British Astronomer Defends Manned Space Flight
Dr Ian Crawford, an astronomer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London, has spoken out in defence of manned spaced flight.As the successful launches of the first two sections of the International Space Station (ISS) re-open public and scientific debate on the value of manned activity in space, Dr Crawford, writing in the December issue of the Royal Astronomical Society's journal 'Astronomy and Geophysics', argues that the search for new scientific knowledge will benefit greatly from the development of human spaceflight infrastructure.
Dr Crawford says, "Many scientists are sceptical about the suggested scientific applications of the ISS itself, but considerable advantages are likely to follow from an ability to assemble large structures in space, such as large space telescopes, lunar and planetary outposts, and eventually, interstellar space probes. The study of both the Moon and Mars would benefit from human exploration, especially the search for past life on Mars."
The full text of Dr Crawford's article can be found at the following web site:
The views expressed in Dr Crawford's article are his own. Neither publication in 'Astronomy and Geophysics', nor the issue of this information note to the media, implies endorsement by the Royal Astronomical Society.