This year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and mankind’s first steps on the Moon. Now, in 2019, we’re crossing into a new era for space travel, and we have been thinking about what kind of impact this could have for you in your life… 50 years from now.
The progress made over the last 50 years is incredible, whether it was made by NASA or other private space companies that have emerged. The next 50 years will definitely be full of surprises as a result.
Indeed, within the next few years, mankind will once again set foot on the Moon, and this time for good. NASA is planning a mission that should take place by 2024, in which they are planning to establish a long-term base on the Moon, not just allowing us to learn more about our natural satellite, but also study the effects living there would have on the body.
This base will also be a perfect forefront for manned missions to other planets in our solar system, particularly Mars. There is therefore also a plan for man to walk on the red planet in the upcoming years. At the same time, several satellites, probes and telescopes will be sent out which will help consolidate our understanding of our universe.
The commercialisation of space?
In the near future, doors to space will open up to some individuals who, normally, would never be able to access it. In fact, several commercial projects are in the making to take people with no astronaut training into space. A visit to the ISS, a stay in a hotel in orbit, the projects are crazy, but will well and truly become a reality.
The only problem is that the prices for these types of trips and projects will only be possible for people with enormous financial resources. And if you want a day in space, without needing to empty your bank account in the process, SpaceX’s next rocket Starship (formally BFR) could allow you to turn this dream into a reality.
Designed to take mankind to Mars, Starship can also be used for trips from one side of the planet to the other while going through space. According to Elon Musk, the man behind SpaceX, the rocket could go to any place on the globe in under an hour with an average of 30 minutes for the majority of destinations.
Urgent: getting our house in order
You might think that the environmental cost of space travel and exploration is quite excessive and that we should try and stay on our own planet before going to others. At a time in which we’re currently trying to reduce our pollution on Earth, it is piling up in orbit above our heads.
But for a few years now, we have been trying to reduce our environmental impact, create a type of fuel that doesn’t pollute the Earth as much and we have also been trying to reuse rockets, particularly with the private company SpaceX which has been the forerunner for reusing launch vehicles, as a result reducing pollution and costs.
In addition, and to give you some concrete examples, the International Space Station (ISS), one of the most complex objects to ever have been built by man, has contributed to many other technological achievements on Earth such as:
- A system for filtering and purifying water
- Ultrasound machines for medical diagnoses
- Improvement of systems used in optical surgery
- The development of robotic arms for removing tumours
- Prevention of bone loss
- Treatment for osteoporosis
- Advances in the development of vaccines
- Technology capable of determining the position and size of a breast cancer tumour
And these are just some of the achievements made with the help of the ISS. We can definitely agree that understanding the universe around us is useful for improving our own quality of life on Earth.
Take a look at the video above to learn more about what the next 50 years could bring space travel...