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Name: Unknown
Status: Other
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Prior to 1993

Hello, I have a friend at the school I go to. He is wondering what is the purpose of the space program?

Gee, what was the purpose of Christopher Columbus' voyage of exploration? Why did and what good was Magellan's trip around the world? Who cares if Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic? What was the point of Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mt. Everest?

The space program has many goals, all which are based on the human need to reach out and grow. As the population of the earth continues to rise exponentially, the possibility of the earth becoming overcrowded one day is becoming more and more real. The space program seeks to develop skills, technologies, and opportunities to build new "worlds" for humans. The most immediate project to that effect is Space Station Discovery, which will be a launch pad from which a moon colony can be built. There are already plans for a moon colony, and even a Mars colony. Another tangible goal is to provide energy for the future. Learning to harness solar radiation will provide a clean, abundant energy source for the earth as well as future colonies and stations. Also, many "spin-off" benefits are already being enjoyed by you and me: satellites providing clear long distance communications, real-time weather monitoring, topological study of the earth, etc. How astronauts react physically to the new environment of space will help space medicine prepare for the health and well-being of future colonists. I can go on and on. There are countless purposes of the space program, but the greatest is just because the human spirit must continue to soar to new heights!

Thank you for a very intelligent and well thought out answer to this question. Being a professional in the aerospace industry, I have little patience with people who think space exploration is a waste of

John Hawley

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