The importance of space exploration

Published 7:00 am Thursday, October 16, 2014

Even though the United States space agency appears to be at a standstill since the cancellation of the shuttle program, this country is still heavily involved in space exploration and benefits from discoveries made on and off this planet.
This week it was announced that America has been testing an experimental craft called the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle.
The unmanned craft was circling the Earth for the past two years, and while its mission remains a secret, it shows our country has indeed not abandoned space exploration and is possibly making new discoveries.
Additionally we are spending big bucks to send our astronauts to the International Space Station via the Russian Soyuz.
To date 183 space walks have been successfully conducted to keep the aging space hotel operational and safe, which means more discoveries are on the way.
Additionally, rovers on Mars and the Hubble Space Telescope are making discoveries on a regular basis, in spite of many of them operating long past their initial expiration date.
Why is space exploration so important to our society?
Well, most of the current technology we use today is based off of technology used by or developed by NASA to put people into low Earth orbit and bring them back safely.
For those who need eyeglasses, they benefit from the scratch free coating on them, which was developed for astronaut helmet visors. By the way, eyeglasses are actually made of a specially coated plastic, not glass.
For those of you who enjoy the comforts of memory foam at night, NASA created the material for use in their space craft seats to make impacts during landing more bearable.
Most adults today know the discomfort of a thermometer held under the tongue. But now children have their fever checked using infrared technology via the ear to capture the temperature, instead of slow moving mercury in their mouth.
So, next time you purchase new technology, just think, it could owe its origin to NASA.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox