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Mars or moon? With astronauts or robots? | international



Is it more interesting from a scientific and technological point of view to go back to month or go to Mars ?; Is it better and feasible with the technologies available to do this with astronauts or is it better to send slaves early?

To those questions, what about the next challenges of space exploration and the role Spain has played over the last decades and which it will have in the future, starting this Wednesday in Madrid. experts from science, industry, universities and numerous public research organizations at the First Space Congress.

The answers are almost unanimous: technological Mars the main challenge is, but today it is unthinkable (even "it was crazy for those who said) to send a person to the red planet; first, because of the" political "risks he presents, but above all because of health risks, because not enough is known how radiation, isolation and lack of gravity will affect the human body in such a necessarily long mission.

Scientists, companies and political representatives emphasized the "youth" of the space sector, but also its extraordinary capacity for transforming society, and coincided, noting the strength of the sector in Europe and the important presence, competitiveness and strength of Spain in this context. .

Data confirms this strength: Spanish companies in the aviation sector paid nearly $ 13.170 million last year, exported 66% of their products and services, contributed 1% of gross domestic product, generated nearly 60,000 highly qualified direct jobs and devoted 9% of their turnover to research, development and innovation (R + D + i).

Space science is special, many speakers noted during the first day of Congress, because it fosters innovation and returns to the entire society; because it promotes international cooperation; and because it is very attractive and arouses many vocations of young people who are directing their professional careers towards this branch of knowledge.

Where does space science focus ?; All the speakers who spoke agreed on the need to research and research the solar system to find out more about its origin and what its evolution will be; in search of biological activity on other planets; and the importance of gravitational waves for detecting "mysteries" such as black holes or the origin of the universe.

The goal is almost always to explore the origin and development of life on Earth; to know why he appeared on this planet; and to find out if it is possible to exist in others.

Spain is perfectly prepared and trained to take part in all these challenges, all the experts agreed, pointing out that in recent years Spanish companies have already been the "main" performers of some of the missions and numerous instruments that accompanied the spacecraft.

Director European Space Agency (ESA), Johann-Dietrich Wörner, stressed the importance and the need to know the past "to prepare the future" and the strength of the European space sector to meet the challenges ahead in the coming years, and among them stated that he would return to the moon, establish a permanent base there or to go to Mars.

Nothing like space symbolizes the absence of borders, said the ESA director, who in a photograph of Earth captured from space referred to the "lights" overlooking Europe, but also the "clouds" hovering over the UK.


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