As both children and adults, we look through our telescopes on a clear night and find that sense of excitement and amazement within ourselves at that satellite full of craters staring back at us. So why don’t we go back to the moon? Well, actually, we do plan to go back there. For those that don’t know, NASA’s future space projects do involve going back to the moon. We are planning another moon mission project, which is actually designed to get us “geared up” for our mission to Mars, NASA reports. This first-hand human moon experience will function as a springboard to Mars (and hopefully beyond at some point). As a matter of fact, on Wednesday, June 3, NASA was trying out a “flying saucer” type of electronic device on Mars. “Living and working on the moon will provide opportunities for research and technology development that will prepare humans for further human exploration to Mars and beyond,” the linked NASA report highlights. Yes, we love that mysterious object called the moon, but other than our sheer fascination, what are the practical benefits of our nation’s space missions? Don’t worry – I’ve discovered the benefits for you.
Further Global Partnerships
Our bond with the international community is strengthened through our nation’s past and future space projects. It builds our foreign resources and creates a deeper bond with the space programs engineered by friendly foreign nations. According to a NASA report, “NASA has formed strong partnerships with international space agencies to facilitate advances in human space exploration.” We have a special relationship in particular with the European Space Agency (ESA). “NASA is turning to ESA to develop the service module for Orion, the agency’s first spacecraft designed to enable human spaceflight beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) since the Apollo Program,” another NASA report reveals. Due to the global mainstream use of space satellites, communication and cooperation with forgeign governments and their respective space programs is also important to national and international security reasons, as well as for governmental strategic planning projects. Partnering with the commercial space industry continues to be mutually beneficial.
Our nation’s future space projects also play an important role in the economic development of our country. As reported earlier, we have become mutually dependent on the use of satellites in so many different global economies. A NASA report on future moon space projects outlines this issue, “Space research results in applications that improve our daily lives. NASA has historically embraced close partnerships with commercial industry, and the future holds even more potential for commercial contributions to space exploration.” Telecommunication and satellite projects in outer space have produced approximately $20 billion in annual revenue, according to journalist Patrick Collins. Space programs and agencies also have a direct impact on future economic development in the area of technology research and development within the private commercial sector.
Increasing the Scientific Knowledge Base
One of the goals of NASA space research projects is to increase our knowledge of the science of space and how it can specifically improve our lives on earth. The International Space Station plays an important role in this area of future space projects and research. “The Space Station provides a unique environment for the research on human health and space operations necessary for future long-term human missions,” one NASA report reveals. “In addition, the Space Station has served as a tool for promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and inspiring the public.” We are continuously learning about the science of earth through current space projects. There is still much to be learned about our own life-filled planet. “Earth is a complex, dynamic system we do not yet fully understand. The Earth system, like the human body, comprises diverse components that interact in complex ways,” NASA reports. “We need to understand the Earth’s atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere as a single connected system. Our planet is changing on all spatial and temporal scales.” Obtaining some of this information has been done through the NASA organization’s Earth Science Program. “The purpose of NASA’s Earth science program is to develop a scientific understanding of Earth’s system and its response to natural or human-induced changes, and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards,” according to the NASA program’s reports.
Public Engagement and Community Development
If you have ever seen a space rocket before, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. When I was young, my parents took me to the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. I will always remember seeing the big rocket and space equipment. We all feel connected, energized and full of excitement when we feel like we are somehow a part of our nation’s space projects, particularly projects involving the moon. I remember seeing a moon rock inside of a glass case at the space center and thinking, what an amazing moment in my life! It’s also exciting for the generations to come. One NASA report on public engagement outlines that ” … exploration will inspire the next generation of explorers to learn real-life applications of science, technology, engineering and math.” NASA is currently celebrating 50 years of spacewalking.