According to the oxford dictionary “outer space” Is defined as the physical universe beyond the earth’s atmosphere. To some it might seem illogical to study it. If it’s beyond our world’s atmosphere, then why are we so keen on finding out more about it? Why do we keep spending money and valuable time and effort on sending people, machines, and even animals to explore it? Well, the answer to that is very simple. We need to explore space in order to put ourselves into perspective and branch out.
To make it easier to understand, think of space as the sea, and think of people like Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin, and Sally Ride as explorers like Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama. In their era Europe didn’t know America even existed or if there was an alternate route to the continent, but they set out to explore the sea and its contents anyway. And here we are almost half a century later, and America is one of the strongest most populated countries in the world. None of this would have been possible without exploration.
To understand why space exploration is important, we must first understand the basic concept of it. “Space exploration is the investigation, by means of crewed and uncrewed spacecrafts, of the reaches of the universe beyond Earth’s atmosphere and the use of the information so gained to increase knowledge of the cosmos and benefit humanity. “Benefit humanity how?” you might ask. Well, one of the goals of space exploration is to eliminate the over population of earth, by finding new habitable planets that are able to support human life. As of October 2017, earth’s population reached 7.6 billion people, which is arguably beyond the carrying capacity of earth. The plan is to achieve space colonization in order to find a place for the ever-growing population of this earth, or we might end up destroying animal habitats and replacing them with skyscrapers to support the population.
Another way space exploration helps humanity is by finding alternatives to natural resources found on earth. Due to the overpopulation, we are quickly burning through earth’s natural resources, and in order to help ourselves and the future population we mustn’t only consume less, but we should find more. As the resource supplies of the Earth continue to dwindle, the only place we can find fresh supplies of both energy and raw materials is out in space. This could involve the mining of the asteroids and the Moon, and harvesting solar energy from space using solar power satellites, which can only be made possible by space exploration and intensive research.
Over the decades we have learned, through space exploration, about the contents and characteristics of outer space. Using the knowledge we gained, we started to develop ways and technology that will enable us to use material and structures found in space to our advantage by helping us solve problems such as overpopulation and the exhaustion or resources. You now know the importance of space exploration, so next time someone complains about how it’s a waste of money and effort you can tell them otherwise. Who knows, you might end up choosing to go into this field and learn even more about the wonders of space exploration.
By: Haya Al Tuwaijry