Why Space Exploration Matters?

The pinnacle point of space exploration was the so-called space race from (1955-1972), between the United States and the Soviet Union. The U.S and the U.S.S.R were in competition to determine who will be the first man to land on the moon. The race required an immensely high budget for NASA, which created fast improvement for space technology.

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In 1960, NASA scientist developed a thin plastic-coated metallic reflecting agent. Making it a metallized polyethylene terephthalate (MPET), usually gold or silver in color that reflects 90% of radiation heat. Known as the Emergency Blanket, when it was in use it reflects about 80% of the user’s body heat back to them, At the time, Thermo-Lite was being used as bed sheets in hospital settings as passive hypothermia prevention for pre-and post-operational patients, for staff in scrubs who work in chilled environments, and as surgical drapes, often including a cut-out access area, giving surgeons access to specific areas of the body while covering the rest.

The sheets were softer and quieter than most reflective insulating materials, as they did not have the crinkle and rustle of metallized plastics (2006 Pg.57) . Not only was it used for astronauts to help them bear the cold temperature going into deep space, but also was included into emergency kits and post-marathon runners to avoid a large fluctuation in body temperature. Another valuable innovation from space is Nitinol, Nitinol is a titanium nickel wire that reveals super-elasticity. It was developed to enable satellites to open after being folded into a rocket. Today we use it to help orthodontist appoint patients with braces. Once out of shape, it springs back to its original form. If the Nitinol bent too far to no return, heat can be applied to return to its elastic properties. Heat engines have been built with the use of nitinol wire to produce mechanical energy from hot and cold sources.

Eye glass frames also include this material because of the super-elasticity elements. In recent years Nitinol has been used in heart valves, cell-phone technology as a retraceable antenna or a microphone boom, Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are special materials that offer the promise of higher torque to weight outputs, require a lower total part count, and involve less maintenance as compared to conventional hydraulic actuators needed for flight and motor control. This is achieved through the shape memory effect. When a SMA is heated or cooled it undergoes a reversible phase change and the original shape, even against an opposing load, is recovered. This gives these materials the necessary attributes to be a viable replacement material for a variety of aerospace-based actuator designs .When we stop exploration we end the advancement of our own species, to cure anything and making our lives easier would be no more.

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