Thursday, November 10, 2016

We choose to go to Mars

On September 12, 1962 our nation came together when John F. Kennedy gave his speech “we choose to go to the moon”. In his presentation he acknowledged that we would need to innovate new materials necessary to achieve our goal of landing humans on our celestial satellite. Then, on July 20, 1969 the United States Apollo 11 was the first of several manned missions to land on the moon's surface. Like a family that becomes stronger when every member works together to achieve a common goal, each of the states within the United States became stronger when they worked together to achieve a common vision that, at the time, was on a massive scale.

Throughout the decades, the ongoing pursuit of space exploration continued to make progress. For example, in 1977 the Voyager I was launched and it continued on a path toward outer space when, on August 25, 2012, Voyager I exceeded the boundaries of our solar system. To put this into perspective, this one event alone was 45 years of ongoing technological achievements. Meanwhile, in 1998 the first of several components for the construction of the International Space Station (ISS) was placed into low Earth orbit and additional components were added until the ISS was completed in 2011. As a result of the ISS, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) have accelerated and innovation has afforded, not only the United States, but the entire world to advance technological applications. These advancements have prepared us to pursue a new vision; to take humans beyond the boundaries of our moon.

We choose to go to Mars. This vision is shared among many who are passionate about STEM, passionate about space exploration, or passionate about exploring the unknown. From space tourism to colonizing Mars, technological innovation, imagination, and our future in human space exploration has been set in motion. It is a competitive collaboration among entrepreneurs where both private and public sectors from around the world have come together. It is a partnership where companies like SpaceX, Boeing, and Virgin Galactic work in collaboration with NASA to advance innovation and opportunity. It is Elon Musk at SpaceX announcing his plan to support the colonization of Mars and Richard Branson at Virgin Galactic paving the way for space tourism, where we as a nation are once again coming together as family to achieve a common goal.

The benefits of space exploration and colonizing Mars are beyond the scope of simple measure. The journey itself is filled with technological and innovative opportunities with many of these advancements being incorporated to support education at all levels. For example, organizations like NextPhase Foundation are working in collaboration with NASA to stimulate the development of innovative technologies through the application of NASA’s Technology Transfer Activities. The technologies discovered by our nation’s ability to go to the moon, our nation’s ability to send technology that is exploring the outer limits of our solar system, and our nation’s ability to collaboratively construct the ISS continues to benefit the whole of humanity. By choosing to go to Mars we will take the necessary steps of developing and advancing innovative ideas and we will leap forward, developing and improving technologies that will bring about positive social change for all humankind not only during the years it takes us to reach Mars, but in the decades and centuries to follow.

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.