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.”