Over the weekend, many recognized the 50th anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon.
This pivotal moment in history showcased the human race’s ingenuity to literally reach for the stars. Children and young adults from that era have been inspired to improve the lives of their fellow man through science and technology.
Recently, the race to outer space has begun to heat up. After Cold War battles between the U.S. and Russia sparked the first space race, entrepreneurs are sparking the second.
Currently, there is a lucrative market to help send satellites into orbit around the earth. Billionaire Elon Musk hopes to get a foothold in private space travel as his company, SpaceX, hopes to have its inaugural launch 6-8 months from now.
Just yesterday, India launched the Chandrayaan-2, a spacecraft that will attempt to make a soft landing on the moon. The spacecraft will look to explore the south pole of the moon where it will search for water and minerals, among other things. If successful, India will join the U.S., Russia and China as the only countries to softly land a spacecraft on the surface. Analysts see India as making a play for many of the private contracts that involve sending satellites into orbit and another way of showing it is a dominant power in Asia.
But what about the U.S.?
Vice President Mike Pence has spoken on going back to the moon with the idea of staying weeks to months, not just days. The hope for the country is to land on the surface by 2024 with a new set of space explorers. But with mounting costs, those at NASA believe that private investors must help provide the extra $20 to $30 billion for a moon landing.
While it was a pivotal moment in history, both for the country and humans, issues on our own planet should take focus. Growing divides in both social and economic groups, climate change and other disagreements need to be addressed before returning to the moon. While we support those that dream to push mankind’s discovery further into space, using taxpayer dollars to return to the moon isn’t responsible.