Renaissance vs. Modern Times

Many people believe that the Renaissance and Contemporary times are related. However, the Renaissance Era was vastly different in comparison to modern times. In review of the early European Voyages of Exploration and the modern day explorations, there were major differences in the missions, motives, and the pursuit of answers to questions of those eras. The objective of my report is to discuss the differences in exploration and astronomy in the Renaissance period in comparison to modern times.
During the Renaissance Era, in early fifteenth century, the sea-faring countries of Europe were poised to expand their influence in the rest of the world through a program of sustained and systematic exploration. In some cases, the motive for exploration was profit, in others, exploration was driven by the quest for knowledge about the world in which Europeans lived. Still others justified their actions as the logical extension of the Crusades of Christianity against Islam.
Initially, exploration took the form of small-scale ventures that were financed by independent businessmen. These early ventures took the form of raid and trade excursions. Ships were sent along the coast of Africa to find inhabited areas where Europeans could trade or raid goods and slaves. These early independent excursions by merchants and adventurers proved that exploration was profitable and eventually European monarchs began to take a greater interest. Thus, exploration evolved from cautious, small-scale operations to a systematic approach that incorporated royal patronage, substantial capital and long range planning. The Iberian Kingdoms of Portugal and Spain were early pioneers sponsoring numerous voyages of exploration. The Portuguese focused primarily on a trading empire while the Spanish sought a territorial empire they could colonize.
Europeans had acquired a taste of luxury items that had long been traded from the east (Persia, India, and China) and whose demand far exceeded the supply since the year of 1250. The lure of profit from cotton, silk, precious stones, exotic spices, and slaves that were traded prompted Europeans to find a better way to access directly. European and Eastern traders had established overland routes through central Asia that served as direct links for these exotic items.
Today through human exploration of space, explorers seek to bring the frontier of space fully within the sphere of human activity to build a better future of all humankind. From the aftermath of World War II, there emerged two new technologies, the solid fuel rocket and the digital computer. Originally developed as weapons of war, these tools were refocused by a human spirit that saw a better role for man in the universe. The rocket provided the muscle, the computer the precise control, and humans the wisdom and curiosity to seek their destiny among the stars. In exploring space, people and machines are brought together to overcome challenges of distance, time, and the environment.
The Space Exploration began in the period between 1950 - 1959, riding the wave of confidence created by a booming post war economy. Americans were shaken by a dominating Soviet presence in outer space. The cold war and the arms race were extended beyond the atmosphere. From 1960 - 1969 the decade known as the "Golden Age of Space Exploration", represents a period of incredible achievement as the United States and the Soviet Union race for the moon in their struggle for world dominance. Today attention is refocused on earth orbit missions with the U.S. Space Shuttle and Soviet space stations. Nations of the world finally begin to consider making better use of their space dollars as they look toward an international space station and joint exploration of the planets. The mission is to open the space frontier by exploring using and enabling the development of space and to expand the human experience into the far reaches of space.
Astronomers observe locations and motions of heavenly bodies. They also seek answers to such questions as " What are stars made of?" and "How do they create their light?" for this reason most astronomers are also astrophysicists that is, they a study the physical and chemical processes that occur in the universe. The first breakthrough in the renaissance period came in 1543 with the publication of Concerning the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres by the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. The ideas that Copernicus presented