Friday 10 February 2012

Space Exploration – An International Effort

Welcome Stephen Tremp with an awesome summary of what's at stake as we explore further into space ... enjoy:
Dr Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)

"The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean.
From it we have learned most of what we know.
Recently, we have waded a little out to sea, enough to dampen 
our toes or, at most, wet our ankles.
The water seems inviting. The ocean calls.”

— Dr. Carl Sagan

Space. The final frontier. We remember this line from Star Trek, set in the 23rd century under the “United Federation of Planets.” The key word here is united. We have to ask, will space offer the possibility of mankind living together peaceably? Or is bloodshed inevitable as we explore and colonize our solar system as we did here on Earth? Currently, there are at least fourteen agencies with a stake in space exploration and possible exploitation.

The Players
NASA: The 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research. Mission Statement: pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.

International Space Station

The European Space Agency is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission: shape the development of Europe’s space capability and deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

Russia and China (the only other two countries besides the U.S. to independently send men into space), Japan, Iran, Israel, India, Mexico. Korea, Indoneisia, Pakistan, and Vietnam all have space agencies with a range of capabilities from astronaut training, to satellite operations, to sounding rockets (designed to take measurements and perform scientific research during sub-orbital flight), and recoverable biological sounding rockets.

Then there is the military, private sector, and educational institutions that have a growing stake in space exploration. With the Space Shuttle Program mothballed, many are calling for a government and private sector partnership in space exploration. The GOP candidates have also jumped on this topic.

Moon Colonization

It’s Already Begun: The International Space Station (ISS) is an artificial low-earth orbiting satellite and the ninth space station to be inhabited. The ISS has hosted a rotating international crew since November 2000. Crew members from around the world use the ISS as a research laboratory and conduct experiments in biology, physics, astronomy and other fields. It’s also used to test spacecraft systems and equipment for future use to missions to the Moon and Mars. Ready or not, here we go!

What’s Next: Human and robotic explorations of the moon, Mars, and near earth asteroids. Mining asteroids, planetoids, and spent comets could provide raw minerals such as iron, nickel, and titanium to help construct space stations right there in space. Pretty cool, huhn? Resources like water and oxygen could help sustain life. And water and hydrogen could be extracted for rocket fuel. Perhaps, platinum and cobalt could be returned for earth for profit. Both governments and private industry will be involved in this potentially lucrative business.

Mars Colonization
There’s No Need To Fear: Just as there is environmental protection for both earth's polar regions, so too will protecting the moon's and Mar's environment for scientific research. There is no legal ownership of the moon, although the U.S. has planted flags there. There is an Outer Space Treaty (1967) that defines the Moon and all outer space as the "province of all mankind. The moon cannot be used for military purposes and bans weapons of mass destruction.

Question: Should we set up residence in space or on planets and moons? Will space exploration provide social, intellectual, and economic benefits to everyone, or is this another black hole for our hard-earned tax dollars.

Thanks Hilary for hosting me on my Grand OPENING Blog Tour. And thanks everyone for stopping by and saying hello! Please visit me 
AT MY BLOG for more information on my novels BREAKTHROUGH and the recently released OPENING!

Breakthrough and Opening can be downloaded at:

Kindle for $1.99

Smashwords for $1.99

Image Credits: 

Congratulations Stephen on completing the second book of your trilogy - a wonderful achievement; I highly recommend your first book Breakthrough and cannot wait to find out how the good, bad and  the ugly develop in this sequel ... 

Space is an interesting 'arena' - and as each year passes we seem to learn more - it is fascinating and I'm delighted to have some subject matter on my blog - space does inspire people.

Stephen writes about science, space exploration - his interests, while interspersing with articles about publishing, self-publishing and useful tips and tricks he has found - there's a great deal of interaction and knowledge exchange over at his blog:  Stephen Tremp - Author ... so please visit and join him along his trilogy journey.

Stephen's Grand Opening Tour continues: upcoming dates -

February 14 Rachna Chhabria Rachna’s Scriptorium

February 15 Melissa Bradley 
Melissa’s Imaginarium

February 17 Lydia Kang 
The Word is my Oyster

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. thanks for guest posting here - it's an extremely interesting time in our history - and I'd love to be around to see how it all develops ... I just suspect I won't be!

Cheers for now - I know you'll be popping in and so will I later .. Welcome everyone to our world of space - Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If humans survive to that point, I think we'll go out into space to live.
Eddie Izzard says "No flag, no country, can't have one!" Meaning we got a flag on the moon? USA calls dibs!

writing and living by Richard P Hughes said...

I probably won't see many more space exploration breakthroughs in my lifetime either.

I strongly suspect the fighting over other planets in the universe will be fierce, but it's a long way off.


Thannks Hilary for hosting Stephen,

A great post Stephen, Space holds many secrets to us mere mortals. Good luck with your new book, a success I'm sure.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Interesting post! Living in space or in settlements on other planets will probably end up being an that I can't see many taking, though, unless things go drastically downhill here on Earth!

Diane said...

Great guest post, you do find some amazing subjects Hilary to talk about. Very interesting. Diane

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex - you could be right - if the USA takes the moon .. does Russia take the Arctic? It's a little daunting ..

@ Richard - I think we're finding out lots now - the telescopes get stronger and better and we see so much we never knew existed.

I agree I suspect fighting will be fierce - will that help or hinder humanity .. the latter I suspect.

@ Yvonne - Stephen's written a great article hasn't he .. and yes absolutely Stephen's book deserves lots of success.

@ Elizabeth - I enjoyed Stephen's take on this post it provides much thought .. can we get set up in space, in order that we can live I wonder - not any time soon, I feel.

@ Diane - all Stephen's own work! Just delighted I can offer the space on my blog to talk about that Space out there!

Thanks Alex, Richard, Yvonne, Elizabeth and Diane - great to see you - have good weekends .. cheers Hilary

MorningAJ said...

I am (was?) so totally in love with Carl Sagan. Ever since the days of Cosmos.

Fascinating stuff - and the perfect way to hook me in to read it!

Anonymous said...

Hilary, thanks for having me as a guest blogger once again! Always a pleasure to meet your peeps.

Alex, that's great. I can see our President in the future exclaiming, "But we got dibs on the moon."

Richard, if there are resources to make a profit, maybe it will be corporations bribing congressman to go to war over these planets.

Yvonne, thanks for the words of encouragement!

Elizabeth, we just watched Wall-E and I could see this happen one day way in the future.

Food, Fun, and Life, great to meet you and thanks for stopping by.

Morning AJ, Carl Sagan helped capture a generation's imagination and fascination with astronomy, mine included.

Julie Flanders said...

Fascinating post, Stephen. I hadn't really thought about the fighting over space exploration but, unfortunately, it's probably inevitable. I'm excited though to see what advances in space exploration are made in my life time.

Great deals on your books, I am going to snatch them up this weekend! :)

Robyn Campbell said...

What a great guest post, Hilary. Stephen your writing is wonderful. It hooks me from the first page.

Space exploration has always intrigued me. I was saddened when the President discontinued it.

I gotta have the second one. *waving*

Chase March said...

Hi Hilary,

I love the vision of the future presented in Star Trek: The Original Series.

That future showed us one where we'd gotten past a lot of the natural aggression that is so prevalent these days.

Will we ever get to such a place?

I hope we will.

That being said, I think setting up a moonbase or space colony is a great thing. I would like to see it united by race, country, and creed (like Star Trek) or at least the promise of it (like Babylon 5)

Old Kitty said...

Hi Stephen, hi Hilary!!

I truly would love a Star Trekker type universe - you know where everyone gets on and all live in harmony -but I have a feeling given our human history - we will most likely carry on our conflicts here on earth out there too!

I hope I'm wrong cos it would be nice to just get along whereever we end up as a species!!!

Take care

Southpaw said...

As long as we don't colonize the sun. Since it was purchased, the cost for rental would be huge.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Anne - no wonder I'm a blank - Cosmos tv series was in the 1980s - completely missed it! But I won't miss Stephen's 2nd book and I so enjoyed his first ..

@ Stephen - good to see you ... pleasure having you with such an interesting topic ..

@ Julie - I feel the same way, but like you am enjoying what advances are being made. Glad you're going to snatch up his books - Breakthrough is a great read, and Opening I have to get to ... enjoy them!

@ Robyn - it adds to my mix of articles - so I'm pleased to have Stephen over here ..

I can see the President's point - and now we seem to have other ways of looking at space and finding incredible new things .. then I'm sure a new space development will come about, with the 20th C technology looking decidedly antiquated.

Excellent another reader for Opening ..

@ Chase - dare I say it: I could never get into Star Trek?!

Like you I'd love to live in harmony all over our own world, then up there - if that happens.

How as you suggest .. similar to Star Trek or like Bablylon 5 - I'm afraid I'm lost!!!

@ Old Kitty - I obviously missed something not 'taking to' the Star Trek concept! I absolutely agree it would be good if we could just get along as a species whereever we are ...

Cheers Anne, Stephen, Julie, Robyn, Chase and Old Kitty - enjoy your reads .. grab your copy now of Stephen's two books - Hilary

Anonymous said...

Julie, thanks! You won't be disappointed!

Robyn, thanks for the compliment! Let's hope the private sector picks up the slack.

Chase, great name! That's my protagonist's name.

Kitty, we can hope.

Southpaw, I'm warming up to that idea.

Anna said...

Great post. I'm always worried that if we do ever live in space, we won't be friendly to other life forms we find out there. So much war here, why would space be any different.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Hilary and Stephen.

Space hold so many secrets. It would be nice to travel there for a change ;)

Christopher Hudson said...

My wife thinks I'm a space cadet ... so I guess it's only natural that a post about space exploration would interest me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Holly - now that would be some thought .. buying up the sun - I'd be having heat stroke!

@ Anna - it is a great post isn't it .. and sadly I agree with you- particularly at this point in time.

@ Rachna - please could you do a blog for me .. I'd love to hear the details .. but don't really want to go myself?! Thanks!

Cheers Holly, Anna and Rachna - great seeing you .. and Stephen .. yes, always think of Chase March the blogger, as well as Chase Manhattan your protagonist!

Thanks and enjoy your weekends .. Hilary

Rosaria Williams said...

Yeahhhh to you and Stephen. I have followed his blog and I'm glad he's receiving support.

Rubye Jack said...

I think we should do everything we can to get ourselves out there in as many practical places as possible. I see it as the new frontier and just like the west for the U.S. or Australia for several countries, amazing things will happen for those brave enough to seek new challenges an adventures. There are so very many possibilities awaiting us, and I don't think it will really be all that long. I sure hope not.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary and Stephen,
Actually, 'inner space' is the 'final frontier'. That's probably a bit deep right about now and I'm not going to mention what posting of mine that refers too. You know, me, shy and humble :) I have done a couple of similar articles that have been basically unnoticed. Never mind..
A fascinating insight by good old Stephen Tremp. Well done Stephen. One thing though, in my science and astronomy class, way back in 1968, I read an article that stated that man would be on Mars by 1977. So, what happened?
Take care and have a peaceful, spaced out weekend.
With respect, Gary

Golden Eagle said...

Interesting post!

I think it will offer benefits, if we don't end up in a space war--or wars.

Ella said...

I think we need to move forward, there is always risks! Great post Stephen! Hello Hilary :D

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I think it's human nature to explore and venture into the unknown. Yes, I think we'll explore the solar system as we're able. We have no choice. It's part of our nature.

As a Canadian I'm proud that it was a Canadian who invented the space arm, Canadarm, the robotic mechanic arm. What an achievement.

Great post, Stephen. Hi Hilary!

Joylene Nowell Butler, Author

Unknown said...

Fascinating stuff as always! I think space is the way to and I sure hope those rules about no weapons or military will continue to apply.

Congrats on the new release and I can't wait to have you on my blog.

You have a beautiful blog, Hilary!

Anonymous said...

Anna, maybe they're waiting for us.

Rachna, we're only scratching the surface.

Christopher, we should wear vests and badges.

rasario, thanks for your support!

Rubye, I think we'll see major steps very soon. There's just too much money to be made and so many good paying jobs will be created.

klahanie, we probably could have made it to Mars by now if there was a concerted effort by multiple space agencies and private industry.

Golden Eagle, will blood be spilled on the moon? That is my major question. I don't think so but would not be surprised if it happened.

Ella, I agree. Lives will be lost just like the Space Shuttle program. But the risks will have to be taken.

Joylene, I agree. Its inherent in out nature. We will explore our solar system with people and robots.

Melissa, even thought the polar regions are protected, there are still U.S. and Russian nuclear subs cruising around under the ice of the North Pole.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rosaria - thanks .. Stephen has built up a good following and support - glad you're with him too.

@ Rubye - you're amazingly upbeat about the space frontier .. exciting to read your comment. Certainly it'll take some new thinking with many new challenges. I love your optimism!

@ Gary - yes: I can see where you are coming from ... that 'inner space' is a real frontier and most haven't conquered it or remotely understand it.

You have put pen to paper re that inner space - and it's something that some of us will pick up on - I'm not sure I would have done 3 or 4 years ago ...

Glad you called Stephen old & not me! Predictions are difficult - perhaps the Mars quote was to inspire you to take up science/space exploration full time or other kids in your class. Reality set in?!

@ Golden Eagle - you've nailed it .. we'll find out in due course.

@ Ella - you're right we need to keep exploring .. trying and testing ..

@ Joylene - yes - human nature to explore and see what's under that rock or out in the blue .. so I agree with you.

As Stephen highlighted all parts of the world have contributed to the space programme over the years .. glad to learn about the space arm, Canadarm.

@ Melissa - I sure hope that there won't be any weapons or military aspects in space. Great - see Stephen over on your blog on Wednesday ..

Glad you enjoy this place .. and good to meet you ..

@ Stephen - thanks for being here and replying to all the great comments.

Thanks everyone - enjoy your weekends ... lovely seeing you all - cheers Hilary

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for sharing the spotlight with Stephen, Hilary! He's always got something interesting to share, as do you. Have a wonderful weekend! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen - thanks very much .. Stephen certainly has some interesting points about scientific developments and space - it's been good having him here.

Cheers and have a great weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi EVERYONE .. just had this email from Kat Magendie:


Just wanted to tell you that yours is one of the blogs I can't comment on -- any blog with word verification makes it impossible for me to comment. THis is new, and I have NO idea what's happening - have tried everything and still can't comment.

But wanted you to know I read Stephen's post and wanted to support with a comment and just couldnt!


I have taken off word verification .. but this is all becoming a pain .. I'll write a post about it after Valentine's Day .. re some thoughts - as I can't comment in embedded comment boxes ...

Please can you email me if you've any thoughts ...

Enjoy the weekend .. cheers Hilary

Unknown said...

I just love the quote at the beginning. I don't have any desire to go to space or to visit other planets (if they do colonize) because I like earth but I think what they are doing with space exploration has been wonderful.

Susan Scheid said...

I have to say my inclination on the question asked is "another black hole for our hard-earned tax dollars." We've so far been such bad stewards of Planet Earth I dread seeing us extend that out to other planets.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Clarissa - yes Carl Sagan's quote is great isn't it .. I'm with you - and what will we do up there .. this little planet is pretty brilliant.

@ Susan - at the moment when there isn't any cash around - it'd be better if we could get humans to appreciate this earth. So Susan - let's look after this little place first - I agree with you there.

Thanks Clarissa and Susan - enjoy the rest of the weekend .. cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, Stephen. As there will always be people who are interested in space exploration, there will always be people who dream of one day visiting/living on other planets.

Talli Roland said...

Interesting question, Stephen... I'm not sure, but I reckon we'll probably need to at the rate we're using up the Earth's resources!

Hi to Hilary!

jabblog said...

I'm sure that future generations will look back on the first space habitations as extremely crude while most mortals living today will consider them almost unbelievable.
Fifty years ago space travel was a dream. Fifty years before that aviation was barely out of its infancy and most homes had no electricity or indoor sanitation. Fifty years before that the US and UK agreed to repress slavery.

jabblog said...

Oops - I mean 'suppress'.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susanne - yes .. we are all different aren't we and will dream.

@ Talli - will we have enough resources to get ourselves out there .. ?

@ Janice - no worries re slip of word! Yes - technology improves so much, so do our ideas and what is new today is archaic tomorrow.

I often think about 50 years, 100 years and then 150+ years ago .. quite extraordinary how times change.

Thanks Susanne, Talli and Janice - so much is going on as you all say .. cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Space is such an exciting arena to explore. Good luck Stephen with your latest novel. I love sci fi films, but rarely read sci fi books. :O)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Great post Stephen. Thanks for hosting Hilary.

I would LOVE to stay at a space station for a period of time. I know it would be freaky, but I would do it.


Anonymous said...

Its fun and interesting to see other people's responses to space exploration, what we need to do to get there, and the potential benefits and consequences. Regardless of the outcome, we can bank on setting up permanent colonies in space and on other planets and moons. We live in exciting times and I'm glad this is happening in my lifetime.

Manzanita said...

Hilary and Stephen,
Good idea, Stephen. It would be a great thing to have another planet to escape we. We've just about ruined this planet

Marja said...

Fascinating I love that there are no wapens allowed on the moon. Would that make me go to the moon. Mmmm I love earth too much I think
Here in NZ it is beautiful

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Madeleine - it is so interesting to learn about Space. You'd enjoy Stephen's book .. it's not really Sci-Fi - it is a very fast moving novel .. with scientific future ideas - all remotely possible and therefore believable. It's fun - and I'm sure Opening will be of the same ilk ..

@ Teresa - would you like to stay at a space station: I'd be terrified I couldn't get back .. fantastic that you really want to go....

@ Manzanita - let's hope we don't completely ruin it .. and I can still find small corners here on earth to escape to.

@ Marja - I think I'd rather stay here too .. and seeing pictures of New Zealand .. I might come and join you over there .. looks glorious.

Thanks Madeleine, Teresa, Manzanita and Marja .. great to have your thoughts ...

.. as @ Stephen - it is fascinating to see others' ideas re space - glad you're enjoying being here ..

It's been great hosting you - cheers for now - Hilary

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Hi Hilary! Very interesting stuff from Stephen - his book looks great! Interesting times indeed. I feel sure we'll be fighting over "who gets the best planets." I wish not, but I fear it will be so!

Ellie Garratt said...

Carl Sagan. Childhood hero. Say no more.

Thanks, Hilary and Stephen!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Melissa - I don't like to think of it .. it's bad enough sharing pancakes and getting the biggest and thus the best - but selecting planets - and who will the big powers be then? So sadly I agree with your comment ...

@ Ellie - this is up your street isn't it .. Glad you enjoyed the memory trip ..

Cheers to you both - good to see you .. Hilary

J.L. Campbell said...


One thing is sure, I always learn something new when I come over here.
Well done, Stephen, wishing you success with your books.

Anonymous said...

Carl Sagan still holds a lot of clout. Like many, I grew up watching his show on TV after school. He introduced an entire generation to the wonder of the heavens.

Anonymous said...

Funny how the very talk of space travel sends a shiver down my spine when I believe that there is so much out there for us. Fear of the unknown I suppose. It makes little sense to me to think that we are alone and then I go down the route of wondering where it all ends, what is infinity? Why are we here? Such thoughts gave me many a sleepless night as a child LOL! As for setting up home on a distant planet - perhaps one day that will be as simple as moving to Australia is now. (Oh my, do you ever feel your brain is just not big enough?)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Hilary. I've nominated you for an award. You can stop by my blog to pick it up.

Susanne Drazic

Davina Haisell said...

Hi Hilary.

Thanks for introducing us to Stephen. My congratulations to him on publishing his second book!

I'd just love to travel to at least the moon and to be able to look back at the Earth from out there. I've seen pics of course, but imagine seeing it with my own eyes!

J.D. Meier said...

> There’s No Need To Fear
I can't help but to think of Underdog, but, that's great ... since I'm a fan.

TALON said...

Thank you, Stephen, and thank you, Hilary.

Whenever I look at the night sky, I'm in awe of how vast the universe truly is and how small our planet is in the grand scheme of it all.

BK said...

Hi Stephen, thank you for this; it was a great reading about space. I have always been fascinated about space and will look forward to the day where mankind can take flight into space like they are taking flight to other countries now.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Deborah - I've never thought of space like that ... it's just sort of there - what I find so interesting is to know it's all interconnected - where's the end? .. why are we here? ... those thoughts are fascinating - and about my brain being very very small and completely inadequate = often! I'd love to know and understand ... however realise I/we never will.

@ Susanne - thanks very much I'll be over ...

@ Davina - glad you've connected with Stephen .. his books are great.

Seeing the earth from outer space, or from the moon with our own eyes would I agree be amazing .. but I'm happy with others showing us their pictures!!

@ JD - I hope that's true .. but we won't ever know .. but I'll be with you and the Underdog ..

@ Talon - you've said it ... we are so tiny in that grand scheme up there - which just keeps on getting bigger ..

@ BK - glad you enjoyed Stephen's post .. hopping from planet to planet that's strange to think about ...

Thanks Susanne, Deborah, Davina, JD, Talon and BK .. so pleased you enjoyed Stephen's post on Space - it's a fascinating subject .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Hilary, thank you again for hosting me. Its always a pleasure meeting your followers. And thanks everyone for stopping by and saying hello!