Has ANYONE else followed the International Space Station (ISS) project over the last approx. 5 years???
Flying above us at 180 miles altitude, doing 27 thousand miles per hour and rotating around the Earth 13 times every day is the ISS. Manned continuously since it was made habitable, the ISS is a joint effort of many countries designed for VERY interesting future expeditions.
The ISS received a huge shipment of food and various supplies during the last (and possibly last) Space Shuttle (SS) flight which successfully returned to Earth. Remember the Shuttle program has been grounded after a 1 billion dollar reflective tile fix was preformed, but only bought the shuttle 3 additional seconds of time BEFORE the tiles fell off. That is a whopping $300 million per second of addition lift-off time before the tiles came off - ugh.
But the ISS is a very different beast indeed. I closely watched the docking and External Vehicular Activity (EVA - better known in general as space walking, but actually covering ANY activity outside the shuttle or space station) and during the whole inspection of the tiles, I'll never forget the incredible images taken from a satelite in high orbit (26,000 miles) telescoping down at the ISS/SS docked and undocked.
The images were stunning and uniterupted by any debre (minus microscopic space dust) but if you saw the video footage, you will most likely remember the Earth moving swiftly (1500mph rotation on its axis) below the orbital crafts.
and other related sites, you can follow the live telemetry to the ISS and watch in REAL-TIME as it circles the globe. Now... remember that the ISS orbits the Earth approx every 90 minutes, literally seeing 13 sun-rises and sun-sets EACH DAY. You can enter YOUR LOCATION and find out WHEN the ISS flys over your area - it can be seen quite easily WHEN the sun sets below the horizon, but it is still shining on the ISS - it looks like a very fast moving plane going across the sky. The brightness and length of viewing varies according to the flight path, but generally speaking the ISS flys over the same local regions every three days. So check out the web and see when it flys over your area - remember it is up there about 180 miles, and has been for nearly 5 years.SO, WHAT IS THE ISS's LONG TERM GOALS
Well.... Although they have many years worth of weight-less experimentation planned, several Nasa dreamers/planners are thinking of a Noah's Ark type mission - continued growth and expansion will allow a biosphere/biodome type self-sustaining ark, filled with everything that will allow long-term, deep space missions - with no plan to return.
Imagine, 100 years after a propulsion drive propels the ISS toward the nearest star (4 light years away) and totally manned with men and women, children, animals to breed and eat, plants and trees create air and food and with the goal of creating a self sustaining and prolific vessel.
Now... before any of us think this is going to happen tomorrow, don't hold our breath. This is mostly dreaming and some serious planning, but far from obtainable since we can't even get off the ground without a better shuttle replacement program.
But the point is, we have the ABILITY to at least ponder it is a viable possibility as a goal for humans to go out and seek other civilizations and better understand the Universe and (yes) to some of us, God's plan for humanity.
"Okay Beemaster", you might ask "where in the bible does it mention traveling into deep-space looking for ETs?" Well, I'm not the Bible expert, although I DO KNOW that the Bible was written by men who believed the world was FLAT. So is "Mans" preception of the world limited to his current knowledge (whether inspired by God or not) or is "science fiction/fantasy" and "science faction" possible for man to comprehend.
I'm curious, how many of us would volunteer for such a life voyage? Even if it were proven safe (which we have seen is NOT possible when dealing with space issues so far) would you be willing to enter a world within a world and take off in a modern days Noah's Ark? I would follow it on the Internet - lol, but I'm into a LIFE TIME of travel and still not be outside our own solar system.
As I've posted before, I believe that the only journey we will make is a conscience voyage, one outside of the body. Until someone else finds us, I'm affraid we are pretty much stuck to hopping around our planets and not searching out life deep space. I think I'd rather put out the Welcome Mat and cross my fingers for a friendly ET to find us.
More soon. I'll post some interesting links too.