Prompt: 1. Private companies are rapidly entering into space exploration activities that were formerly undertaken by national
governments. Is this a desirable development? Explain your answer.
I'm also over by 60 words. So if anything in my essay is unnecessary, please don't hesitate to tell me. It also formatted weirdly
Our "age of exploration" will be no different from the Age of Discovery if we allow it. Similar to how the European explorers' perceived the ocean, when we view the vast spectrum of space, observing the countless stars and the dark abyss that engulfs them, we interpret it as a vast unknown. This unknown, though, does not discourage us, it siren calls us to venture beyond the realm of certainty, to examine its composition and purpose. Our fellow European explorers were pushed to explore what they believed to be an endless territory of water because of these same motives, because humans are naturally predisposed to acquire knowledge. And to deny a human the opportunity to examine and study any subject of their preference, in general, is a denial of their humanity, a denial of their request for knowledge, and a denial of any progression.
Anything that we learn is useful, the problem is where to apply the knowledge that we have gained. Nevertheless, once an apt placement is found, progression launches like a rocket. In the case of our time period's cousin, the Age Discovery, they created the Columbian Exchange, which established the beginnings of globalization and disseminated useful staple crops that contributed to the mushrooming and sustaining of the human population. We owe much of our age's technological advancements to our "age of exploration." Lives would have literally been lost if our push for exploration was inert. Patients with failing hearts owe their lives to the defibrillator and the Ventricular Assist Device (VAD), which sustains the blood circulation of critically ill heart transplant patients until a donor heart is available. Drivers can worry less about hydroplaning or skidding because of the creation of safety grooving for our highway system. NASA, however, has not only created technologies that ensure life and safety; they also invented tools that allow the simple comforts. Due to NASA's innovation in robotics and shock absorbent materials, amputees are more able. A mother is able to confidently feed her baby, knowing that the baby food has nutritional value. And the masses are allowed the simple joy of television. The extra-terrestrial is simply a demanding environment that requires us to progress technologically, which then trickles down to cause improvements in medicine, engineering, and science. Those accomplishments then benefit the public. It is the only system where the trickle-down effect works.
If Marco Polo, Vasco da Gama, and Columbus did not explore, Europe would have probably remained in its economic depression. Their forging of a spice trade with the Asian countries and discovery of the silver mines of Potosi and more land were powerful contributors to assisting Europe's economic revival because people, especially merchants, were able to work. As of now, our endeavor to explore has created countless job opportunities for mathematicians, astronauts, aeronautical engineers, astrophysicists, astronomers, and rocket scientists. The Mars Curiosity Rover alone created about seven thousand jobs and paid on average a handsome sum of $357,000, according to the CNN National Review. And the money remained on Earth, allowing the NASA workers to help grease the wheels of the economy. These intellectually demanding job opportunities are very selective when choosing a potential candidate though, which is why an emphasis on education and further development of the educational system are in order. This demand was also one of the factors that compelled President Obama to create the STEM education program.
"The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena" (Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Planet). And there are still more opportunities that space exploration has to offer. From the inspirational possibility of terraformation that could assist extra-terrestrial habitation to the tantalizing ability to travel forward into the future, space is our symbol of the infinite, the unlimited. It sparks questions in our heads that we cannot allow to die. Our nature is drawn to the unknown and the knowledge that it has in store. We cannot simply stop after a fraction of our journey.