What is the point of space exploration?

12 September 2010

Question

Apart from the obvious military use of the moon, what is the point of space exploration?

Answer

Dominic - Well i guess it's driven a lot of technological advance in the last 30 yers or so. I mean the Apollo Missions certainly inspired people to create technology that they wouldnt have created otherwise. Dave - And GPS is really useful and we've found out a lot about the Earth - you can send up satellites up to find out where the forests are - there's a huge amount you can find out about the Earth from space. Chris - And on last week's show, my interview with Peter Quinn, who's in Australia - he's the Director of the institute they've set up to try and get the square kilometer array in Australia. He pointed out that wifi is entirely based in terms of its protocols on radio astronomy, and the world wide web - with CERN saying 'we're going to have all these big projects and we need ways for physicists to talk to each other' - that directly catalysed the development of html, the language that made the web possible. So i think there are all these other spin offs that we can thank the exlploration for. Dave - Plus just finding out what's out there!

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