Quantum mechanics is the science of the very small.
It’s a branch of science that attempts to explain the behavior of matter and its interactions with energy. Fascinatingly, the focus is usually on an atomic and subatomic level, a deviation from the typical physics approach where energy and matter are usually evaluated on a familiar scale. This includes the study of the behavior of astronomical bodies like the Moon.
Interestingly, the standard quantum theory dictates that all the particles in the universe have no definitive states, that is, right until they are measured.
Indeed, in the quantum world, particles don’t behave very much like solid billiard balls accelerating down a table. Instead, they tend to behave like a blurry cloud of possibilities jumping all around the room
Even weirder is the fact that causation can actually run backward in time as well as forwards. Sounds odd right? Well, even Einstein, one of the most brilliant minds ever, had some difficulty trying to explain the whole idea. At one point, he referred to the fringe concept of retrocausality as “spooky” action at a distance.
Theoretically speaking, this means that it’s quite plausible for you to get a stomach upset today because of something you ate the next day during breakfast hours. Using this idea of retrocausality, it’s very much possible that our actions today could actually define how we view the past.
Having shared all this, it’s worth noting that all this is nothing but speculation since there’s no “theory of everything” to explain all physical phenomena (including quantum mechanics) in the universe.
As such, we’ll have to stick to the tried and tested space-time continuum and causality concepts while recollecting just how far we’ve come with regards to space exploration and contemplating what the future holds.
We’re hopeful you’re ready for blastoff!
Space exploration has come a long way when you recall the Sputnik first blasted into orbit back on 4 October 1957. Since then, there’s been plenty of space missions carried out that have helped us gain a better understanding of the cosmos.
Here’s a brief review of the highlights:
Two monkeys, Able and Baker, were the very first living creatures to survive a space flight. It’s worth pointing out that they were not the first living creatures to go out on a mission. In November 1957, the USSR had launched Sputnik with a dog called Laika on board. Tragically though, the dog was unable to make it back to Earth alive after suffering from overheating and panic.
Gloriously, Gagarin was able to make a single orbit of Earth in 108 minutes after traveling at the rate of 17,000 miles per hour.
Since this happened during the space race, Alan Shepherd became the very first American to get to space about a month later on 5 May 1961.
From the two-man Voskhod spacecraft, out stepped Alexei Leonov to leave his imprint on the sands of time. This being the very first spacewalk, his suit expanded minutes after he stepped out of his spacecraft thanks to the effect of zero-pressure conditions.
Incidentally, he found it near impossible to get back into his spaceship through the hatch. Thankfully, he used his know-how to release a valve that depressurized his suit which allowed him to make his way back.
A day that’s etched deep in the minds of people world over. So momentous was the occasion that Neil Armstrong resonated with the best of poets as he famously declared, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first two people on the lunar surface collecting rock samples and putting up observation equipment. 8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds after takeoff, the mission came to a close as they made their way back home
Russia became the first nation to set up a space station. Aptly, it was named “Salyut”. Unfortunately, there was a fatal accident caused by air leaks from the Soyuz capsule when the first crew to dock with the orbiting outpost attempted re-entry.
Bruce McCandless registered a first by being the first to perform a spacewalk without being attached to a spacecraft.
The International Space Station, the largest artificial body in space began to be assembled on this day. Notably, the station has always had occupants since November 2000 with more than 200 people from 15 countries having visited.
Billionaire businessman, Dennis Tito, was the very first paying customer to make forays into outer space. Having parted with $20m for the 8-day trip aboard the International Space Station, he opened the door for more space tourists to venture out in the days to come.
Anytime you hear anyone saying that the sky’s the limit, then, it’s probably great to serve them a kind reminder that there are actually footprints on the Moon!
In the future, it’s highly probable that as a human race, we’ll be able to travel to distant lands and achieve so much more than what’s currently imaginable. For this to happen, an open mind is of the essence.
Going forward, Mars seems to hold the most potential since there have been numerous missions which have shown that the red planet has a rich history that’s quite similar to Earth’s. That said, it’s going to be an uphill task to create favorable conditions for Mars to support life. Thankfully, a collaborative precedent has already been set. With a number of countries combining forces on the ISS, the future looks very promising.
Notably, one of the key figures during the nascent stages of the space scene, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, proposed that by the year 2017, world governments will have enough muscle to actually put an end to war and conflict. Notably, he also had a firm conviction that this would also be the year when humankind had sufficient technology to travel beyond Earth.
While we’re still some distance from achieving a sense of utopia, we’re not that really far off from Tsiolkovsky’s dream. To get to where we are today, pioneers had to set the pace.
At AstroReality, we have high regards for the dreamers who were able to shape space exploration. From the insights shared, it’s clear to see that space travel is no child’s play. There’s plenty of things that happen in the background before a mission comes to life. That’s without mentioning the financial implications of such excursions.
That said, you shouldn’t let all this be a hindrance to your ambition of space travel. Rather, we suggest living vicariously through the legends of the past who have shaped modern times.
While at it, we suggest checking out our Solar System model to get a better understanding of the happenings in our cosmos. The realism injected into this 3D model is sure to blow you away whilst proving to be a fun moment for you to mingle with the younger generation.
That’s one beautiful way to pay it forward!