working on various activities, including setting up a scientific experimental device on the moon's surface and collecting samples of the moon's rocks. More than 700 million people around the world watched the moment of footprints on the moon through television. Neil Armstrong's famous saying, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," still remains in many people's memories to this day.
b. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, various events have been held in the United States. The U.S. hosted various events, including the display of the space suit Neil Armstrong was wearing when he explored the moon’s surface. It also released a last will to the public in case the astronauts aboard Apollo 11 failed to return. Google has produced special logos and animations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of human lunar landings. In addition, not only the U.S. but also other countries have shown their passion for space. In the case of South Korea, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Information and Communication hosted various events such as Korea Space Forum. India launched an unmanned moon probe, the “Chandrayan 2”, on July 22nd. China said they will launch the “Chang'e 4” this year to explore the back of the moon, which had been left as an unknown space. In fact, the Chinese moon exploration rover "Witu 2" released photos of its activities on the moon's surface, indicating that the country's keen interest in exploring the moon has continued.
2. Human & Aliens: Close than Neighbors, Far More than Friends
With constant technological advances, humans now have an interest in extraterrestrial life living in space. Whenever it comes to mind, from the UFO eyewitness account to a variety of SF films or dramas, the range of human interests in aliens is growing. All of these media characters and situations are different, but there is one thing in common between them. That is, humans are afraid of aliens. Are aliens really a creature of fear for humans? Combining the various alien sightings that have persisted since the 1960s or earlier, they really vary in height from 90 centimeters to more than 3 meters. Let's compare what we've imagined so far and see if they're similar.
Human curiosity about aliens has created a variety of phenomena. Among them, the most interesting thing is the ‘Alien (UFO) Abduction Insurance'. If a person who was kidnapped by an alien on an UFO, they could get compensation for the loss. Does this ridiculous insurance really exist? Of course, yes. St. Lawrence Insurance company, based in Florida in the U.S. sells policies that cover about $10 million if people are kidnapped by aliens during periods of insurance coverage. Actually, this ‘10-million-dollar coverage’ pays $1 per year for 10 million years. This unrealistic policy shows that the owner of this insurance company sells this policy as a joke. Even the owner of this insurance, St. Lawrence cleared that this is “The Perfect Gift for Anyone Who Has Everything Covered” on his insurance websites. First launched in 1987, however, the insurance was popular with more than 20,000 people signing up. Then, how many people have been a beneficiary of it? Only two of them have been paid by the insurance.
3. Towards the Future: Spacecraft Development & Mars Migration
Influenced by the brave men who landed on the moon representative of mankind 50 years ago, the world began to develop space exploration technology. In particular, the U.S. has developed the first Pluto unmanned probe, the 'New Horizons' and the Mars exploration rover the 'Opportunity'. It also plans to send astronauts to the moon again in 2024. This project, called "Artemis", seems to be aimed at building a lunar orbital station. Nowadays space exploration technology is growing in India and China, as well as in Europe. In the case of Russia, it will send a probe to the moon in 2030. As such, humans are moving step by step toward a universe called the unknown world.
The Mars migration plan is also being prepared by Ilon Musk, Tesla's CEO and founder of Space X. Musk said it will send cargo to Mars by 2022 with its personal spacecraft Space X and a spacecraft carrying humans by 2024. The plan is to build a city on Mars where at least 1 million people live together in the next 50 to 150 years. In addition, Europe is systematically preparing for the 'Mars One' project. The goal is to send a spacecraft carrying crew to Mars in 2031. The Mars migration plan is based on the premise that it will never return to the Earth. Considering this, it is important to keep in mind that the plan should be carried out very carefully.
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Human curiosity has broadened the stage of human activity. It has stimulated curiosity stimulated man's infinite imagination. Now, humans live on Mars and in space, not only on Earth. No one knows how this will affect us yet. Therefore, a more cautious approach is needed. I hope that someday the universe will be a beautiful place to 'coexist' with new creatures. Human visit the space. ‘peeri peeri’ It seems that there is not much time left to be friends with aliens.