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Space Exploration: The Liberal Arts Lenses

Space exploration is the study of outer space and is usually carried out by experts in space technology and astronomy. There are four liberal arts lenses of viewing space exploration: history, humanities, social science, and natural science. The history lens provides astronomers with a view of occurrences that happened during diverse periods, while the humanities lens enables them to study human culture (Crucian et al., 2018). Moreover, the social lens contributes to the understanding of world cultures, and also, through natural science, the explorers can perform calculations and develop specific processes of observing and describing space.

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The four lenses have significantly expanded my view of space exploration. They have enabled me to appreciate space’s historical, human, social, and natural science (Johnson, 2012). Social science has made me aware of the impacts of space exploration on society and how space programs can solve common issues (Mulavara et al., 2010). Similarly, natural science has enabled me to acquire an excellent knowledge of the science behind the planets, stars, and rockets (Marquez et al., 2019). Furthermore, the history and humanities lenses have widened my perspective of space study and enabled me to see how various human cultures have influenced space travel throughout history.

Recently, China launched one of the world’s most extended manned space missions and announced advancing their rocket engine technology. Through the natural science lens, we can see how the scientists designed the spacecraft to perform complex vertical docking maneuvers which are more complicated than horizontal (Jiang & Zhao, 2021). Also, the social lens shows us how people worldwide have supported and appreciated the work of the astronauts in bringing space life closer to them. Additionally, with the help of humanities lens, it is possible to realize how developing space stations benefit Chinese citizens and unite the world through space study. Finally, through a historical lens, we can see how China and USA’s complex relations have influenced the breakthrough (Sato, 2018). For instance, the United States barring China from working with the International Space Station made the Chinese develop their space station, which the three astronauts currently dock with.


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Johnson, N. L. (2012). Cleaning up space: The development of international space debris policies. Harvard International Review, 33(4), 67. Web.

Marquez, J. J., Hillenius, S., Deliz, I., Zheng, J., Kanefsky, B., & Gale, J. (2019, March). Enabling communication between astronauts and ground teams for space exploration missions. In 2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference (pp. 1-10). IEEE. Web.

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Mulavara, A. P., Feiveson, A. H., Fiedler, J., Cohen, H., Peters, B. T., Miller, C., Brady, R., & Bloomberg, J. J. (2010). Locomotor function after long-duration space flight: Effects and motor learning during recovery. Experimental Brain Research, 202(3), 649. Web.

Sato, N. (2018). JAXA’s Space Exploration Scenario. NASA/ADS. Web.

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