Will NASA and Artemis Bring Prosperity from Space?

John M. Dabbs

Space and Benefits

Space is our final frontier in exploration. Others continue to explore the nether regions of Earth, while others look beyond. Our exploration of space has produced many significant benefits. They’ve helped those exploring the Earth and our oceans, and the vastness beyond our own atmosphere.

The goals of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) include sending humans back to the moon, landing on asteroids, and landing humans on Mars’ surface. Such goals begin with the International Space Station and lead to human missions to Mars.

Space exploration has brought many benefits which have enhanced the quality of life around the world. The satellites and their development gave us knowledge and capabilities to later develop satellite telecommunications systems, global positioning and advances in weather forecasting.

Space exploration sparked the economic development of space that delivers high returns on our investments in space. Working through the challenges of space exploration has brought forth new scientific and technical knowledge and given us a better understanding of the Universe and our place in it.

Our efforts to explore space have contributed to many advances which impact our daily lives. These include solar panels, implantable heart monitors, cancer therapy, lightweight materials, water purification systems, improved computing systems, and global search and rescue systems.

Building a new engine

Space exploration has been an economic engine for countries exploring space. An expanded relevance of space has opened new domains in science and technology. These have triggered other sectors to partner with the aerospace sector for joint research and development.

The return benefits not only space exploration but our Earthly lives with new materials, power generation, energy storage, recycling and waste management, health, medicine, transportation, engineering and computer technologies. The innovations required for space exploration have led to further miniaturization and improvements in not only space systems, but other services. The net outcome has been higher performance at lower costs.

The result is a solid return on investment in institutional and commercial space exploration activities. These benefits lead to further funding and create excitement. The excitement generated by the idea of space exploration attracts young people to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – fields that fuel innovation with fresh ideas.

A new means to address global challenges

Partnerships and capabilities developed through collaboration in space exploration create new opportunities for addressing global challenges. ISECG believes this is the best way to accomplish our exploration goals. Space exploration is a global endeavor that contributes to trust and diplomacy between nations. Enhanced partnerships and exploration could advance international preparedness to protect the Earth from catastrophic events (like an asteroid strike). Knowledge from space exploration could contribute to policies for environmentally sustainable development.

In summary, space scientists and engineers who overcame past challenges could not have predicted how their innovations would be used on Earth. Significant benefits could be gained in the way of new materials, medicine, transportation and computer technology.

The private sector has created opportunities for economic growth with their increased investment in space exploration (Space X, Virgin, Blue Origin and others) as they look for new ways to make space exploration and space flight more affordable, reliable, sustainable and profitable.

Nothing on Earth matches the challenges of space exploration. The U.S. and its initial space programs generated benefits for people around the globe. This gives us confidence that renewed investment in space exploration will have the same effect on future generations.

At the onset of space flight, it became apparent that space exploration was an efficient driver for basic science and technology. The new challenges called for new approaches. The cost of launches drove designers to make spacecraft computers lighter, smaller, and with the highest performance and dependability. Solar cells, batteries, and fuel cells were driven by space needs and benefited many sectors on Earth.

Over time, governments around the world increasingly cooperated to conduct complex space missions, demonstrating the power of international partnerships to amplify accomplishments in space. The space station and other successes have been impressive and space systems continue to drive innovation, support world‐class science, provide vital services, and are part of the daily life of the common citizen.

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Bristol, TN

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