July 16, 1969. The day that would change the world. On that historic day, at 9:32 a.m., Apollo 11 launched three astronauts into space heading towards the moon. Just over 50 years later, on May 30, 2020, SpaceX launched two astronauts into space, making history once again. And after visiting and returning from the International Space Station, they splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico on August 2, 2020.
The world is changing, and so is space travel. Each year, millions of dollars are spent as NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) continually sends rockets and astronauts into space to learn more about the universe. With new missions, how will space travel change?
The first way space travel will be different is because of the use of commercial space travel. An article by Forbes titled “Eight Ways Commercial Space Travel Will Change Things” explains how companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and others are trying to make commercial space travel possible. However, there are two major risks involving the common use of space flight. The first is of the exposure to space radiation. Because of the threat to the astronaut’s health, exposure to radiation could be fatal. Dr. Karin Lachmi, who is Chief Scientific Officer and Founder of Bioz, writes, “Some suggesting that some special shelters would be needed to protect astronauts, others suggesting the AstroRad, a space suit to protect crewed missions against deep space.”
The second problem with commercial space travel would be the need for competition. The original reason that NASA sent astronauts to the moon in 1969 was because of the Space Race against the Soviet Union, in which the two countries competed in a nuclear race. Scientist Daniel Levitt says, “While competition here is building, what we are seeing is nothing compared to what we will see in the coming years, once space mineral exploration becomes a reality. Here we will see a return to the gold rush days, with hundreds, if not, thousands of competitors entering the space exploration market.”
The next way space travel will change is the new missions which will begin. The most renowned mission is the trip to Mars.
By 2030, NASA is planning to have astronauts reach Mars. NASA says, “Our next step [in reaching Mars] is deep space, where NASA will send a robotic mission to capture and redirect an asteroid to orbit the moon.” After that, they plan to “[send] a fleet of robotic spacecraft and rovers already are on and around Mars, dramatically increasing our knowledge about the Red Planet and paving the way for future human explorers.” The hope is that one day, humans will be able to explore Mars.
The world that God has made is so diverse that man will never be able to understand it with our finite minds. But with the help of NASA and other companies, we can endeavor to explore as much of God’s universe as possible.