Since before Icarus, man has dreamed of flying–to be free of the bonds of gravity. The Brothers Montgolfier and Wright brought those dreams to reality. Since Galileo, visionaries have yearned to explore space–the distant frontier. Sputnik 1 ushered in the space age. We have left footprints on the moon, spacecraft have flown by Venus and into the far reaches of the solar system, and robots have explored Mars.

Artists' representation of the Mariner 2 orbiter. Mariner 2 was the first successful US mission to Venus. Launch date: August 27, 1962; Flyby date: December 14, 1962. Source: NASA

It is impossible to describe or quantify the impact that space development and exploration has had on our lives. Since space exploration first began with Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, the first artificial satellite to orbit Earth, spacecrafts have explored multitudes of objects in outer space, provided us with technologies that certainly make our world better and smaller, and enabled us to be better stewards of Earth, our home. Visionaries have dreamed of traveling in space, exploring the unknown, and answering questions about the Universe, such as how the planets were made and whether life exists elsewhere. Since the launching of Sputnik 1 followed by the first manned space flight on April 12, 1961, the dreams, the mission, and the vision held by OGLF and The Space Show have moved toward reality. During the fifty years since Sputnik, satellites and robots have visited different planets, completed scientifically important tasks, and studied space to improve our lives here and to seal a future loaded with possibilities and potential.

From our initial manned trips in space to our first moon landing on July 20, 1969, our world has been changed forever. Seeing our home planet from outer space gave rise to our efforts to protect the fragile Earth environment. The famous view of Earth as a blue marble showed us the reality that our home has no borders, no boundaries, no man-made divisions to separate us from one another. In The Overview Effect, author Frank White has documented characteristics and qualities of what compromises the overview effect. . One story from Mr. White’s book reported that Saudi Prince Sultan Bin Salman al-Saud, when flying over the Middle East at the time of the TWA Flight 847 hostage crisis, had a new reality when he could see no boundaries or borders separating his country from Israel. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida suggested that everyone running for public office visit space to experience its transformative effects.

It is also important to note that space exploration began in the heat of the Cold War. School kids were doing duck-and-cover drills; superpower Cold War rhetoric was strong and frightening. But while we were highly competitive with the Soviet Union in the space race, we were also making treaties together in the U.N. to rescue each other’s astronauts and cosmonauts, to ban weapons from space, and to prevent any nation from seizing celestial bodies for their exclusive use. Space has to this day provided the only environment where mankind worked at its best for problem solving, for peaceful relations, for the betterment of humanity. To date, space remains the only environment where there has been no crime, no fighting, no weapons, and no aggressive behavior. Our international behavior in space is the finest role model we have for how best to behave with one another here on Earth. The former Soviet Union, now Russia, is our partner in space with the International Space Station (ISS), along with fourteen other countries. The ISS agreement is a model for future commercial, scientific, and political harmony. Space has shown itself time and time again to be the best path possible to a peaceful existence on Earth.

Space remains the only environment where there has been no crime, no fighting, no weapons, and no aggressive behavior. The former Soviet Union, now Russia, is our partner in space with the International Space Station (ISS), along with fourteen other countries. The ISS agreement is a model for future commercial, scientific, and political harmony. Space has shown itself time and time again to be the best path possible to a peaceful existence on Earth as well as to offer real possibilities for resources and technologies that can improve the conditions for all mankind. Furthermore, The Space Show and OGLF are in harmony with the Space 2030 studies issued by the Organisation For Economic Co-Operation and Development.

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