There is no question that space travel is necessary

Kerui Yang, head editor-in--chief

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy propelled the U.S. forward in developing a Space Program to match the United States’ rival, the Soviet Union. Eight years later, motivated by the president’s words, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on the Moon. We must not lose this type of enthusiasm and ambition as we look to exploring space, especially if we want to increase the quality of life and resolve climate issues. 

The technological progress that has accompanied space exploration has been critical in bettering the lives of millions, if not billions. Imagine suffering from a stroke and the doctor needs to use a Computer Tomography (CAT) scan to take a closer look at your brain. According to the California Institute of Technology, the necessary technology for the CAT scanner was actually developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for their space programs. Or, perhaps, imagine slipping on a pair of athletic shoes for a run. The shock absorbers on the bottom of athletic shoes that protect your feet during workouts, according to culture based newsite Thrillest, were engineered after NASA realized that the rubber molding techniques to make astronauts’ helmets could be applied differently. 

iPhone cameras, memory foam, baby formula, water purification systems, home insulators, the list goes on and on: each owes its creation to space exploration. If we look to continue improving lives around the world through technological advancements, we must not stop our space exploration journey. 

Some people might view space exploration as a cop out to addressing the current climate crisis that we are facing on Earth, but this is simply untrue. Rather than creating nonchalance in the face of mass extinction and climate change, space travel actually teaches us the value of Earth. 

According to Foreign Policy, a photo of the Earth rising on the Moon in 1968 set conservationists into motion, and the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. In 1987, NASA’s satellite data discovered the growing hole in the ozone layer above the South Pole. This discovery then pushed forward a series of environmental plans worldwide that stopped the usage of chlorofluorocarbons, the chemical that was eating away the ozone layer. Since then, the size of the ozone hole has been decreasing. We could not have increased environmental awareness nor mitigated an environmentally disastrous incident without space travel. 

Humans also have other reasons to protect the Earth humans develop space travel. If major natural disasters due to climate change destroy too much of Earth’s resources or mass biodiversity loss were to occur, then humans will have no possibility of continuing space exploration efforts. If we cannot resolve current environmental problems, then colonization attempts on another moon or planet will fail — we will not be able to prevent the same climate change and biodiversity destruction from occurring again. Thus, by supporting space exploration, we are also simultaneously encouraging people to resolve environmental problems we see today. 

Furthermore, the monetary cost of space exploration should be another bonus factor. The current budget for NASA sits at around $21 billion, or 0.4% of the 2020 fiscal year’s federal budget. Yet, according to The Balance, a website dedicated to finance information, every dollar spent on NASA contributes to around 10 extra dollars to the economy. This phenomena is due to how NASA’s activities stimulate growth in other industries as they utilize “the business model of relying on capabilities and expertise across the country,” according to NASA, from universities to private manufacturers. Therefore, NASA is also an effective way to utilize national funding for a greater cause. 

Of course, private companies should also have the freedom to develop space exploration technologies. Elon Musk’s SpaceX program has become quite famous due to its goal of colonizing Mars within the near future. Major private space companies are now the main suppliers of satellites to the International Space Station, according to, a space information focused website. Through the private sphere, individuals are incentivized to develop technologies that will be beneficial to both space exploration and, as seen before, regular human life. There is no reason why private funding should become an issue as long as the industry is appropriately regulated by NASA and the federal government. 

Unquestionably, space exploration is worth it. Not only will it continue to be a center of technological and environmental progress, but also a growing industry that can only benefit the general public. Similar to what President Kennedy once said, we shouldn’t do it because it is easy, but rather because it is hard and critical to humanity’s advancement.