Written by Cecilia Ymaz, Sophomore at Chula Vista High School
“Why are we spending billions of dollars on space exploration when we could use the money for the major issues we currently experience on our home planet, such as world poverty, world hunger, and climate change?” “Why are we exploring space when we haven’t even explored every nook and cranny of Earth?” “What is the purpose of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on spaceflight when there have already been several disastrous spaceflight mission failures?” It’s possible that you have stopped to consider these questions and think that space exploration is useless. But, it is likely that you believe that exploring outside of our planet shows true value in benefitting the world and our quality of life. So, what exactly makes space exploration so significant?
Knowledge is an indispensable tool that gives us the opportunity to create better solutions to our obstacles. There are several remarkable inventions as a result of space exploration. For example, CAT scans and MRI scans are a product of NASA’s digital signal technology. This medical advancement helps individuals receive the proper care they need because illnesses can be diagnosed and treated more effectively. NASA has also contributed to the creation of prosthetics, heart and insulin pumps, surgical robots, and substantially more. Furthermore, there are currently 31 operational satellites in the GPS constellation that help us in our everyday lives and expand what we know about Earth. Not only is it highly depended on for day-to-day navigation, but without GPS technology, we would lose the opportunity to research natural disasters and how to better research meteorology. Additionally, satellites support scientists in monitoring the signs of climate change and pollution in the environment, helping us take action that is more effective. Therefore, space technology pays off in the sense that it is applied to the improvement of life on Earth.
On top of that, innovation is stimulating the economy as astronautical research continues to pave the way for the development of increasingly efficient space technology. Advances in space exploration have led to an expanding space sector, rapidly increasing the number of jobs available in the space industry. This has caused major growth in national economies, promoting breakthroughs in vital research that can make an impact on the current issues we face on Earth. As more opportunities and revenues are generated by space projects, this has resulted in higher-quality education for future generations to take advantage of. Now, more than ever, students are becoming increasingly interested in science and technology. STEM education is pushing the boundaries of innovation and encourages the quest to explore outer space. This only continues the cycle of how space exploration continues to spark breakthroughs that come down to Earth. Space exploration is an investment in abiding prosperity on Earth.
Can the expenditures of billions of dollars on the space industry be justifiable when there is human suffering on Earth? Well, science is the basis for action, and the future is in the stars. So, before you ask, “Why should we care about outer space?”, first consider how one small step for man was a giant leap for mankind.