I feel that in some sense we have lost our way as explorers. If it wasn’t for Christopher Columbus venturing into the completely unknown America as we know it would most likely cease to exist as it does now. It is human nature to explore the unknown and to learn and adapt from what we know. The space race age was a huge step for mankind in learning what was truly possible and what man was capable of completing and places we could go. Space as we know it is the final frontier of exploration and it scares me that we are not putting any where near as much time and resources into the space program as we were once before. Technology has drastically changed since we went to the moon, what we hold in our pockets is said to have more technology than the apollo spacecraft.
As a child, dreaming about the future was the most fascinating thing, thinking about where we would be within 20 years and beyond. In the movie 2001 a Space Odyssey we thought by that time we would be traveling throughout space similar to as we do now on airliners, exploring our solar system for life. The technology is definitely there, with the exception of HAL, but we have ceased to capitalize on it. As a child I always dreamt of traveling through space and seeing the amazing works of art it has to offer but I fear now that those childhood dreams will only remain as such, the dream of a young kid.
While the issues our society are currently facing are important in creating a better and more peaceful world it seems that we have lost all interest in learning about what’s bigger than us and instead of looking up to the sky we will continue looking down at where we are. If we were to ever expand our space exploration program, I feel in order for us to put full effort into it not only a nation but as multiple working together, it would require a near utopian society which I see never happening, in the near future at least. it would be truly amazing to see a true effort go into it while I am young let alone alive but that may be stretching my christmas list a little too far. Space is truly fascinating and I do believe it is where our future needs to go if we ever hope to further evolve and expand because Earth will not be here forever. If it doesn’t happen in my lifetime I atleast hope it happens a little further up the road.
Humans have incredible imaginations with no limitations on what is possible and being able to reach out to those and teach others about what is truly possible is the best way of getting our nation interested in the exploration of space. Many are occupied with other situations and never give the distant future even a thought anymore. The majority of the general public often see movies at least once a month. In movies anything is possible and they can really get one’s imagination spinning about what is actually possible and what is just pure fiction. Almost immediately people are left completely influenced by the film they just watched in the theatre. 2001 Odyssey left so many inspired and excited for the future when space was still a new frontier now deemed possible for us to explore within reason. Many other films have been made since then with the recent inclusion of Interstellar. This film was about the pure exploration of space and finding new worlds, completely scientifically correct with a few small exceptions it was an accurate vision of what is now possible for us to do.
While the movie did inspire many briefly about starting up space exploration the fad soon faded away just as quickly as it arrived. More recent events of NASA’s spacecraft flying by pluto and receiving the most accurate pictures of the dwarf planet ever taken also led to a brief fascination in space sparking more interest in the now small government space program. Since NASA’s demise in the shuttle program many other privately owned companies have taken the task of space exploration into their own hands.
This is a huge leap due to the unlimited boundaries private companies face as well as the added value of competition, a huge factor which leads to the quicker and more efficient evolution of products. These companies are often contracted by other companies to launch satellites into space as well as deliver goods to the I.S.S. More recently however the task of launching humans into space has been growing with SpaceX leading the way.
SpaceX was founded in 2002 with the intent on revolutionizing space technology and eventually enabling humans to live on other planets. Since it has been created SpaceX has launched and tested countless rockets into space all with the plan to create an efficient form of space travel. It remains as the only private company to successfully return a spacecraft from low Earth orbit back to the ground safely in December of 2010. Again in 2012 the company made history by attaching one of its rockets to the International Space Station, exchanging cargo payloads and then returning back to Earth. Since then the “dragon”, the name of the spacecraft, has done this multiple times a task only previously accomplished by governments.
The future of companies like Spacex are starting to look brighter with a new contract signed between NASA and SpaceX worth 1.6 billion letting the company continue its missions to the I.S.S and eventually carry personnel as well, a massive leap for the company and helping to ensure its future to continue development.
If it weren’t for companies such as this, we may have completely given up on traveling into the unknown in America, leaving it to others such as China with a now flourishing space program. China has recently seen the massive growth of investors in their space programs and it is said to soon challenge the U.S.’s dominance which has been held for years. The competition is a welcomed challenge in the development of unmanned ships but unfortunately China is focusing more on dominance over exploration with the U.S. Officials have proclaimed that the main causes for the flourishing programs are so that in the event of conflict China can have a dominant program over the U.S in space which serves as a huge tactical advantage for ICBM’s and other forms of military dominance.
It is unfortunate that these are the circumstances leading to the evolution of space travel but if it is was will get us on the move to advance in these fields it is far better than nothing at all. perhaps the childhood dream of traveling in outer space is not comleytely dead yet. The future does not look as dim as it once was and I just may live to see the next big step towards traveling further than ever before and opening new horizons to be explored that were thought not possible.