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The Effects of Space Exploration on Business and Society


Humankind has always been fascinated with the universe since time immemorial. Then as now, ancient humans looked up at the sky and wondered about the sun, the moon, and the stars. Recurring questions such as why are we here? How do we measure the arrow of time? How did any of this come to be? Questions like these have given us the impetus to explore the heavens for answers.


For most of human existence, people looked to the night sky for navigation, and myriad other ways to try to make sense of their world.  These and other philosophical questions, inspired by the vastness of the universe, put humankind on a trajectory of guessing for answers.  Myths and legends were woven to explain the presence of these heavenly bodies and even certain societies like the early Persians became Zoroastrians by worshiping the sun. The prehistoric Stonehenge (c1700-1200 BC) in England is supposed to be one of the earliest settings for astronomical observations of celestial bodies.


During the Cold War, space exploration advanced by leaps and bounds. The movement was spurred up by a fierce competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. As a result, a lot of money has been invested in outdoing one another.  After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States continued on with this project and sent ships into outer space to explore the endless universe, hoping to find extraterrestrial phenomenon of great interest to humankind's veracious appetite for the unknown. The overriding objectives were for science and technology and for business opportunities.  In a span of 20-30 years, space exploration has really affected the world of business and society.


Billions of dollars have been spent on the space exploration business, races were made to get to the moon first, satellites were planted all over, and that the excitement to find life in outer space still fans the enthusiasm for exploration. There are many positive aspects of space exploration; there are also negative things that affect the world society and we shall be mindful of its effects. Despite the ambivalence about space exploration, it led us to find out more about the planets surrounding our planet Earth. The Moon has already been visited by humankind. Going on other planets, helps us draw more conclusions on the structure of the Earth and its atmosphere.


The effects of space exploration are many. For the sake of brevity, let us mention a few big accomplishments. The greenhouse effect was, in fact, discovered after humans were able to break out of the atmosphere. Space exploration gave us an abundant harvest of things we now use in our daily life. The ubiquitous TV is now directed by satellites. For weather forecasting, GPS (Global Positioning System) are extensively used by weather stations. Thus, space exploration gave us the technology to predict weather more accurately using satellites. As an inspiring achievement, space exploration gave us the ability to tell the solar weather.


Space exploration has also given us the ability to solve many small problems and to develop new ideas. For example, as a byproduct of going out of space were some medicine machines like a device for measuring blood pressure (which was invented for the first space mission from the US). Another space related instrument was the heart activity monitors that are used today in hospitals worldwide to save lives. These and other space exploration generated products have helped society in many ways.


Space exploration has also given the business sector with viable products to make money such as solar panel electricity, fuel cells, cellular phones, braces, flat screen television, smoke and carbon-dioxide detectors, fogless goggles, scratch-resistant glasses, thermo wear for skiing, and water purification system that now is used by most of the households. All of these products and more have been developed as a result of space missions by NASA. Space exploration has become a fountain of new science and technology to help save the world when in fifty years it would double its population to 12 billion.


As you'd agree, not all that glitters is gold. This is true also with space exploration science and technology. They have also produced some negative results for society. They have come up with undoable changes that affect society in a negative way. For example, all of our sent messages could be overheard using satellites and cause a loss of privacy.


Additionally, proliferation of terrorist mechanisms to kill people has been developed based on space exploration science and technology. Currently, mechanisms are developed that can use energy to shoot from an orbit and destroy hundreds of human life. GPS can also be used for disruption as well as for targeting for violence. In some cases, it would encourage crushing of airplanes into skyscrapers. Finally, the most glaring problem with space exploration is its cost. Even small projects cost millions of dollars. Naturally, this money could be used to make planet Earth more hospitable, a better place to live and work instead of year after year trying to get humans outside the Earth at a staggering expense.


In view of the overall effects of space exploration, it does more benefits to business and society than any harm. We should continue with our odyssey to find more resources about the outer space. Both business and society are gaining more knowledge which is good and they are able to use new services which help humans live better and longer through advanced connection and communication. Whether in this age or the next, one thing is enduring about human beings and that is insatiable appetite to explore the realms of the unknown. No matter in which field of study, humans want to blaze a trail toward understanding, predicting, and controlling the Universe.



Z. S. Demirdjian, Ph.D.

Senior Review Editor

California State University, Long Beach


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