There are 2 concepts of the Globe or Orb, that we live in. Most scientists claim that we live on Earths surface and the ancients believed, that we are within an enclosed structure known as the firament. In 1958 the the physicist James Van Allen discovered the ‘ceiling’ was made from radioactive particles, it became known as the Van Allen Belt.
The Belt region has posed an obstacle for those hoping to travel into the high regions and has been a serious blow to the advancement of the Space race. Debate and suspicion regarding the integrity of the moon landings was reconsidered and weighed up against the level of damage the craft and astronauts would have suffered if they went through it. Most satellites drift around in lower orbit.
In 1962, Scientists went to the Pacific to test its nuclear capacity by setting off rockets into the sky, it was known as Operation Fishbowl. Hundred’s of atomic explosions were hurled into space, during this era, making the islands below uninhabitable and causing unknown levels of destruction beneath the sea. It seems as though the rockets exploded below the Belt, however the Ring of Fire in the Pacific region has an unstable ocean floor, the plates can shift, creating earthquakes, tsunamis and setting off volcanoes in the vicinity.
In 2012 Scientists sent up the Radiation Belt Storm probe that was later renamed the Van Allen probe, it has been analysing the Belt with the intention to make way for future space missions. Ultimately the objective is to make a way through it. The data is currently being analysed with the hope of piercing it for Moon and Mars missions. It is seen as an obstacle, not a necessity.
Should the Space projects continue without a public ethics commission to assess the risks involved. Currently we are dealing with a leaking nuclear plant in Japan due to a earthquake and tsunami. Has the Ring of Fire damage been fully assessed after the last experiments. If they rip a hole in the Van Allen belt what will happen? Nobody seriously knows, but it can’t be good for the environment. Maybe it will rock the Earth off its axis so it swings like a drunk person. Maybe space debris will come hurling down with meteorites of fire or ice. What will the next generation inherit if we remain complacent.
One thought on “Probing the Firmament”
Hi April, have you been watching The Planets on ABC 1 ? it’s a fantastic series 🙂