Opinion – NASA’s planned mission to the moon invests in humankind’s future
Humankind first went to the moon in 1969 and, if things go according to plan, it will be going back in the next few years.
NASA’s new project, “Artemis,” plans to land man on the moon again by the year 2024. Technology has vastly improved since the last time Americans visited our neighboring rock, and NASA plans to utilize this to explore the moon in ways not previously possible. If the next visit to the moon proves successful, NASA will go beyond the moon and head to Mars next.
Although going back to the moon would bear a high price tag – somewhere between $20-$30 million – the benefits of this program would far outweigh the cost.
According to the New York Times, one of the main reasons that NASA wants to go back to the moon is because it has found a vital resource on the moon: water. Aside from a drinking source, the water could be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen and used as breathable air for astronauts and as fuel for space shuttles traveling through the cosmos. The moon could essentially become a gas station for other rockets, not just in supplying fuel but oxygen and water, as well.
According to NASA, Having a refueling station on the moon would be incredibly useful in their next big step: Mars. Traveling to Mars has many benefits, but one of the biggest reasons to do so is to preserve human life should a global catastrophe befall Earth.
A potential catastrophe is not the only threat that Earth faces. Overpopulation is also a concern. Researchers have determined the total number of births and deaths in the world, and have calculated that a total of 84 million people are added to the world’s population every year, resulting in 1 billion people added to the world’s population every 12 years.
Colonizing Mars would provide a way for human life to continue growing without cutting back on population growth. Traveling back to the moon would be the first step toward sending human beings to another planet.
Last month when Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of NASA, visited Liberty for Convocation, he made it clear how passionate he was about space travel and how important it is for the future.
“It is a failure of our country that for 50 years we have not been back to the moon,” Bridenstine stated. “We need to make sure that another generation doesn’t go by where the memory (of space travel) is a bad thing; we need it to be the stunning things.”
There is always room for improvement, and one of the areas where America needs to improve is the exploration of space. If humanity can go beyond Earth and explore the solar system, it will open the door to endless possibilities. And given how the moon’s water supply will provide numerous benefits for space exploration, going back to the moon is the perfect place to start.
Nostheis is an opinion writer. Follow him on Twitter.