Watch this outer space: Our enduring love for celestial exploration

Thursday, October 8, 2015

For your audio-visual pleasure, our music producer Alex has captured the ethereal wonder of space flight in this track. Pop your headphones on, press play and enjoy the ride.

Nasa recently released thousands of Apollo space mission photos to a free, online archive. Within days, the Flickr account gained 34,000 followers. Why? What explains our enduring fascination with outer space?

Kipp Teague is the owner of the Project Apollo Archive, a gallery of 13,000 images from the manned Apollo missions of the 1960s and 70s.

Flickr has eaten them up. Here's why.






A culture of cosmic curiosity

Sci-fi writers were fascinated by our place in the cosmos long before Roswell, and way before Sputnik.

Ideas about out there have filled our bookshelves, radios, and screens since Yuri Gagarin blasted into outer space.

When Ziggy Stardust riffed into being in 1972, it was on a wave of cosmic curiosity.


A year before Apollo 11 put men on the Moon, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes opened air-lock doors into other-worldly futures.

We've followed James T. Kirk wherever he boldly went. We've choked on the dry heat of Arrakis. We've endured the endless screams of Alderaan.

Nasa's Curiosity Rover is busy exploring the red planet's surface. More than 2 million Twitter followers are along for the ride.

We're hooked, mesmerised. But why?

It is, of course, the unknown. Perhaps, the unknowable. The greatest unanswered question of all. Are we alone in the universe?

Seeing Earth from 380,000 km away, so small and isolated, we're reminded of how little of our story we've actually read.


Blasting off this rock is an alien concept to us all, bar the 551 people who've already done it.

Each fresh discovery begs the question we really want answered: are there others like us?

Space exploration taps into 2 of our deepest needs: the need to know, and the need for contact.

The truth is out there, and we're hard-wired to search for it.

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