This is the Finnish winner of ESA's XMM Essay Competition "What's new Mr. Galileo?":

Space and How it Can Benefit Humanity

The dream of being able to study space and its mysteries has intrigued us humans since the beginning of time. The possibilities of that dream becoming true are just beginning to be apparent. Great ingenuity and expenditure of time, talent and money are required to make it all become real. All of it is spent for a good reason and benefits none other than humanity. There are drawbacks of course, but isn?t that true of everything? Weather forecasting, telecommunications and future discoveries has and will bring us hope of improving the world we live in, affecting our lives in a positive way.

Meteorological satellites aid us in weather forecasting saving millions of lives. The knowledge of what is to come allows us to prepare for the unpredictable blows Mother Nature throws our way. The information forecasting brings prevents all kinds of disasters and if that knowledge were to disappear, we would surely live in constant fear of what may or may not happen. We often take this information for granted, because we don?t realise the huge benefit we gain.

Telecommunications play an important role in our lives. Phoning friends and relatives would be impossible if it weren?t for the communication satellites out in space. We all use the phone, not realising that without space study it would not be possible. The television and the Internet are widely appreciated and used form of communication, education and entertainment. They also provide work for millions of people, therefore reducing the unfortunate problem of unemployment. Through telecommunications important happenings and decisions become known internationally, transmitting information to millions of homes.

Based on all that we have gained from space study, we are almost sure that its benefits don?t end here. We will most certainly find new and wonderful things that will save the planet we are destroying. With every million lives space study has already saved there are most probably another million to be rescued with forthcoming information. The human society is firmly depending on the new discoveries space study will surely provide. We should do everything we can to encourage further developments.

Man?s reach into space is one of the most fascinating ventures of all time. The remoteness that has been unknown and not understood until recent years is just beginning to fully spread its wings and show us its possibilities. Although many of its mysteries have been solved, space still holds discoveries and, undoubtedly, numerous suprises, which are about to change the world forevermore.

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