One of the leading research topics in world astronomy in the 21st century is the origin of life in the universe. After the fact that planets exist in outer space for the first time in the 1990s, it has attracted attention not only to astronomers but also to all mankind whether life exists on planets other than Earth.
The United States selected a next-generation space telescope and an extremely large earth-based astronomical telescope in 2000 to study the origin of life in space, and among them, the next-generation space telescope, James Webb, was launched at the end of 2021. . In 2010, a wide-field infrared space telescope specializing in the search for exoplanets was chosen as the main priority, and it is planned to be launched in 2027 under the name Nancy Roman Space Telescope.
In order to find an answer to the great question of the origin of life in the universe, it is necessary to work together in different areas. The study of the solar system, the only star system known to have life, is the basis for the study of life in the universe. From the study of electromagnetic waves and high energy radiation emitted from the sun, it is possible to infer the characteristics of stars and the surrounding space environment where life can occur.
In order to study planets and asteroids in the solar system, probes are landed on the rocky Moon, Venus, and Mars to study atmospheric components and soil samples. We study atmospheric components, temperature, and kinematic characteristics. Known space programs include the Artemis manned spacecraft project, the still active rover on the surface of Mars, the Jupiter probes Pioneer and Voyager 1 and 2, and the DART project, an experiment that study the internal structure of asteroids and spacecraft by colliding with them. can be heard All this is related to the study of the origin of life in the universe.
In order to solve the fundamental conundrum that mankind has had for a long time, namely the origin of life in space, organic collaboration is being done in various fields such as space launch vehicles, artificial satellites, space telescopes, probes, and advanced fields. large terrestrial astronomical telescopes. Many high-tech devices and imaging tools that people use in their daily lives today are the result of these technological advances. New knowledge and technology obtained from projects invested with large-scale national budgets contribute to the enrichment and enrichment of human life.
Recently, much successful progress has been made in Korea as well. The successful development of the Nuri and Danuri, participation in NASA’s infrared space telescope project and the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope, development of the lunar lander, participation in the ultra-large radio telescope project, and planning for the development of the lunar lander are being done through internal research and development and international collaboration. Clearly, successful progress is being made in terms of research performance through individual projects. However, are the final research goals of these projects set correctly?
It is difficult to establish long-term research plans and organic collaboration in related fields by setting goals that are easy to achieve in a short period of time or that are too practical. In this regard, it is significant that the United States sets a goal that is difficult to reach, the origin of life in space, and conducts research by establishing a cooperative system in various fields.
The basic plan to promote new space development recently announced by the government is to set the final goal to be achieved first and establish a strategy to systematically develop various areas related to this goal. This is considered a desirable direction from a methodological point of view. However, more introspection will be needed to see if the final goal to be achieved by the new scheme is chosen appropriately. Is it too much for our level to set a higher philosophical research goal, which seeks answers to questions about the origin of the natural world?