Prior to the readings and lectures from this week, I had a fair knowledge of space. I have taken a couple astronomy classes, so I am familiar with the fundamentals and basics of space. Despite this knowledge, the readings still fascinated me, because it stretched my imagination in terms of human capabilities to explore space. Immediately, what came to mind when doing the readings were science fiction films. As a matter of fact, the lecture explicitly states that these films inspired some of the scientific breakthroughs. Movies such as Gravity and Interstellar were some of my favorites scientific fiction movies.
Gravity Movie Poster
One thing that this week’s lectures and readings made me really think about is how large our universe really is. I thought about the Power of Ten, which is the effect of adding another power of zero when you zoom farther away using a telescope. The more zeros you add, you can imagine that there is millions of galaxy that follow. One of the images that amazed me was the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The image shows many galaxies in one picture. NASA took the picture by capturing various amounts of light throughout the years.
Hubble Ultra Deep Field
However, NASA would not be where it is today without the space race. The events that occurred during the space race surprised me the most, because technology was becoming so advanced in such a short amount of time. This all started when Sputnik was launched by the Soviet Union. Essentially, this meant that the Russians were ahead of the United States in terms of space exploration and technology. This inspired the creation of NASA and shortly after, they launched Neil Armstrong and his team into space, which marked the first time humans landed on the moon and the United States overtaking Russia in the space race.
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