Since the day we landed an American on the moon, mankind is always thinking of ways to explore beyond our limits. Our world is continuously changing and we are always discovering new ways to carry out space exploration as technology continues to advance. As a society, we are passionate to explore the outer reaches and the universal frontiers beyond us. It is amazing to think about what is out there!
Today, mankind is off to mars. As the years go by, we are getting closer and closer to landing a man on the Red Planet as we did on the moon. Scientists are hard at work to make this phenomenal event happen and investors see it coming. The Red Planet has been of very big interest to mankind. Has there really been life on the planet? Does the planet still have water? As far as we know, we know that this planet has the closest conditions for human habitation. So can we colonize the martian surface?
Privatization of space exploration is the gradual shift of space exploration from government space programs like NASA to private companies throughout the world. Examples of companies include SpaceX, Boeing, and Virgin Galactic. Much of the privatization of space exploration began with the Obama administration saying that it would be best to have private aerospace companies design, manufacture and launch space vehicles with NASA paying for the flights.
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft that are mainly reusable. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space exploration and technology, with a goal of enabling people to live on other planets. SpaceX employs many different rockets such as its Falcon 9 and Dragon rockets to go to the International Space Station. SpaceX plans to send a privately crewed Dragon spacecraft beyond the Moon next year. Now, through detailed research, SpaceX plans to unveil its newest future mission, a mission to mars.
Virgin Galactic’s main focus is creating the world’s first commercial spaceline where people can pay to go to the Moon or the International Space Station. Their vision of the future includes running a commercial and relatively inexpensive spaceline where space tourists can sightsee and explore the galaxy. In addition to providing space travel commercially, Virgin Galactic also provides space travel to students.
Even though the well-known company Boeing is mostly known for making its groundbreaking airplanes, they are also advancing in quite a few fields of space exploration. In fact, near the beginning of April in 2017, Boeing announced its partnership with NASA for attempting to land a man on Mars. With a combination of NASA and Boeing’s money and research time, it may be easy to believe that they will be able to land a man on Mars in the next ten years. But, they are not going to be attempting to land on just Mars, but other planetary bodies as well. So, this means that Mars will most likely be an extreme goal that NASA and Boeing will be reaching for.
One major private company aiming for the landing and colonization on Mars is SpaceX. SpaceX’s CEO, Elon Musk stated lately that he hopes to have the company land a man on Mars and colonize Mars by 2020. This goal may seem ambitious, however it is very possible considering our technological development. SpaceX plans to take major steps in going to Mars in 2018 and 2019, and plan to get a human on Mars or even colonize the Red Planet by 2020.
Recently, SpaceX has been working on building heavy-lift and super heavy-lift technology to carry humans and equipment to Mars. A long-term goal of SpaceX is to create reusable rockets landing safely back on Earth. SpaceX has developed unique, new, and powerful engines including the Raptor engine, a methane-fueled engine that is being implemented in new SpaceX designs. The raptor engine is a next generation combustion engine with a two stage cycle and it is more efficient than earlier Merlin engines used in the Falcon rockets. Instead of using liquid oxygen and kerosene as fuel, the Raptor uses oxygen and methane to reduce energy costs and increase efficiency as well as higher thrust. SpaceX has a vision of creating a large Mars transportation system to transport people and cargo. The MCT, the Mars Colonial Transporter, is being used as a space transportation and landing system to transport humans and cargo to Mars. This transporter is essentially a reusable shuttle that has a performance level of carrying 100 tons of cargo to Mars’ surface.
Increases knowledge about ourselves and our planet
Global warming can be diminished by finding another habitable world
By exploring deeper into space, we can create more interesting space stations like the Stanford torus
We can discover new elements and minerals that will for sure impact life on Earth
By exploring space, we can learn more about our planet and how to preserve it better
By developing more technology for space, we can improve how we connect on a global scale
By using satellites, we can predict when natural disasters can and are going to happen
When we explore more into space, we drive the need for better technology like smaller digital equipment and new forms of fuels
Increases global communication and cooperation
Fossil fuels are used in gasoline to create rocket fuel
Space travel is extremely dangerous and risky. The space shuttle Challenger exploded and killed astronauts in the 80s, proving that it risks human lives
If aliens are real, they could actually invade Earth and take our natural resources
Space junk is the waste humans leave in outer space. Since space has no decomposition process, junk stays in space forever
When something falls into Earth’s orbit, it may not disintegrate completely, creating danger for citizens. Radioactive material could also damage Earth
Space travel could be used in hostile intentions towards other countries
Since countries have the ability to spy on each other in space, there could be international tensions
Engineers come up with powerful and innovative ideas to put to work and build these solutions to implement in the real world. They consider a great deal of physics in order to build solutions which can maneuver and accelerate smoothly while defeating Earth’s gravity.
Technicians have an important role in aerospace technology. Since spacecrafts today use a lot of electrical applications to operate every single component of the vehicle, it is the technician's job to make sure that all of the electrical applications and circuits work well and supply power and deliver programs to each component. They work together with scientists and engineers with their research. Their skills have many different uses and aid many types of research.
Astronomers are scientists who study the phenomenal field of astronomy. These scientists study the origins of our universe and galaxy and study the existence of stars and other planetary objects that may even affect Earth in the future. Astronomers have a very important role in the Mission to Mars. They work hard everyday to analyze conditions on Mars and its atmosphere to determine if it is just right of human habitability.
A computer scientist is a scientist who acquires an extensive amount of knowledge about computers, their programs, the foundation of information delivery, and computation. Since rockets and spacecrafts use computer programs to operate and drive the spacecraft with a variety of sensors, computer scientists make sure that the computer programs onboard are working fine and also develop the computer programs to control the space missions.
A physicist is a scientist who studies physics. In order to properly drive and maneuver spacecrafts, these scientists must consider the laws of physics including principles involving gravity, certain forces including forces associated with projectiles, and linear momentum. Physicists also study physical principles involving our universe.
Welcome to our website! We are middle-schoolers from Henrico County, and we are pleased to show you our webpage. Our website mainly focuses on space exploration, and specifically the “Mission to Mars”. We specify certain agencies and corporations working on the Mars program, like NASA and SpaceX. Our website includes an interactive timeline, information about manned and unmanned space missions, two multimedia interviews with employees from NASA and Drapers Laboratory, career fields that NASA focuses on explicitly, and positive/negative impacts of space exploration. We appreciate this wonderful opportunity to enrich web development skills as well as researching skills.