When you look up at the night sky, do you ever wonder what’s really up there? Have you ever wondered what is beyond the moon? Do you ever stand watching the stars and suddenly feel insignificant? Have you ever felt the need to know what’s out there in space? Have you ever wanted to explore? To be curious? To be a part of discovering something new? Sometimes I sit and ponder just how little we know about the vastness of the universe that we are a part of. I wonder how small I measure up to the unknown regions of the universe, and I dream of exploring more. This is my dream, my future. It’s also NASA’s. They take their dreams and make them a reality.

Space exploration is a way for us to learn about Earth, to discover knowledge of the universe, and to benefit our society. It is important for space exploration to be properly supported by our government and its people.

High and out of sight, high-resolution satellites patrol the Earth below it. Satellites investigate the land, ice, and sea, The satellite called Land SAT takes pictures of the Earth at all angles and even helps us watch features like population, land evolution, and disasters like forest fires. Over the ice-capped poles, the satellite SeaWifs reports any differences in ice patterns, and takes photos to compare ice breakages over the last years. Observing the oceans is another major satellite named Aqua. This satellite covers every ocean and notices ocean currents and weather patterns at sea. There are over 18,000 satellites probing Earth, all with different purposes. One even patrols air emissions into the atmosphere. All of these satellites give us information of our own Earth to help us be more informed of what happens all around us so we can help save our planet.

Do you believe in aliens? My guess is probably not. Many find it false to believe in “martians” or “extra terrestrials.” But, think about this for a minute. Out of our nine planets, Earth is the only one that supports life. Mars is too far, and Venus is too close to the Sun to live on. If there are over 100 new planets being discovered a day, then how is it possible that we are completely alone in the universe? How is it possible that there isn’t another Earth-like planet out there waiting to be discovered? I think it is more true to state that we have not yet found life in other places. NASA scientists are very much interested in whether or not there is life outside Earth. With each new discovery, the question will always be asked, “DO you think this could be the one? Is this the planet with life on it?” NASA also always wants to learn more about space. Every year, many probes, space vehicles, and satellites are imagined and built. There is a huge amount of planning involved with long missions. After each mission, the research gathered by the various experiments brings scientists another giant step towards piecing together the puzzle of the universe. Although some missions don’t produce as much information as hoped for, any new research is greatly anticipated. Scientists and researchers are still trying to figure out exactly how the universe started. The Big Bang perhaps? Without financial contribution to continue this research, we will never know.

Space exploration is important to the common man because of the new advances our country will be able to make in the future. On board the shuttles, astronauts are doing much more than asking, “Are we there yet?” In fact, the whole point of going into space, is to take advantage of the weightlessness outside our atmosphere. Right now the 133, International Space Station, has a zero gravity chamber in the center of the station. This is where all of the special experiments take place. Some experiments have found that in zero-g, they can manufacture better metal alloys than on Earth, creating better products. Better products include an idea where a 50 pound battery could power a car 1,000 miles on one charge. Also. medical researchers have found that they could possibly grow replacement body parts in space because the antigravity acts like the womb of a mother to the special cells. Space could still advance our medical industry because the weightlessness deteriorates cancer tumors. All of these findings could benefit everyone on Earth to create a better, more livable life.

Since 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has worked hard to research new ideas and discoveries of our world and the great beyond. They have orbited Earth, sent many successful missions to the moon, and launched many satellites and rovers, most recently to Mars. The sooner we can better understand our own planet, the better we can understand our solar system, our galaxy, and our universe. The things we do find out during their tests can also greatly affect our society for the good. This is why it is extremely important to have the proper funding for the space exploration program.

In my future, I strive and plan to be a part of NASA. I want to open up knowledge hidden from humanity, and reveal information shadowed by the darkness of space. I believe that NASA should have more federal funding than what is given to them because NASA is the future of our planet. Earth is a growing concern to many scientists, and I believe that my generation can strongly help our planet in the future.

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