A Reflection on Space Exploration

Corie Strugach-Turner, Reporter

  Space exploration has provided benefits for the future of humanity and has affected how earth’s society thrives and searches for its purpose in the universe.

To answer questions concerning the benefits of space exploration, the essay “Benefits Stemming From Space Exploration,” sums the answer into three parts: innovations, how it addresses global issues, and culture and inspiration. This essay was published by the ISECG (International Space Exploration Coordination Group) in 2013. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) uses this essay for its analysis and pieces of evidence to support their response to the question, “Why is space exploration so important, and why should anyone care?”

Senior Dawn Wang believes space exploration is necessary, stating, “I think we need it, because there is stuff out there and if anything were to come towards earth, then we should know about it.” One of her main concerns lies with humanity being prepared to face external threats.

Junior Kandy Boakye said, “I think space exploration is necessary; it’s nice to know what happens in the big nothingness, and it’s nice to be educated.”

One of the assets described in “Benefits Stemming From Space Exploration,” is innovation. The article looks at inventions, medicines, and technological advancements that are results of space exploration.

          According to Laura Santhanam from PBS.org, implantable heart monitors, electric shock devices that prevent brain damage and death by regulating blood flow, were made with NASA research from their space circuitry system.

        Santhanam also found that NASA contributed to cancer research and treatment with their studies on microgravity and how it affects the human bodie’s immune system. They helped make a flow cytometer which tracks and evaluates cells. This has contributed to cancer research with its ability to track growth and spread of cancerous cells and how they react to chemotherapy. Space exploration has contributed to many other aspects of daily life like in the development of solar panels, light-weight materials, and water-purification systems.

The next benefit described in the essay is comradery among rival countries. It explains how nations come together when there’s a common thing to explore. Outer space appeals to humanity as one and because of that, it gives nations a reason to disregard their arguments.

Senior Ian Anderson wants to study aerospace after graduating this year. Giving his own insight on how space exploration affects global challenges, he stated, “The budget that we have for space is tiny compared to what we have for the military. If we just converted all of our military budget and other things that don’t matter as much to space exploration, then I’m sure we could really be out there in months. Also, it (space exploration) could bring us together because it’s a common goal.”

          Although space exploration provides many benefits for humanity, students want earth explored before focus is shifted too much on space exploration. Senior Molly Gulley said, “Space exploration is cool but I think we need to explore the earth first.” Anderson agrees, stating, “I do think that going further out into space isn’t super efficient because we need to focus on sustaining life on earth first.”

The last benefit, according to the essay, is culture and inspiration. The essay reveals the more deeply-rooted reasons for why humans would want to explore the universe; containing the philosophical questions that people can never seem to find the answers to, so they look to the stars for answers. The nature of space exploration urges some people to crave knowledge and yearn for an answer to the questions they may not be able to find the answers to on earth.

       These three items take time and one thing organizations like NASA work towards is the future and how their time is invested right now with youth education. John Glenn, a deceased NASA astronaut who was the first American to enter earth’s orbit in 1962, stated, “The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel.”