Space Exploration in the 21st Century
This seminar will explore the economic, political, and social impact of the extraordinary growth of space exploration in the 21st century. In the previous century, space exploration was dominated by the U.S. and Soviet Union. But the past decade has witnessed unprecedented growth in both government and private space ventures, and space exploration is now a prominent activity in many nations. Currently, nine countries plus Europe (European Space Agency) are engaged in space missions, and more than 50 countries presently operate earth satellites for telecommunications, weather, surveillance, and other purposes. Three examples illustrate the breadth of 21st century space exploration: a private US company (SpaceX) now transports essential supplies to the International Space Station; China has now landed an unmanned vehicle on the moon; and India recently launched an unmanned space probe to Mars.