DAVID G. SIMPSON
MOON ROCKS ESSAY
NASA / Current Science Space Essay Contest (1976)
I believe that the United States should continue its efforts in space exploration largely through the use of unmanned probes. The Skylab vehicle could be enlarged and modified to hold a launch platform. It can be serviced by the Space Shuttle which would transport crew and cargo back and forth from the earth. Thus, a probe could be readied on the ground, transported to Skylab via the Space Shuttle, and launched from a platform on Skylab.
Sending probes to investigate Saturn's rings, the surfaces of the superior planets, and possibly landing a probe on Pluto would prove most interesting. A vehicle sent to the asteroid belt could bring back very small asteroids for study and analysis. And perhaps, if technology and funds permit, a probe could be sent to investigate a close-passing comet.
International cooperation would be an important factor in such an endeavor. Several nations contributing to a project would considerably reduce the expense for any one nation. The combined technologies would pave the way for larger and more ambitious projects. During a mission, some universal language such as Interlingua would be spoken.
Such international cooperation would help promote world peace. And once world peace is established, a large portion of government funds could be turned over to space exploration, as a great deal of technology is derived from this field. Such technology could be put to use not only in the exploration of space but also into other important problems such as disease, starvation, and ignorance.
Thus, through the exploration of space, man can not only solve serious problems at home but can also learn more about the heavens which have intrigued him since the beginning of history.
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Copyright © 2006 David G. Simpson