Alright my fellow synapses, it’s that time again. Today I want to talk about the importance of safety in space. Now, I know this sounds like one of those old commercials that used to play on kids channels “remember kids, look both ways before crossing the street” but I assure you this isn’t that.
The importance of safety in space isn’t just about making sure an astronaut or cosmonaut makes it back in relatively good health. While that is the most important aspect of safety, it isn’t the only one. Every death is a tragedy to someone, but a death of an astronaut or cosmonaut is a tragedy for everyone. For no other reason than the fact that astronauts and cosmonauts are the living embodiment of humanity’s eternal dream of traveling among the stars. When one of them dies while attempting to accomplish that dream, a small piece of the dream dies with them.
We humans can be very emotional creatures, and we react poorly to tragedies of any kind. When NASA lost its first astronauts to the Apollo 1 tragedy, we almost threw away our dream of space travel, and we had only just begun our journey.
When Russia lost three cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 11 Spacecraft while it was still in space, the entirety of Russia mourned. But, Russia’s rivals, the U.S, mourned alongside them, even if they couldn’t be there to witness the funeral. The Soyuz 11 tragedy was the first time any human had died while in space. Thankfully, it was also the only time humans died outside earth’s atmosphere. Nonetheless, the Soyuz 11 tragedy brought us the closest to giving up on our dream. It broke the illusion. Until then, humanity as a whole, believed space to be less dangerous than it actually is. We believed the danger lied in getting up to space, and not being in space.
For a while, we were apprehensive about traveling to space. Eventually we overcame our fear of it and began chasing our dream once more. Now, that was back in the late 1900s, we have come a long way since then, but in some ways, we have become more fragile. With our current technology, we are able to communicate as fast as we can write. Sometimes, we know the news before the journalist even gets out of bed. With this speed of communication comes a flaw. In our current state, we cannot process the information fast enough for us to be emotionally stable and logical when we reach for the keyboard to reply, or for our phones to send a text. As we have already experienced, a single tweet about an injustice can start riots around the world. So, imagine if today, an astronaut or cosmonaut died in space. I fear that if this happened, humanity would swear off space travel for good, before we even get a chance to begin mourning.
Another flaw with our increased technology is lack of patience. This lack of patience causes us to want our dreams to be accomplished now, and without delay. When it comes to space travel, we see it all of the time on the news. People pushing space agencies to send people to the moon, or mars, or even into deep space, before we are ready to do so, and before we can guarantee the astronaut’s and cosmonaut’s safety. Unfortunately, there is only so much Space agencies can do to stave off these constant demands. They need money to operate, and the money comes from the very people making the demands. So eventually the agencies must relent. And then the world watches as people are sent to their deaths.
Dreams sometimes need sacrifices to be accomplished, but they also need patience, and we must have the wisdom to know that our dreams aren’t always going to be accomplished within our lifetimes. In this case, the dream of space travel is one that needs patience, and does not need human sacrifices. Instead, if we are ever going to accomplish our dream of space travel, we must always put the safety of our astronauts and cosmonauts first. But remember, there is such a thing as being too safe. While I advocate a safety first belief, I do not advocate safety to the point of paralysis.
Now for my questions. Do you believe as I do, when it comes to needing to maintain a safety first policy in space? Do you believe we are being too hasty in wanting to send people to out to the moon, mars, or deep space? And why do you believe as you do about this subject?
That’s all for today fellow synapses. See you in the next topic. Don’t forget to comment below or join in on other discussions over on the forums. Have a good day, and keep learning new things.