October 4-10 is World Space Week. This year’s theme is “Space and Sustainability”. Space is all around us, and there are many mysteries behind it. One of those is how we can achieve sustainability in space as well as from space. This year the world will be celebrating the contributions space science and technology has had on bettering the human existence. Each year, World Space Week is held to instruct about current and future space activities. With this year’s theme in mind, we look at what the future will hold for space exploration.
- The Mars rover Perseverance is already built and on the surface of Mars. Its mission is to find signs of ancient life as well as gather rock and soil samples. These samples will be stored for future return to Earth. The rover comes with a helicopter named Ingenuity, which has successfully flown on Mars.
- Perseverance is the first step in NASA’s Moon to Mars mission. The next stage involves missions to the Moon, named Artemis. Here, NASA hopes to create a long-term presence on the Moon. This will drive humankind’s first manned missions to Mars.
- The rise in commercial and space tourism has led to recent leaps forward in space exploration. Blue Origin—founded by Jeff Bezos—and SpaceX—founded by Elon Musk—aims to expand human civilization outward into space. Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lander will serve as sustainable living conditions for humans to live on the Moon. SpaceX was the first private company to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit. Both Blue Origin and SpaceX’s goal is to create reusable rockets to not only bring the cost down on space flight, but also help sustain our planet.
These are just a few ways that space exploration will open new avenues for a sustainable future. To stay up-to-date on new space-related news, check out the podcast NASA’s Curious Universe. And for educational resource materials, visit their website: https://www.nasa.gov/stem/foreducators/k-12/index.html.