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Space Exploration The urge to explore the unknown is part of human nature and has led to many of the most profound changes in our standard of living It enriches our spirits and reminds us of the great potential of achievement within us all The drive to develop the next frontier has also been a fundamental part of the heritage of the people of the world The physical challenges and costs of space exploration also serve as a natural catalyst for peaceful international cooperation improving the quality of life for people in many different nations Every year billions of dollars are spent on the exploration of space Many citizens doubt the necessity to research our solar system and the rest of our universe Spaceflight may strike us as an ultramodern idea but evidence of the dream of space exploration exists as far back as Babylonian texts from 4000 BC In the seventh and sixth centuries BC Greek philosophers Thales and Pythagoras declared that the Earth was round In the third century BC an astronomer named Aristarchus of Samos realized that the earth revolved around the sun Fourteen hundred years later Nicolaus Copernicus explained that the sun was the center of our solar system and that all of the planets revolved around it Much later in the 1600s Sir Isaac Newton formulated the laws of universal gravitation and motion Newton stated in his third Law of Motion that every action is accompanied by an equal and opposite reaction A rocket operates under this principle The continuous ejection of a stream of hot gases in one direction causes a steady motion of the rocket in the opposite direction This established the basic principles needed for space flight Even with these basic principles demonstrated the first man had not been sent into space until 1961 Yuri A Gagarian a Russian cosmonaut made one full orbit around the Earth on April
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