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Star Wars: History and Legacy on Space Exploration

Droids Of NASA

  • The famous robot of Star Wars, R2-D2 has a real-life counterpart on the International Space Station and is called the Robonaut 2. It does basic flip switching work as of now, but NASA hopes to make it do other complicated (and hazardous) work to free up astronauts.
  • NASA also launched a set of droids specializing in synchronized flying, resembling the Star Wars robots.

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Star Wars: History and Legacy on Space Exploration

Star Wars: History and Legacy on Space Exploration

https://www.space.com/31744-star-wars-space-exploration.html

space.com

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Key Ideas

Star Wars

The first movie of the blockbuster franchise, retroactively titled as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, exploded into the movie theatres in 1977. It became a global cultural phenomenon and gave birth to a pop-culture empire, which included sequels, prequels, books, comics, games, TV series and even radio shows.

The franchise also affected real-world space technology in numerous ways.

The Story Set In Space

The Star Wars story is a classic Hero’s Journey, in which the protagonist, Luke Skywalker in a galaxy, far, far away, learns that he is able to harness a certain force. He eventually joins the rebellion against the Galactic Empire, and along with his allies, destroys the Death Star, uniting with his father, who had fallen on the dark side.

Sequels Prequels

The original story and its continuation in the two sequels released in the 80s had limited computer graphics technology, which eventually became better in the 90s. The Director, George Lucas, then released three ‘prequels’ which had better technology and visual effects, though the story wasn’t in the same league.

The Force Awakens

In 2012, the world was gifted with a set of further sequels by Disney, which took over the franchise. It released three Star Wars movies between 2015 and 2019, which followed the adventures of a female protagonist, Rey, a scavenger who trains to use the force and goes through a similar journey.

The Live-Action TV Series

This year, with the launch of the Disney+ streaming service, the fans were treated with Star Wars: The Mandalorian, a live-action television series. Disney has plans to release another series in the same franchise, titled Star Wars: Obi-Wan.

Star Wars In Real Life

Pop culture is saturated with ‘Star Wars’ references, and many words, phrases, and ideas have entered the domain of Science and Technology.

The Strategic Defence Initiative, proposed by Ronald Reagan in the 80s, was referred to as ‘Star Wars’ as it was about shooting through space lasers, beams and missiles to deter any nuclear attack. This plan was eventually scrapped after USD 30 billion was spent on it.

NASA and Star Wars

In 2007, the Discovery shuttle launched into space the ‘Lightsaber’, a Star Wars weapon resembling a Tubelight, to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the first movie.

The close-up images of Saturn's moon Mimas, released by NASA resembled the shape of the Death Star. They also mentioned ‘The Force’ while talking about another moon of Saturn, Lapetus.

Droids Of NASA

  • The famous robot of Star Wars, R2-D2 has a real-life counterpart on the International Space Station and is called the Robonaut 2. It does basic flip switching work as of now, but NASA hopes to make it do other complicated (and hazardous) work to free up astronauts.
  • NASA also launched a set of droids specializing in synchronized flying, resembling the Star Wars robots.

Robots In Japan

Kirobo, an interactive child-like robot created in Japan, is intended to be a companion for lonely people. C-3PO is another robot that can translate languages and commands.

Other Star Wars Tech

The solar panels in some of NASA’s spacecraft are a direct inspiration from Star Wars.

The same inspiration is seen laser tech, prominently showcased in the movie franchise's combat scenes, being used by NASA for high-speed communication, and transferring large amounts of data.

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ISS Journey Around Earth

The International Space Center circles the globe every 90 minutes at a speed of 17,500 mph. It flies at an altitude of 248 miles above Earth.

It holds a crew of three to six people, and for a long time, used the Russian Soyuz spacecraft as a way to transport astronauts. SpaceX has sent 2 more astronauts in May 2020, using their Special Dragon Spacecraft, courtesy Elon Musk.

Activities of ISS

Astronauts mainly perform experiments and do maintenance at the ISS. They also do some personal care and exercise, reach out to Earth to conduct some media or school events, and occasionally perform spacewalks. They also use a bit of Twitter.

Human health research, especially eye problems are a major activity. Biological activities, animal tests and testing of appliances in space is also done.

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When you are so far away from Earth, you gain a unique perspective. It is the realization that the Earth is one system and that we are all the art of that one system. There is a certain unity and coherence to it all.

Influence of Star Wars
Influence of Star Wars

It's been more than 30 years since the first "Star Wars."

The cultural influence of the Star Wars Films, novels, comics, television shows, games, toys, and documentaries has been so great...

New Age thinking
  • During the cold war, Ronald Reagan created the Strategic Defense Initiative and aimed to use ground and space-based weapons to help protect the United States from attack by nuclear missiles. Critics referred to it as "Star Wars."
  • Bionic hands like the ones of the heroes and villains in "Star Wars" are now used by amputees.
  • Weapons and robots from "Star Wars" are becoming a reality.
  • Even the Death Star is starting to appear. A former chief technology officer for Microsoft showed his "Death Star" bug zapper to shoot down mosquitoes in flight.