The words of Neil Armstrong echoed around the world when he took those first steps off Apollo 11, and onto the surface of the moon, untouched by man, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” This quote amplifies the exact reason for space exploration, as it shows our ever growing desire to push the bounds of humanity. Humans have an innate desire to explain the unknown, therefore space has always been an intriguing topic for discovery, dating back to ancient civilizations. Space exploration is a necessity because it is a benefit to humanity. We need space exploration because it has led to developments in technology, it expands our scientific knowledge, and it increases our quality of life.
Space exploration is a gateway into learning about the natural laws and physical properties of our universe. Humans want to explain the unknown. Early humans looked out at the sky and had a natural desire to explain what they could not understand. To be curious is to be human, and NASA supports this statement. “Humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds, push the boundaries of our scientific and technical limits, and then push further. The intangible desire to explore and challenge the boundaries of what we know and where we have been has provided benefits to our society for centuries.” (NASA). Throughout human history, we seek to explain what we cannot understand. Humans made up stories to explain the way things work. Greek mythology is a perfect example of this, as greek mythology is made up of stories that explain the origins of the universe and celestial bodies. Every culture, just like the Greeks, have myths, legends, and stories to explain the universe. The human brain’s physiology and psychology demands that we give an explanation to the observable universe in the skies above. Our self awareness requires an answer to the fundamental question: why are we here? The desire to observe, to learn, and to make discoveries in science is a natural part of the human existence. Not knowing the unexplainable in space hinders our own existence, as not possessing that knowledge is seen as a failure to the human race. Being human means that you are an explorer, and we have been for centuries. As technology has progressed, we were able to visit new places, measure, and apply the scientific method to make new discoveries. These scientific advancements propel us to replace fiction with fact.
The steady increase of technology allowed us to further explore and visit space making science and truth the ultimate goal. Space exploration has led to new technology that has been repurposed to benefit our lives on Earth. Going into space requires technology, and space exploration has led to the development of new inventions used to increase our quality of life. The most important technology we got from space exploration was the satellite. The satellite Sputnik, the first object launched into Earth’s orbit, was designed to, “provide information on the density of the atmosphere by calculating its lifetime in orbit; test radio and optical methods of orbital tracking; determine the effects of radio wave propagation through the atmosphere; and, check principles of pressurization used on the satellites.” (NASA). This technology has been further developed, and is used for many beneficial purposes. These purposes help us reach goals for the people of our planet. Some of these goals, explained by Will Marshall from the world Economic Forum, include ending hunger, getting access to clean water, find early indications of climate change, and providing good health, well-being, and quality education. We are currently using satellites for navigation, weather forecasts, data on climate change, telephones, and most importantly, the internet. This technology is an extremely important tool for humans, especially in the time we live in today. If we never tried to explore space, this technology would never have been created. Space exploration drives creativity, which is a necessity for finding ways to improve issues most of the planet faces on a daily basis.