2001 A Space Odyssey Essay Research Paper

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2001: A Space Odyssey Essay, Research Paper The concept of space travel has been an interest to many since the beginning of time. Today, scientists are moving at a comfortable pace to expand our vast knowledge of the universe. Many authors dreamed of the possibilities while scientists tried to bring them to reality. The book “2001: A Space Odyssey,” written by Arthur C. Clarke in the 1960’s, proposed ideas about advanced space travel that took place in a time period only two years from now; however, at the current rate of the space program, mankind is nowhere near the technology showed by the book. Clarke uses concepts of space travel that can still only be dreamed of today. Clarke, an author of the sixties, had ventured out to write a book on a subject that many people

had scarce knowledge of. However, since “Myths and tales of flying to the Moon or the stars are probably as old as humankind,” many were interested (Lewis 16). People wanted to read a book that had ideas in it that were beyond the grasp of humankind. Although many of his ideas seemed impossible to accomplish, surprisingly, Clarke proposed a number of realistic ideas. For example, in 1945 Clarke proposed “using satellites to relay communications to different parts of Earth—more than 20 years before the first satellite was launched” (17). Clarke had stunned many scientists with the proposition of his satellite communication ideas. Furthermore, Clarke could recreate any space travel image of his dreams through his book. His only concern was to make the ideas as imaginable

as possible. Unfortunately, scientists knew realistically “the universe is determined to throw in every road block that can be imagined” (Carroll 1). Space is much more complicated than Clarke could imagine, and modern day scientists know that. The present day space program does not have the technology to accomplish the missions which were proposed in the book. For example, Clarke had the idea for an interstellar mission to Jupiter. “It had begun, five years ago, as Project Jupiter— the first manned round trip to the greatest of the planets” (Clarke 85). According to the book, this mission had been started two years ago from present day. The current space program cannot accomplish a mission of this calabur. However, many modern day scientists know “Interstellar travel

is real” and possible (Mallove 1). Keeping this in mind, scientists have an incentive to keep advancing everyday. The current day space program is advancing one step at a time. So far, “In exploring the planets, it has been robotic technology” (Lewis 160). A manned flight to a distant planet was and still is a dream to modern day scientists. However, Clarke was able to recreate this dream and make space travel become an easy everyday process. The space program in the book is so advanced that it is portrayed as a much more lax operation than present day. Today, the space program can only send a carefully selected group of elites to travel into space. The modern day program “. . . Demanded the selection of new types of astronauts. Pilots would still be needed to control the

Space Shuttle, but different skills would be required to perform space walks, operate the Shuttle’s robot arm and deploy satellites” (Davies 146). Since missions are so expensive, they need to be fully accomplished thus requiring the best astronauts anyone can find. Furthermore, the missions found in the book were considered routine. Contrastingly, present day standards would describe them as explicit and gone about in a more careful manner. An ordinary civilian in the book “. . . Had been to Mars once, to the Moon three times, and to the various space stations more often than he could remember” (Clarke 35). The civilian had not been through the process of training or selection as is required today. Since Clarke portrayed spaceflight as an easy operation, small missions