If you ask me why suddenly I brought this kind of topic, than the answer is lying in the hot news flowing in the google search some days ago. You may want to check one by clicking here. Some of you may wonder now, what is the relationship between an inspiration story and what happened to the water on Mars being discovered recently? Straight to the point: Because the almost countless efforts from humans finally realize this great achievement.
Over centuries, human has explored and lived on every continent of the Earth, including the Antartica (those are temporary researchers though). Scientists have even reach beyond and facilitated the journey of human outside Earth. Did you ever hear the Apollo 11? That was the spaceflight that landed the first human on the moon, Neil Armstrong. But the effort to outreach beyond the earth didn’t stop there.
Recently, scientists have found a sign of flowing water on Mars. Can we take it as a sign that there’s a form of life there? Though this discovery can’t be taken as an evidence of life on Mars, it does raise hopes of the planet being a habitable environment.
Don’t forget that there’s also Curiosity on Mars. I’m not talking about ‘people being curious on Mars’ here, but it is the name of robotic rover sent to learn about the geographical surface of Mars. Lately, it found methane on the surface of Mars. If we put all these discoveries together, maybe we can really say that, Mars is in a more habitable condition on the surface than what we previously knew.
Just because we don’t hear this outer space news often, doesn’t mean the endeavor of reaching outside the earth has stopped. Let’s have a little flashback of how it actually began.
Once upon a time in the year 1969..
Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you a fairy tale. As some of us already know, in 1969 the Apollo 11 had successfully brought out human who step up on the moon for the first time. But actually, the effort to reach the moon has started even long before it happened.
The story behind, is no different to any other success story. Do you know how many unsuccessful attempts did Thomas Edison made before he invented the light bulb? There are so many versions about his story, but I think we all agreed that it’s around thousands. Luckily, NASA didn’t have to go through as many failures to have their first spacecraft impacting the moon.
It took them “only” a year to fix and improved everything until Luna 2 made its way to lunar surface in September 1959. Although Pioneer 0, the first spacecraft intended to fly to the moon didn’t even lasted for more than 4 minutes – it was destroyed by an explosion due to some engine malfunction, what a loss – they weren’t daunted. Instead, they examined what was wrong and made it right. And no, Luna 2 wasn’t their second attempt, they created some more failures. Or should I say, they found 10 ways that didn’t work and carefully rectified everything.
If you think that 10 attempts is not that much, I can’t be more agree with you. But it was a missions to the moon. Imagine how much resources spent for this project. How much energy, time and money was dedicated to made it true? If anywhere between the first and the eleventh project they gave up, I don’t think that Neil Armstrong will even appear in our history textbook lesson.
We all know Neil Armstrong as the first human who set foot upon the lunar surface. But do you know that he wasn’t the first human travel beyond earth? Does Yuri Gagarin come to mind? He did leave the earth with his Vostok 1, but he didn’t head to the Moon. That’s why I got to give the credit to Frank Borman and his two other astronaut crew. They flew to the moon a year before Armstrong and witnessed the view of lunar surface. In case you wonder why they didn’t step on the moon, it was because the mission was only to orbit around the moon.
But what’s interesting is, the spacecraft flew sooner than its original schedule.Two months earlier for a journey to the moon. Do you know what it means? It means that the crew had a shorter time for training and preparation which required more of their times and disciplines. Amazing result always required great effort. But it all pay off when you achieved your goal. Not everyone can see what the moon’s look like with their own eyes, let alone be the first to watch it all.
Mission accomplished! So then they returned back to the earth. Not only they received the name of “Men of the Year” upon their return, but their successful mission also paved the way for Apollo 11 to fulfil the goal of landing a man on the moon.
The story of Apollo 11 is really remarkable. Like Armstrong said when stepped on to the lunar surface, it maybe a small step for a man, but a giant leap for humankind. And this giant leap didn’t make within days. It was a very long journey involving countless people with exceptional dedication. Well… Rome wasn’t built in a day too, right?
The manned mission to the moon was ended in 1972 with Eugene Cernan as the last person stepped off the lunar surface. There was no more manned spaceflight sent afterward. All those glorious story about the outer space journey seemed to be vanished. Sometimes I, and maybe you too, also wondered, has all the attempt of outreach beyond the earth came to a halt?
And back to the present day..
I know it sounds ridiculous (no, I’m not talking about the heading above but you can have a different opinion). I didn’t hear much about this, until recently: As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, NASA scientist found the evidence of liquid water runs down the canyon on Mars. It arose the speculation of some form of life actually exist on the planet. This would turn down the opinion of Mars being a dry, barren planet.
The flowing water is a critical hint of the question, “Does life really exist beyond the Earth?”. It could be used to discover water sources on Mars or even the spot to land future human missions. It might be too early to decide whether Mars is really in habitable environment or not. But this finding can at least give a hint to Mars One of where to land the first human on Mars in 2030s. You can check here about the NASA’s Journey to the Mars project.
Glad to know that we’re not done yet. 46 years ago it was the moon, and now we’re exploring Mars, another planet. In fact, it has started since 2012, when the Curiosity was sent to Mars. Since landed on Mars, the rover has kept exploring the red’s planet environment. Last month, it photographed something that look like a spoon. Someone didn’t packed their things thoroughly when camping to Mars?
Nope, it was a spoon-shaped rock. In the photo, a rock shaped by wind looked much like a spoon. Even the shadow appeared like a spoon on the ground below. The Curiosity is currently studying a rock formation inside the Gale Crater. It will serve as the basis for the design of Mars 2020 rover mission. A mission planned to launch in 2020 which aiming to investigate an astro-biological relevant ancient on Mars and its surface geological processes and history. Another ambitious project!
It was a small step for a man, but…
It will be a huge leap for your success goal. Read again if you didn’t notice, but to finally able landing at Moon and later (hopefully) at Mars, humankind has gone through so many failures. What begin with a dream has finally been realized. It is the same with every of us.
If we never take a small step to achieving the success, it will never happen. If you stop just because of one or two failures, it will also never happen. What happened to the water on Mars being discovered can give us some insight about this way of thinking. So, I will say again to carve it in both your mind and mine. It may a small step to you, but will become a huge leap for your success goal. Hope this post giving you an inspiration and any food for thoughts are very welcomed
Latest posts by Alexander Blue (see all)
- Sonia J. Bergeron – An Inspiring Woman for Celebrating the International Women’s Day - March 8, 2016
- These 5 Popular Antiheroes Will Teach You Some Precious Life Lessons - February 29, 2016
- 14 Amazing Long Lasting Couples for Your Valentine’s Inspiration! - February 14, 2016