by February 6, 2003 0 comments

Space exploration has its origin in astronomy, which in turn has its roots in mathematics. Both astronomy and mathematics have their roots in antiquity and all ancient civilizations have been fairly advanced in both these sciences. So, a study of the ancient texts, particularly in astronomy from different civilizations, may be worth the while for any one with more than a passing fancy in the space sciences.

The Aryabhatiyam, written around 499 AD, is perhaps the oldest of these. This mathematical-astronomical treatise of 121 slokas (stanzas) is supposed to be surprisingly accurate in its calculations when compared to measurements made possible by modern instruments.

If ancient languages are not your staple, many of them are available in translations. And then there are many derived works and even the modern ones. Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods is, of course, the classic here. The Spaceships of the Prophet Ezekiel by Josef F Blumrich is another one worth mentioning. Blumrich was with NASA and was involved in the design of the Saturn V rocket and Skylab. His book investigates the similarities in the biblical chariots seen by the Prophet and modern-day space ships, and whether Ezekiel did indeed see alien spacecraft.

Krishna Kumar

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