Photo credits: Evan Brooks
The last time the United States sent people to the moon was aboard Apollo 17 and took place in December of 1972, according to Royal Museums Greenwich. The last manned mission to the moon was 12 days long and included the longest lunar landing, a spacewalk and the largest number of lunar samples obtained. With a renewed interest in space, we look back to the moon, hoping to perform manned missions there by 2024. We also look beyond, to Mars, hoping to send the first manned mission there by 2033.
A new decade of revolution around space has commenced, and it is up to the innovative minds of the past, present and future to make that revolution an impactful success. The concepts and discussions around space are important. Those discussions serve as a basis for intellectual stimulation, and bring rise to a whole host of new ideas and innovations. If it was not for our pursuit into space, we would not have many important and useful inventions that we do. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, has brought about a great deal of new innovations for the world to enjoy.
According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, there is a long list of inventions made possible through our pursuit of space travel. One such invention was “wireless headsets,” where “NASA, being one of the forerunners for advancing communication technology, developed [those] headsets to allow astronauts to be hands-free without wires.” This was a fix that was necessary to prevent complications in space, and improved and made the lives of everyday individuals on Earth less complicated.
Another invention from NASA is land mine removal, where, “Thiokol Propulsion uses NASA’s surplus rocket fuel to produce a flare that can safely destroy landmines. It works by burning a hole through the mine without detonation.” We find new uses for things all the time, and NASA is no exception when it comes to using extra rocket fuel to potentially save lives.
If it was not for our exploration and curiosity about the universe we reside in, we would not have created agencies to discover other planets, or our moon. We also would not have gained the knowledge and the technology that we have today, or at least not as fast as we obtained it. This idea is exciting, because who knows what new technologies will emerge from our newfound excitement about space.
According to an article released by NASA, they are “getting ready to send astronauts to explore more of the Moon as part of the Artemis program, and the agency has selected SpaceX.” Private companies are working in tandem with the government “to continue development of the first commercial human lander that will safely carry the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface.” As we look towards space, while it may not seem like it, we are uniting around a shared goal and purpose.
With the goal and purpose of creating a shared history for the human race in space, one of the many women in the Artemis program will make history of their own as the first woman on the moon. The program itself brings about a new chapter into our nation’s history, as well as the world’s, as “another goal of the Artemis program includes landing the first person of color on the lunar surface.” Overall, four astronauts will have a “multi-day journey to lunar orbit,” with “the firm-fixed price, milestone-based contract total award value” of $2.89 billion, paid to SpaceX.
Space is not cheap, and neither is human progress. As we dare to make sacrifices to answer the questions we have about our universe, we strive to do so together.
Evan Brooks is a fourth-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civic & Professional Leadership. EB916132@wcupa.edu