(LibertySociety.com) – There are few areas left in the world for humans to explore. One of them is the vast ocean water covering most of Earth, and the other is the mysterious expanse we call space. Historically, NASA astronauts were the ones responsible with launching and maintaining spacecraft. But on September 15, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX challenged that standard by launching an all civilian four-person crew into space on the Inspiration4 to orbit the planet for three days.
The group consists of a pilot funding the mission, a physician’s assistant from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a geoscientist, and a U.S. Air Force veteran.
While civilians orbiting the Earth isn’t new, such a mission without an astronaut onboard is a first. Although the people aboard did train for the spaceflight, they’re in a fully-automated and tested capsule that doesn’t require special expertise to operate.
The goal of the flight is primarily to raise money to support St. Jude, with the target being $200 million. But that’s not the only reason this mission is exciting. If all goes well, flying into space may become an option in the not-so-distant future, with people paying for rides beyond the earthly atmosphere.
However, these escapades won’t necessarily just orbit the planet, but also land on unique space station outposts yet to be built in low Earth orbit.
Why Bother With Space?
Setting aside the thrill that comes with exploring a place few humans have had the pleasure of visiting, you might wonder why people bother with the universe at all. But science fiction fans know better than anyone the necessity of acclimating humans to space life.
One reason for sending everyday people into orbit is to get them used to the idea of traveling off the planet we call home. With climate change and resource depletion plaguing the Earth, it’s not unreasonable to assume that someday humans may have to colonize another planet or multiple planets to survive. Scientists can also analyze space travel’s effects on the human body and mind to prepare by exploring space now.
Other reasons for NASA and private missions include possible asteroid mining, medical advancement research, searching for life, and observing how biological systems react in places without gravity.
The Final Frontier
As missions for non-military personnel become more commonplace, the closer the human race moves to exploring strange new worlds. And one day, it might not only be an option to hop on a spaceship for a ride around the planet for fun; it may become a necessary jaunt to find a new home for the survival of our species.
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