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A lot of countries are investing in Astrophysics related research; Here are the major reasons!

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The Earth's horizon and a cloudy Pacific Ocean taken from International Space station (Credits : NASA/JPL)


W
hen we speak of Science and Technology, we can undoubtedly say that Astronomy and Astrophysics would the most popular field of science which have gained the most popularity among common people. Even the people from non-astronomy field or even the non-science field would be interested to know stuffs about it. We can unanimously say that Astronomy is the most glamorous and seducing section of the entire science. The reasons for this particular phenomenon are numerous; Curiosity, The thrive to know about the unknown, The quest to find Alien life, Mind blowing concepts like Black holes and Wormholes and Unfathomed ideas of higher dimensional perspectives of General Relativity. Though Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Astrobiology and many more Astro-fields are Strictly defined and different from each other, from the perspective of a common science enthusiast, these all speak of the same thing.

Research in Astrophysics seems useless for a lot of people around the globe, but it is actually very essential for our survival

However, many people find it hard to believe and has critic opinion in the enormous funding towards these curiosity driven field when there are a lot of basic necessities the human race and the ecosystem is urgently in need of. Many people wonders why many countries and governments are funding the adventurous outer space ventures and deep space missions. But why does the governments fund for outer space missions in a huge amount when they might be able to spend it to feed at least a proportion of their citizens?

It is very common for anyone to think of hunger and safety when it comes to the unstable lives many societies are currently facing on our globe. The natural balance is at stake, Climate change and Polar Ice melting cum Sea level increment pose a great threat to the biotic environment. Decrement in breathable air due to high level pollution and Crisis in Energy and Economy is destroying many nations. Despite all of these issues, when a government funds for outer space adventurous ventures, it is very common that at least a few of the minds would rebel against this idea. But, the facts says different and the reality proves the actions' necessities. Most of the people who criticizes the expenditure on space missions have no idea on what they are criticising nor they have the slightest idea wh more governments are investing in it. Let's examine some of them here.

Some of the top countries which are investing in the space exploration are The USA, Russia, China, Japan and India. In the year 2013 The USA spend 39332 million dollars for their space exploration, while china spend 6111 million US dollars, Japan spend 3597, Russia spend 5265  and India Spend 1159 Million dollars respectively. While the amount seems very big, the percentage of GDP of each nation spend are 0.23% for the USA, 0.07% for China and Japan, 0.25% for Russia and 0.06% for India. [Reference]

Despite the fact that, the percentage is low, people still complain about the big amount of money spending. Let's see some of the Causes it have served and the reasons behind it.

Satellite technology development

Satellites have become an essential need of the time. We can't live without satellites now. Our communication system have developed in such a way that, we can connect to any corner of the world in seconds. The stock market changes occurs based on the information flow and the internet services which is supported by the same technology which was developed as a part of the space exploration. Projects like International space station and Weather satellites keeps a lot of us from natural calamities and other dangers. International space station which revolves the earth approximately 17 times a day helps us in a lot especially in the areas of Cartography, Geography, and other Earth science studies. Defence applications are various which is too numerous to list.

Life in Space

Astronauts who explore the space are not just space walking, but they are cultivating the earth life in space in the forms of plants, microbes and many more. One day this will help us restore the lost species and might help us build a colony on another planet. Most of the objects that works perfectly for us won't work in space because of the lack of gravity. You can't use a normal pen to write nor a pencil, you can't drink water as calm like you can on earth, you can't even urinate freely. This helps us to study the effect of earth's gravity on everything we know; Gravity is not just a mathematical theory discovered by Albert Einstein but it is something more for our mere existence on this planet.

Space excavation

Studying the asteroids and soil of other Celestial planets, we might someday be able to excavate the necessary materials we need to sustain or build life. May be The Uranus could become the supplier of methane or Neptune could become the supplier of Ammonia which are some of the essential chemical which we can use as fuel as well as a supplement for cultivation. We might be able to mine precious minerals like Uranium or Polonium from these planets or asteroids and might be able to solve the energy crisis for ever. We might even be able to build big reactors or factories on these planets which reduces our risk of livelihood on earth. We could mine the gold, aluminium and other metals which we need to build machines and space crafts from these unknown rocks. Maybe someday, we might establish a human colony on some of these planets and could save our race from extinction; It will also reduce the human exploitation on earth enormously for the growing population.

Knowledge pool

Our knowledge about our surroundings is what made our ancestor settle and secure themselves to survive. We can't predict the problems we might face tomorrow. A virus infection like which happened in 2019 by the COVID-19 Corona virus have the potential to even eradicate the complete race of humans. 

The knowledge is what made civilization to form and empires to stand Lack of which was one of the many reasons which cause mass destructions and wars. Beliefs and cultures have transformed lives of people in many unimaginable ways and superstitions still prevail among us. The search for the ultimate creator and creation is one of the historic theme on which a big majority of people have lost their lives. If this has to reach and end, we need to find solutions to many unknown questions through the endless quests science have to make; among which most of them are outside earth. We have one fundamental enemy which we can't controls so far, The time. If we need to get ahold of it, we need to think beyond it.

There are many more ways in which we can justify the outer space research and it is very thoughtful and appreciable that many nations are now realising the necessity of it for their future sustenance. Hope, we will have more hope to sustain longer.

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