The European counterpart to NASA, the ESA has launched its cargo ship, the “Albert Einstein” into outer space. It is a heavy vehicle and will meet up with the International Space Station that is already orbiting planet earth.
Kourou, French Guiana was the site of launch for the ATV-4 Craft which is supposed to venture into outer space. In about a dozen days or so it will dock at the International Space Station. Sometime after take-off its solar panels were turned towards the sun and the necessary energy started being generated for the flight. Weighing over 13 tons, the space vehicle was named in honor of the genius physicist and top scientist of the 20th Century, Albert Einstein, he of the E=MC2 equation and atomic bomb fame.
According to the ESA, it will supply seven tons of materials to the space station. Among the cargo on board can be included dry stuff, hardware stores and propellant fuel. A Russian spacecraft is also linked in with the whole operation and is to take off from Zvezda port. As for the three dozen astronauts on board the space station, they will partake in scientific experimentation, maintenance and directional exploration. Ultimately, these experiments and research findings will go on to benefit all of humanity. The spin-offs from the findings will become part and parcel of every future discovery and invention.
The Russian vehicle upon take off had its navigational antennae inspected to ensure safety from any damage. Aboard the space station meanwhile all sorts of activities were taking place. Even guitar-playing had its place since the astronauts needed some degree of stress relief from the daily wear and tear. Work proceeded as usual. Besides the odds and ends of equipment there was the water and oxygen that was provided as necessities on board the European vehicle.
Space exploration is still in its infancy. The real adventure into space, the final frontier, will occur as the 21st century advances. Being the Century of the Mind, the next 100 years will prove sufficient to explore everything especially ideas that range in the zillions. This will be a profitable path for mankind and will make it the dominant species on earth.
Several space missions have been conducted by the United States and other countries since the moon landing when Neil Armstrong said: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” While nobody has yet been able to land on any other planet, there are hopes for a Mars landing within the next few years.