One Giant Leap in the Right Direction

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Tribune News Service/used with permission

SpaceX hit several major milestones with a launch of its next cluster of Starlink Internet satellites on Monday morning, Nov. 11, 2019 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station s launch complex 40.

Chloe Kling, Managing Editor

In today’s world, there are a good amount of people who are questioning one thing: Why do we not know more about space?

Although it is a loaded question, we do not know how much we have already discovered, because we do not know how much is actually out there. Many people think that we can send a rocket or satellite up into space and collect information. However, there is so much more to space exploration than that. NASA, in partnership with private companies like SpaceX, is working on plans to explore more of something that we know so little about. The question that people should be asking is who should be exploring space; private companies, like SpaceX and Blue Origin, or public companies, like NASA, or both? Well long story short, I think that it should be both. Not only will private companies not be able to afford what they are working towards, but NASA will have no one to test the new cutting edge technology for them. NASA and SpaceX are working together now to send people and cargo to and from the International Space Station. NASA has relied on private companies in the past to transport cargo to the International Space Station, but now they have made a contract with other companies to produce cost-efficient and reusable spacecrafts and put them to use.

However, SpaceX and NASA both have their own respective plans for themselves. SpaceX, led by founder and CEO Elon Musk, has made it known that its goal is to touchdown on Mars by the early 2020s. After landing on the Red Planet, Musk hopes to colonize soon after. Today, NASA is focused on the thing that keeps everyone questioning; Is there more life out there? NASA plans to discover Europa, which is the smallest of Jupiter’s moons. They have already confirmed water vapor on Europa, but they are seeking to explore more. With private companies to test the new technology, NASA can pinpoint the most efficient way to get there. Overall, the relationship between the private and public sectors of the space community has a mutualistic relationship, where they both benefit. It simply would not be efficient for the two to work separately and they would just be competing with one another instead of going head to head.