The Face Of Space

Quirks and Quarks is a weekly science program on CBC Radio, hosted by Space enthusiast Bob McDonald. This past weekend, his guest was Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, who came to share his favourite summer recipes, and give advise on how to throw a really kicking patio party.

Or, you know, how it's important that manned space exploration continue. Probably more the latter, really. More in his field.

Dr. Tyson makes a good point. He says that, to study one specific field will result in incremental advances in that field, but to study broadly, and boldly, will result in discovers we couldn't anticipate, that will have far reaching effects on a number of fields. He uses the example of the hospital, how none of the machines that we use to diagnose, treat and cure diseases were originally made by people working in medicine, or discovered by medical researchers. X-rays, CAT scans, MRI, all have very practical medical applications, but were all discovered by someone working in an entirely different field of study.

Thus is the major benefit of space research. The inventions created to result in the incremental advance of getting a human into space can have far greater effects on us here at home, in ways that are impossible to imagine. The microchip is an excellent example, the seeds of which began because of investments NASA made in tech firms, trying to develop faster, smaller, lighter processors for the ships (less weight equals less fuel). It's entirely possible that without NASA and the Apollo missions, cells phones, laptops, cheap PCs and Apple wouldn't exist, at least not as they do, and not for some time. It took the incredible task of getting a man on the moon to push forward such a vast technological leap forward.

Imagine what we could do today, if we had the means. Last time, we changed the world.

For more Quirks and Quarks, check out their site here.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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