NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is the U.S. government sector which is responsible for leading the nation’s explorations of space. It commences during the Cold War, the era that was driven by ‘Space Race’ between the Soviet Union and the United States.
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Yuri Gagarin (Vostok 1), the first man to travel outer space and Neil Armstrong (Apollo 11) as the first person to step foot on the moon. These intense competitions between these countries’ later impacts all over the world and encourage other countries to emerge and step in for discoveries. It displays the significance of the history of the space exploration. However, the question is ‘Is it worth spending money on space exploration’? The budget for NASA and other space programs does cost billions and it constitutes about 35 percent of the overall national expenditure. Therefore, it erupts disagreements in public opinion and results as a past and an ongoing controversial issue. From my perspective, it definitely does worth funding money for space exploration because for advancing scientific research and technology for the future; act as a defense mechanism for countries, in other words, for National defense and for playing the role in unity and cooperation between nations around the world and the economy.
Most of the present technologies exist and advance due to this one reason ‘Space Exploration’. Scientists are able to conduct sophisticated research’s and produce subsequent results because of the theories and applications they decipher from past space explorations and it will also be invariable in the case of future missions. The contemporary space exploration tries to reach places that human species once fantasized about, for instance, one of the upcoming space explorations takes place in 2020, where the MARS 2020 Rover collects the data regarding the oxygen content in the red planet so it could help the astronauts when the time comes for them to be sent to Mars in 2030-one of the long-term goals of NASA. The benefit that us earthlings will hope to gain from this is the Martian resources. There are many inventions that were initially dedicated to space applications but in time proved to have huge market potential in everyday life and common industryLight-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and memory foam, to mention just the two(Wachowicz, Marta and Bury 14). The memory foam mentioned in the above quote is actually used in spacecraft seats to reduce the impact while landing, which later become a material for mattresses.
Smoke detectors, another one of the cutting-edge inventions that gain popularity in the 1970’s and comes to reality on account of the Apollo 11 mission. Thanks to NASA, measuring temperature on babies become more facile, the Ear Thermometer, they developed a fast and accurate thermometer that, when its disposable probe cover (to prevent cross-infection) is inserted into the ear canal, detects infrared radiation from the eardrum and gives a digital readout in less than two seconds(Smith 14). For this specimen (ear thermometer), the engineers of NASA use the application of Infrared sensors, which is to measure the temperature of celestial objects. The space industries and exploration contribute a bulk of medicinal, household and other devices so that we human beings can survive and meet our daily demands, additionally, it gives our children to know more about the world they are living in and gives forth an aspiration.
National defense, another essential aspect of Space exploration, where it protects nations from the threats of terrorism and plays a major function in military. Also, it strengthens security, stability, and well-being of its citizen and also keeps a concord in space, for the United States, maintaining a leadership role in space is an essential component of national security, providing the US and our allies unprecedented advantages in national decision-making, military operations, and homeland security (qtd. in Oleson, Skelly and Silsby 1). As it is stated by the National Security Space Strategy, which includes the matter of United States’ foreign relations and its broad public interest nationwide. NASA and its journey to space is indeed a key player in terms of national security, and it’s not just because the fact that it develops innovative technology and its capabilities, however, it is explicitly excluded from military activity by the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958(1). It means that it participates internationally on peaceful utility of space in ways military cannot. This so-called sense of security is not just in earth, but also in space, since, a lot of other countries have their own space industries and its own accomplishments. If a nation or a terrorist organization within that particular nation takes control of space, it means taking control of the planet and get hands on advanced weapons or technologies, moreover, the chances are high that they could misuse this power in order to meet their gains. The U.S has remained the dominant in the space from past to present, nevertheless, it begins to fluctuate due to inadequate funds, “”Civil space is focused on science and exploration.
It is something we do in partnership with other nations, friends and foes alike, for the benefit of all. National security space is focused on protecting our security interests and those of our allies and partners””(qtd. in Erwin 14). Simply, it conveys the importance of NASA and space exploration in regards of national security and suggests that if the control falls towards the wrong hands, it’s worse than we envision. Thus, it is important for the nation to explore and comprehend space, so it can provide security and safety for its citizens. After years of exploration, it emerges with another quality attributes, where all nations cooperate with each other (a sense of unity) in furthering the knowledge and economy. It shifts the focus from being the first of everything to renewable energy hardware, the space shuttle program: International Space Station (ISS), where several nations collaborate to build, research and use the space station, it plays a prime role in uniting the nation and provides results for various issues faced by different regions of the world, joint international projects and data sharing in areas such as Earth observations, including weather, climate change, land use, and other environmental phenomena, benefit all participants(Oleson, Skelly and Silsby 10), it studies how to overcome these problems and do this by solving it together. They can enhance many activities in both developed and developing nations, from education to economic planning to emergency response(10).
Space exploration does also have an immense impact on the economic sectors of the country. One of the hot topics is that benefitting the mining industry, it is possible by Resource extraction from Asteroids( Wachowicz, Marta and Bury 20). Near-earth asteroids are a type of asteroids which are situated closely to earth than the moon which makes it easily accessible, this idea of extraction can contribute to multiple benefits to humanity and grow to be valued at tens of billions of dollars annually(20). This proclamation is from the European Space Agency (ESA) and their goal for financial enterprise advantage, so that later it could interface these minerals and create precious stones and rare metals that doesn’t exists in earth, which could result in an economic boom and make that nation or a region prosperous. Hence, the significance of funding federal budget for Space Exploration and its industries does worth time due to results it provides such as innovation and scientific research; for national security and unity between and among nations. It is important to know the advantage of having a space industry in a nation, it means future of that particular country, i.e. there will be an escalation in utility of technology as each year goes by and it provides proof through valid research’s and conducted studies. Every individual should contemplate that all these major technologies that we utilize in our day-to-day routine makes our day less complicated and straightforward. Imagine a world without internet, cell phones, social networking such as Facebook, Instagram etc. All of these are made possible by Space industries and their mission to space. Without them there wouldn’t be any artificial satellites; cells phones, internet cables, televisions and other forms of entertainments and most importantly medical devices and machines in hospitals. Furthermore, if an individual is against the idea of funding for space exploration it means that his/her country and its citizens become more vulnerable to external threats due to the deficient technology and weapons , and the chances of erupting a large-scale war is higher-could be caused because of inadequate resources or scarcity. Although the travel to space is expensive, it is vital to have and encourage space industries and space exploration respectively. It definitely benefits and give hope for humanity.
Oleson, G., Skelly, D. and Silsby, B. (2018). The Space Review: NASA is essential for national security. [online] Thespacereview.com. Available at: https://www.thespacereview.com/article/2210/1 [Accessed 18 Nov. 2018].
Wachowicz, Marta E., and Marek Bury. Space Technology Transfer Problems in the -Context of Protecting the Space Heritage. Space Policy, vol. 42, Nov. 2017, pp. 66“69. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.spacepol.2017.08.001.
Smith, J. (2018). Space Age inventions you probably use – CNN.com. [online] Cnn.com. Available: https://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/worklife/10/04/nasa.everyday/index.html [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018].
Erwin, S. (2018). Space Force Discussions Increasingly Blur the Line Between Military and Civilian Space. [online] Space.com. Available at: https://www.space.com/42328-space-force-blurs-military-civilian-space.html [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018].
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