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Essay on “The Fascinating World of Space” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

The Fascinating World of Space

 

Space and its contents have always fascinated human beings, raising various doubts and questions in their minds. Man has tried to find answers to these questions, his curiosity increased with Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin’s landing on moon in 1969. Some scientists had earlier made research in astronomy, gravity and movement of planets. Space mysteries have now been unveiled with the introduction of spacecraft and highly sophisticated instruments. Valuable information has become available about Mars, Jupiter and other planets. High-powered space telescope Hubble has also been launched in 1990. India has also made significant progress in space research. Now a member of countries have formed partnership for exploration of space in view of very expensive and risky individual projects.

Space and its contents have been fascinating the mankind since time immemorial. Human beings look up at the sky at night and wonder the scheme of creation, beauty of heavens and immensity of the universe. Then he thinks about himself a tiny speck on the earth. Questions arise in his mind-Why are we on earth? Why are we here? Are we alone? Are we unique? Why were we created?

He tried hard to know the answers to these and numerous other questions about the universe. For him discovery of space is one of the most fascinating experiences. Before that he had heard only folk tales about creation of sky, stars and moon. Man had a glimpse of all theses through science fiction which has visited those places much before. Writers with imagination had roamed on moon long before man landed on it. They had found aliens roaming right here on earth. Journey to distant galaxies can be undertaken in Star Trek.

Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrins historic landing on moon on 20 July, 1969 brightened the worlds interest in space research. Mars was perhaps the next destination followed by distant galaxies. Apollo 15 carried a four wheel vehicle, the “ Lunar Rover” to explore the moon. But man did not take the risk of going to either the planets or anywhere else, and chose to said only unmanned space probes.

History of space exploration for quite a long time, man considered himself 
as centre of the universe. He, worshipped sun and moon as gods and other plants were also held in high esteem. Astronomy thus had a forerunner in religion. The Greek philosophers and the Sumerians before them, were it a position to make fairly accurate predictions about the movements of planets in the heavens. It was suggested by Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543 that stars actually neither moved about in circles and were nor stuck on a dome above the earth. The religious beliefs did not take seriously the suggestion that the earth moved around the sun However, these ideas were taken up in the 17th century by astronomers who laid the foundations of modern Mommy Johannes Kepler found that planets moved around the sun in ellipses and not in circles as was suggested by Copernicus. Galileo tried to break the religious beliefs on science. Isaac Newton explained why they did so, with his theory of gravitation. 

Two US spacecrafts Viking l and Viking 2 reached Mars in 1976 these spacecrafts could feel and smell the environment and detect any changes which could be a sign of life. But Mars appeared to be a cold dead desert, sterile and lifeless as indicated by Viking. Not anything like War of the World by HG. Wells, which has Martians invading the earth.

Jupiter, the largest planet, contains 2.5 times the mass of all others put together.  It does not rotate like a solid, rigid body but looks as tops of shards a ring around it was discovered by the NASA space probe Voyager. The pictures of Saturn show a spectacular planet with colourful rings. Since probes flown by Saturn, Pioneer 1 and II and Voyager I and II have shown the details of satellites and rings. Much is not known about other planets. However, with: modern telescopes and space probes, we can look W into space with much more clarity than earlier imagined.

The Pioneer and Voyager spacecrafts have since travelled to other planets and beyond. The Pioneer- 10, launched in March, 1972 was intended to operate for 30 months hot it kept going strong for 18 years. It flew beyond the reaches of the solar system on February 23,1990 In such probes, it homes difficult to communicate with the spacecraft which is carrying undated software The computers on board the Pioneer were of seventies  and in 1990 it became quite a problem to communicate with them. The Voyager spacecraft was a similar problem.  It trekked past 4 planets and 56 moons, encountering Jupiter in 1979, Saturn in 1981 and Uranus in 1986. On August 26, 1989 it sent its final photographs of Neptune and its moor Trim and went beyond the solar system. While these space probes have put into the great beyond, new long distance space probes were launched.

On May 4, 1989, robot spacecraft named Magellan was launched by the, space shuttle Atlantis and began its journey to Venus. The spacecraft mapped 98 per cent of the surface of Venus, revealing towering volcanoes and canyons. It conducted its last experiments in October 1994 and hurtled down in the gaseous atmosphere of Venus.

Galileo, a probe to Jupiter, was launched on October 18, 1989. Another probe, the Ulysses, was launched on October 4, 1990. The Ulysses spacecraft flew near the top of the sun on July 31, 1995 reaching the northern most point of its solar voyage The spacecraft has helped probe the sun from angles never viewed before. Thus man s curiosity, it seems, knows no bounds. 

Space Shuttle: Conventional rockets being too expensive and not reusable, the Americans developed space shuttle which was reusable. Columbia was the first space shuttle which went into space on 12 April 1981. The Challenger which was a much bigger shuttle was launched two years later. Among the several firsts in the space history, Sally Ride was the first woman to fly into space; Kathy Sullivan the first American woman to do a space walk the first orbital repair job; and the first satellite refuelling done in space. On January 28, 1986 Challenger exploded on takeoff, killing all 7 crew members. The third shuttle, Discovery was launched on August 30, 1984. One of the major missions of this shuttle was the laser test for the controversial Star wars anti missile programme. 

On April 24, 1990, the Hubble space telescope, named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble, was launched from Discovery from 600 km height, it is free of atmospheric distortions and is able to detect light of all wave lengths, including ultra violet It is able to have a look at objects 50 times fainter with 10 times clarity than the best observatory on earth. In December 1993, most difficult mission was launched which repaired its defective mirror, replaced an outdated camera, solar energy panels and three gyroscopes. The telescope has given dramatic and astonishing information many of the earlier theories of astronomers are being questioned in the light of data from distant galaxies. Each theory is under study and we may have some definite answers in a few years. 

The Cold war between USA and Russia gave a big boost to space research in the competition between the two countries over space firsts, Russia had a march Otter USA with their Sputnik series of rockets First animal and first man, Yuri Gagarin, were sent in space by Russia. The first woman to walk in space, Svetlana Savitsliaya, was a Russian. USA and NASA also scored many successes. Many other countries including India also developed capabilities to launch satellites.

It is now being realised that expensive and risky projects cannot be undertaken by one country alone. Countries have thus been trying to form, partnerships with other countries. An orbiting space station is being planned by USA, Japan, Italy, Russia and European Space Agency. It IS hoped that space research will receive a boost when it becomes the common goal of Countries.

The Indian space programme began in 1963 with the setting 11p of a sounding rock launching facility at Thumba, near Trivandrum. In 1972 the Department of Space was established at Bangalore. The ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) has a number of space/satellite centres and laboratories. The country has developed satellite .launch vehicles and has achieved a high level of self reliance in space technology. A number of communication satellites have been put in orbit. On April 3, 1984 IAF test pilot Rakesh Shanna became the first Indian in space when he was launched in Soyuz T211 spacecraft alongwith two Russian cosmonauts. India’s space programme, despite some failures, has reached a respectable stage. Even the-developed world is taking us seriously. In the future, it is expected that the country could provide services to other countries in this area.

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