The social, scientific, and religious benefits of a space frontier.

 
Sponsoring the space frontier not only advances all fields of science (including astronomy, physics, geology, atmospherics, chemistry, and even biology), but it also brings technology to our doorstep. Technology which NASA has created and/or advanced includes:

  • Laser eye surgery
  • Artificial limbs
  • Cosmetics
  • Ingestible toothpaste
  • Fiberglass guitars
  • “Tempur-Pedic” foam
  • Water purification
  • Baby food
  • Landmine removal
  • Anthrax detection
  • Solar panels
  • Fire retardant materials
  • Sports equipment
  • Stadium roofs
  • Building software
  • Anti-icing
  • Freeze-dried foods
  • Reflective insulation
  • Roadway traction
  • Air-conditioning
  • Aircraft parachutes
  • Voltage control
  • Sewage treatment
  • S.O.S. Beacons
  • Pollution clean-up
  • Earth monitoring satellite

These are called “spin-off technologies” because they use the same type of technology and research NASA has made. These advances have bolstered the economy, improved people’s health, improved creative arts, and made recreational activities more enjoyable. More importantly however, the exploration of space brings a culture of discovery in which all the previous advances naturally follows.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be NASA which is funded for all these things to happen (as space exploration is becoming more privatized), but there should be incentives for people to be interested in investing into such a field. Science (like any ambition) always progresses faster when it is a means to an end rather than an ends itself.

After all, all of these things impact the Christian life. Studying more about nature improves our appreciation for how God created everything. And, technological advances help us be better stewards of His creation (as He has called us to be). Already Church organizations have used this tech to improve worship and service experience at home and helping the needy in 3rd world countries afar.

Sources:

See a longer version of the senate hearing here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmKlA_UnX8c)

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1483676909001/the-costs-of-cutting-nasas-budget/

Interactive flash animation – http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/nasacity/index2.htm

http://fora.tv/2009/02/04/Neil_deGrasse_Tyson_The_Pluto_Files (Interesting to note, Republican presidents have historically spent more on science because they know the economic return rate. See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7Q8UvJ1wvk)

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