Nasa And Space: The Final Frontier

898 words - 4 pages

Human fascination with the stars is as ancient as Babylonians and has been suggested to be older than Stonehenge. From “be fruitful and multiply” to “live long and prosper,” the instinct to protect and propagate the species has manifested in religion, art, and the imaginations of countless individuals. As human understanding of space treks out of the fantastical and into the scientific, the realities of traveling through and living in space are becoming clearer. Exploring, investigating, and living in space pose an expansive series of problems. However, the solutions to the problems faced by mankind's desire to reach beyond the horizon, through the night sky, and into the stars are solutions that will help in all areas of life on Earth.
Detractors of public sector space agencies like NASA frequently argue that expending money and resources on sending humans into space is wasteful and irresponsible during shaky economic times. After all, in 2010 the U.S. Census Bureau in recorded 46.2 million people in poverty, the largest number in the 52 years the figure has been published. Putting tax dollars into a shuttle and sending it on an extraplanetary voyage is uneconomical in the eyes of many. However, beneficial developments of the space program can be found in airports, hospitals, laboratories, and homes around the world. Foam created for protecting the outside of a shuttle passing through the harsh atmosphere has found use as a durable, light-weight molding material for artificial limbs. Research and development for NASA'S programs has parented a network of hundreds of communication satellites used around the world on a daily basis and monitored by NASA. Robotic arms used for repairs, maintenance, and hazardous labor in space have evolved into sophisticated tools equally capable of handling nuclear fuel and performing surgeries that require automated precision. The combination of powerful telecommunications and advanced robotics has even enabled remote surgery—a technique that allows specialists to care for patients who would otherwise be separated by distance and expense. Working outside the safety and relative ease of Earth's protective atmosphere inspires the invention of products that make daily life as efficient and untrammeled as possible.
The largest hurdles of space colonization and extrasolar exploration still loom on the horizon. Space is a treacherous place, whether due to threats posed by radiation, natural and artificial space debris, or the precariousness of resource management. Energy conservation is paramount—a truth that is mirrored back home on Earth. Equally important is a scientific understanding of the planet's biosphere—the interworking set of systems that make life on Earth possible. Understanding the biosphere will enable scientists to develop measures that...

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