The cultural mandate is God's call for us in Genesis 1:28, to "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it." The early writers of the Bible never conceived that some time in the future human beings would have the capabilities to explore space in any way or form. In the same sense, the early writers did not even imagine the existence of living entities smaller than a speck of dust on the molecular level. Therefore, the study of God's creation is like looking through a scope. This scope can be a telescope or a microscope but either way, as humankind has developed so has technology and with it the capabilities to study creation on many vast new levels. A millennium ago people were not even aware of the existence of atoms or have the ability for space exploration. So, as our cultural development has expanded so has our cultural mandate along with it.
The first artificial satellite was called Sputnik 1 in 1957. The word artificial refers to man-made and not naturally occurring and satellite denounces that it has an elliptical orbit around a planetary body, in our case the earth. 1961 marked the year of the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union, put a different outlook on our cultural mandate and launched our culture into the space exploration realm. Since Sputnik in 1957, more than a thousand satellites have been sent up into space. These satellites are used for varying purposes including exploration and communications. Satellites are used for cell phones, laptops, radio, television, phone companies, and many more communication mediums. All of these things have its place in our world today because of Sputnik and the beginnings of space exploration.
Space exploration, although firstly achieved in 1957, has its principles traced as far back as the 11th and 17th centuries. The invention of the first rockets can be contributed to inventors in the 11th century and the Laws of Motion can be contributed to Sir Isaac Newton of the 17th century. Newton's third law of motion states that for every action there is an equal an opposite reaction. It is through these age old laws of motion that space travel is achieved. Satellites serve many purposes; most of these purposes have nothing to do with space exploration. Satellites are for the convenience of everyday people who use telephones or surf the internet. But these modern conveniences would not currently have their place in our society had it not been for the inventors and theorists who were following their cultural mandate. Space exploration has more tangible results such as social and economic impacts. The motivation for space exploration is much grander then simply making the "S" encyclopedia a little bit bigger. God created all of these things, everything from tangible people and space crafts to the invisible laws of motion, and all of them give him praise and glory, as well as pleasure.
Although the motivations of our secular societies for space exploration...