Mobile version
spiked plus
About spiked
What is spiked?
Support spiked
spiked shop
Contact us
Summer school
Top issues
Arab uprisings
British politics
Child abuse panic
For Europe, Against the EU
Free speech
Jimmy Savile scandal
Parents and kids
View all issues...
special feature
The Counter-Leveson Inquiry
other sections
 Review of Books
 Monthly archive
selected authors
Duleep Allirajah
Daniel Ben-Ami
Tim Black
Jennie Bristow
Sean Collins
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Frank Furedi
Helene Guldberg
Patrick Hayes
Mick Hume
Rob Lyons
Brendan O’Neill
Nathalie Rothschild
James Woudhuysen
more authors...
RSS feed

abc def ghi jkl mno pqrs tuv wxyz index
Survey home
Survey responses
RSS feed
Anjana Ahuja
Julian Baggini
Philip Ball
Marlene Oscar Berman
Gustav VR Born
K Eric Drexler
Marcus Du Sautoy
Edmond H Fischer
John Hall
Tim Hunt
Wolfgang Ketterle
Leon Lederman
Matt Ridley
Raymond Tallis
Frank Wilczek
Lewis Wolpert
Robert Zimmerman
science journalist, historian and author

Undeniably the advent of the space age has changed our culture and society in numerous ways.  However, no specific technology, discovery, or breakthrough from space exploration deserves the honour of being called the field’s greatest innovation.

What space exploration HAS given the human race, however, is a steady, continuous look at the unknown, making us all like children again seeing the universe for the first time.  Every space probe has done this. Weather satellites gave us our first global look at the Earth’s climate.  Space telescopes showed us the first sharp pictures of the heavens.  Unmanned spacecraft provided us our first detailed views of our solar system.  And the manned missions to the Moon allowed the entire human race to experience what it is like to explore new worlds and go where no-one has ever gone before.

Nor is there any end in sight to this journey of exploration.  For as far into the future as any of us can imagine, the frontier of space will provide us an untouched horizon to strive for.  And from this journey into the unknown will come a stream of unexpected innovations far greater than anything we can ever conceive.

Robert Zimmerman is the author of Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the quest for interplanetary travel (buy this book from Amazon(UK)) and Builders of Hubble (forthcoming). View his website here.