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Has Mars become the new space race? And are we able to justify space exploration?

Bains, Jay (2022) Has Mars become the new space race? And are we able to justify space exploration? REACH, 27 - 2. ISSN 2352-3093

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.reach.2022.100049


Space exploration is embedded into the foundation of our past, exists at the forefront of the present and is inevitable in our society's future. We, as a species, first set our sights on the closest celestial body, the Moon. Since then, society's ambitions have extended far beyond the confines of the Moon, with the Martian surface becoming an extra-terrestrial target location for space exploration, data collection and potential colonization. History is known to repeat itself, whilst this common saying is often overlooked, its application is rather fitting when the details of this instance are examined. We, as an internationally divided species, have entered into a contemporary space race. In direct comparison to ascendant events of the Cold War, this modern contest is more attributed to an expression of technological prowess rather than a show of the superior ideology. Mars colonization would irrefutably be the crowning achievement of the century thus far. But beyond the technical intricacy of the task, the attributes and implications of becoming a multi-planetary species provide compelling rationales that argue in favour for crewed interplanetary exploration. With the prospect of advances in astronautical engineering, medicine and robotics, both the United States and China have become prominent figureheads of this contemporary space race to Mars. However, in pursuit of becoming the pioneering claimant of technological superiority, these two nations have perhaps overlooked the pre-existing issues that perpetually plague society. Many societal imperfections that exist are decipherable; including poverty, overpopulation and climate change. This list is not easily exhaustible, but a concentrated focus of inputs (namely capital, labour, natural resources and time) could lead to a more idealistic society. The overarching implications of the opportunity costs associated with space exploration are visualized by these issues. Thus, by dissecting the components of Mars exploration, this report seeks to evaluate the significance of the space industry and to ultimately evaluate how we, as a collective, should look to develop our civilisation going into the future.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 Elsevier GmbH.
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2022 13:03
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2024 05:48

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