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Introduction

  • Bohumil Doboš
Chapter
Part of the Contributions to Political Science book series (CPS)

Abstract

A look at the night sky gave generations of human beings living on Earth feelings of mysteriousness, of vast emptiness. The unknown nature of the great darkness with seemingly supernatural lights on it inspired wild fantasies as well as religious zeal that were not always friendly toward the scientific understanding of the realm. Despite many obstacles, human comprehension of outer space enhanced throughout the centuries, and people grew more and more curious regarding the possibilities of direct interaction with the night sky. Twentieth-century technological and scientific developments finally enabled humans and man-made objects to enter this “final frontier” and to enhance its understanding of the great unknown as well as enable the utilization of the potential benefits coming from the outer space. In 1942 the first artificial object—the German V-2 rocket—crossed the 100 km Kármán line generally considered to be an edge of the outer space (Bille and Lishock 2004, p. 59). In 1957 the Soviet Sputnik-1 became the first artificial satellite on Earth’s orbit. The same year, Laika became the first animal to orbit the “Blue Planet.” In 1961 Yuri Gagarin was the first human to enter outer space and orbit the Earth. In 1969 the Apollo 11 crew was the first to land on the surface of the Moon. Despite the cooling down of the space race following the lunar landing, the outer space plays a crucial role for life on Earth, and it might be said that the end of the bipolar space race was the beginning of a more comprehensive and sustainable utilization of the domain. The space assets are essential for activities such as global positioning, communications, reconnaissance, or weather forecasting connected to many commercial, civilian, and military activities.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bohumil Doboš
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Political StudiesCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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