Why Space Exploration Should Remain an American Priority
A commitment to space exploration satisfies our curiosity and need to explore new lands, it provides innovation and new jobs to the economy, and it will help our species escape this rock.
What's the Latest Development?
Since the decommissioning of NASA's space shuttles and the rise of private space launch companies like Space X, the future of American space exploration has changed drastically. "Looking to the future, President Barack Obama wants private aerospace companies to fly Americans on routine trips to Earth orbit. Meanwhile, NASA will focus its talents on deep-space missions, sending astronauts to where they have never been." Most experts in the field agree that this is an appropriate allocation of resources, but the government must be careful not to favor new comers at the expense of time-tested companies who have real knowledge.
What's the Big Idea?
Space exploration should remain an American priority because it satisfies our drive to explore new places, it provides the economy with innovation and new jobs and because, ultimately, the human species will need to get off this rock. "Astronomers are now identifying new planets on an almost weekly basis. Some are within reach of future rockets, though it may take generations to get there. Millions or billions of years from now, these new Earths might be needed when our planet’s wells run dry, its fields turn to dust, and our agitated sun turns it to a cinder."
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
It's not just a case of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
- A new study suggests children who endure trauma grow up to be adults with more empathy than others.
- The effect is not universal, however. Only one kind of empathy was greatly effected.
- The study may lead to further investigations into how people cope with trauma and lead to new ways to help victims bounce back.
It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.