One of my very first family memories dates back to a camping trip in which my parents, sister, and I all looked up at the night stars, naming constellations and just gazing at its vastness. We always had glow in the dark stars on our bedroom ceilings and constantly berated my parents with questions about what else is “out there” in space. Space has always represented both a fascination with the unknown and a sea of possibilities. This, in turn, closely relates space to art because artists continually focus on spaces, like space, that are yet to be explored.
The Soviet Union launch of Sputnik in 1956 kicked off the Space Age and took the world down a intertwined path of exploration and discovery that interests people of all ages to this day. Yet, public portrayal of this exploration of possibilities, such as TV shows like The Jetsons and Star Trek, were all conceived just before or after this launch. These influential pieces of media not only impacted world culture, but also planted the question of “What is out in space?” in the minds of people of all ages. These shows placed pressure on scientists to make these fiction stories an actual nonfiction success. People dreamed, hoped, and pleaded for civilizations in space, the discovery of other creatures, and other human activities in this vast unknown.
Recently, the movie Gravity focused on astronauts floating in the blackness of space, highlighting the fact that mankind still has no control or true knowledge of how to survive outside our planet. Although Sandra Bullock eventually made it home safely, the movie just shows how powerful space can be. It is my prediction, however, that based on past trends of scientific and artistic discovery that space will become more naturalized and a part of human life in the near future.
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