When Americans first entered the space race, it was with an eye on the enemy Soviet Russia. Space exploration quickly captured the imagination of American children. As we wait for NASA to move into its next phase, Americans should recognize that there are many good reasons to embrace a renewed emphasis on space exploration.
When the first wave of space exploration started, scientists could only dream of the heat-resistant and cold-resistant materials we have today. Many elements were yet to be discovered. Solar power, wind power and other energy sources were unknown or in their infancy. Computers occupied entire rooms. Scientific advances from the NASA space program provided the keys to our modern world. Exploring the universe now offers a new push toward intense scientific effort that may yield life-saving results on earth. Just think of how much a student can discover using a modern microscope such as those found at http://www.microscope.com/compound-microscopes/schools-students. Now imagine how much more scientists can discover working together toward universe exploration.
International leaders have called for a space shield against an incoming asteroid that might devastate a region and create international environmental damage. Every minute that is spent on universe exploration is another minute invested in meteor protection. Just think how much we can see thanks to telescopes the world over. These telescopes weren’t developed simply to watch for meteors that might impact earth, but scientists have discovered that gathering information out in space may protect us at home.
Satellites are providing invaluable information about climate change on our continent. Scientists are studying climates on other planets to look for clues about our own future. This is vital research that may someday save the planet.
The world’s population is threatening to overload our natural resources, particularly the supply of fresh water. Exploring the universe may lead to new sources of resources. It may even lead to human development on the moon, Mars or a faraway planet yet to be discovered.
Perhaps universe exploration can inspire the current generation of children and youth to study science with renewed excitement and vigor. After all, the race for the moon inspired children of the 1950s and 1960s, paving the way for this generation of children to enjoy everything from hand-held computers to to remarkable microscopes.