In IB TOK, how do we know what is the ultimate human achievement?

How might we decide what qualifies as “the ultimate human achievement” in different areas of knowledge? How might we go about deciding? Would expert opinion necessarily influence what we think? How important is the potential usefulness and applications of knowledge? In what ways might our cultural paradigms shape our response?

According to Professor Brian Cox, presenter of the BBC’s excellent 3-part series Stargazing: LIVE the International Space Station is the ‘ultimate human achievement’.

Prof Brian Cox speaks to the astronauts on board.

He outlines how:

  • It is the largest artificial satellite that has ever orbited our planet.
  • It travels around the earth at 28,000km per hour and 400km above the earth.
  • There are 6 astronauts currently living on the spaceship; they are the only people currently in space.
  • Astronauts from around the world have been living in zero gravity for the last 10 years and some stay for more than 6 months.
  • It functions as an observatory, laboratory and workshop.

They orbit the earth every 90 minutes and so they see a sunrise or a sunset every 45 minutes. When they are in direct sunlight the temperature can go as high as 3000 degrees F and when they are in eclipse the temperature plummets to minus 3000 degrees F.

Is there anything (technological or otherwise) in any other areas of knowledge that can claim to be as significant an achievement?

The following film explains how and when you can view the ISS for yourself.

If you want to look up when you can next see the ISS go to:

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