Micro Life Zone
Asked by sscott to Arti, Chris, Dustin, James, Steven on 21 May 2012.
Keywords: exploration, explore, ocean, space
Good question. Very good question. I’m an astronomer, so I quite like space and everything in it. But oddly, I’m not particularly interested in exploring our solar system. First it is very expensive and, all things being equal, you could use the money to learn about cool stuff on Earth. But probably I’m not that interested because stuff in the solar system is just not far enough away.
This is a good question. However, we must realise that we dont really know where the next discovery is going to come from, and it is good to be pushing on the limits of our knowledge in all directions.
For example, we could say rather than funding all these other things, let’s just fund research in cancer. While we may make a lot of progress in that field, a couple of things would happen. Firstly a lot of people interested in being a scientist would not become a scientist, because their type of science doesn’t get funded. Also, while discoveries may be made in cancer, and we would miss all discoveries in other fields.
So we need to push at all fronts.
That is a very good question. I think humans are very curious creatures and want to investigate everything that we possibly can. So there are people working in every kind of field that we can think of, trying to learn about everything! Different people have different interests, as Steven’s answer has illustrated, and as Dustin has said, you never where the next big discovery is going to come from – it could be on planet Earth or it could be from space. Space and the ocean are the two extremes of our environment, and different people are interested in studying these, so they do. I also think its good to know a bit about space in addition to what is going on on our planet, so we will know if things like asteroids and comets might be coming our way, and so we can realise/appreciate things like how precious Earth is for us (as none of the other planets are habitable for us) and treat our home planet with respect.
Dustin is right that all fronts need to be pushed but the other point I’d make is cost. The reason we haven’t been able to get to the bottom of the ocean and back is because we haven’t had the technology to and when you are given a choice to fund a trip to the bottom of the ocean which will cost a lot or fund a trip to the moon which will also cost a lot but we have a better idea of what will happen then space would win everytime.
What is interesting now is that the space programs are providing the technology to now visit the unexplored places of Earth making these kinds of exhibitions possible.
thanks guys this helps!
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