Space has always been a major frontier for scientists to tackle. It has remained a little known mystery throughout the human existence. Although many attempts at understanding it and even traveling through it have been made, especially in the last century, space retains its confounding and elusive nature, preventing us from fully understanding it.

Space has been a significant area of study ever since the beginning of science. First, there were the days when people believed the earth was the center of the solar system. Then Copernicus disproved that theory and placed the sun at the center of the solar system. And there was also Galileo, who invented a magnificent telescope that could view farther into space that any other telescope at his time. And more recently, the subject of space exploration has expanded even further past our solar system, into other galaxies such as our neighbor galaxy, Andromeda.

This baffling entity enclosing our planet has not only captivated the attention of scientists around the world, but it has also immensely intrigued the general public. The subject of space is not an uncommon topic during everyday intellectual discussions. Besides being discussed in an academic context, space has also been envisioned and portrayed by many movies. These movies are sometimes about people getting lost in the immensity of space, or more commonly, about contact from other intelligent beings from space. Speaking of other intelligent beings, this has also been a most prized goal for scientists studying space. A most compelling and interesting question about space still remains unanswered: Are there other intelligent life forms in outer space? This question has provided the basis for much our imagination, motivation and excitement in space study and movie-making.

In the last century, during which space shuttles have actually been sent up into space, many major achievements and discoveries about this great frontier were made. The objects of most concentrated study have been the moon and Mars, which are both neighboring celestial bodies. We have sent rovers to the surface of Mars, and people have even able to walk on the moon, supposedly. I say supposedly because there have been suspicions that the moon landings were faked, but that is a whole other issue. The point is that these momentous accomplishments were able to produce great results, such as a wealth of additional information and answers about the moon and Mars. I think by far the most astounding and interesting discovery that has been made so far is the discovery of water on the surface of Mars, because this means that Mars can support life forms. And of course, without a doubt, this incited great excitement and anticipation amongst scientists and the general public alike. The excitement was because we are getting closer to the answer to that unanswered question, and the anticipation is regarding what is to come next.

These discoveries mentioned above does not by any means mean that we fully understand even the smallest portion of space. Space is more or less infinite, and this could be debated, but we can safely say that its size is so great that is incomprehensible to us. Therefore, the amount that we still do not know about space is likewise infinite. Space still holds great mystery for the human race, but hopefully the efforts in space research will continue to yield results and soon we will able to understand maybe a small percentage of the universe we reside in.


Wen Wu

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