Week 8: Perspectives of Space and the Universe By John Philip Bongco

The Nebulous Concept of Space

In week 8, we discussed a topic that cannot be accurately defined by today’s technology and understanding (as many subjects are). We discussed the subject of space. This was a really thought-provoking idea for me. Taking a step back made me remember how many people grow up in elementary schools that teach them to accept  our solar system as being important and thus implying its prominence over the rest of the universe. It is not accurate to put a definition to space and the universe because we do not know the boundaries of space or whether boundaries even truly exist in the universe to begin with. Many people believe that space is infinite (without boundaries) and infinity—like space—is neither a tangible nor an easily fathomable subject. I believe space is a nebulous concept because researchers, scientists, historians, etc. are still trying to do the impossible by attempting to define it. When I use the word nebulous to describe space I mean that it is a hazy, vaguely and indistinctly defined term. Such an infinite and “mysterious” subject sheds light on how miniscule we are as humans in comparison to the vast world around us. In summary, this week’s lecture seemed to emphasize how our perceptions of space, the world we live in, the environments we encounter and–most importantly–how society’s idea of reality changes. This influence this has on society’s perception is exemplified in the art people produce as science continuously attempts to redefine space and reality.

Eco and Environment Friendly Space Exploration

spaceship

We also discussed space exploration which I thought was really interesting. I scanned through articles online to expand on our present knowledge of this subject and found an article with information about  a rocket that would be more environment and eco friendly for traveling in space. The picture above artistically shows a 3-Dimensional representation of a spaceship that relies on the typical energy of fuels but also oxygen  in the atmosphere to efficiently burn these fuels. Scientists call it an air-breathing ship because of its clever use of the oxygen inside its traveling environment. This would decrease the amount of fuel it takes to travel in space to begin with since most of a space rocket’s weight is taken up by an oxidiser; new state of the art air-breathing oxdisers would be less heavy and more efficient. For more information: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16682-airbreathing-planes-the-spaceships-of-the-future.html

The Future of Space Travel for the United States

Fun fact: Did you know that President Barrack Obama backs a return to the moon in the NASA budget for 2020? It seems like an awfully long time from now, but it makes sense. The amount of planning and people power it takes to travel into space could not be simple. According to an article I found online: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16676-obama-backs-moon-return-in-nasa-budget.html. Many advocates for space travel seem to be arguing for space travel to new destinations like asteroids and mars. Unfortunately, all that is visible in the “near” future for United States space travel is traveling back to the moon.

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By: John Philip Bongco

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