NASA's Role in Space Exploration

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The recent few decades have seen a rapid increase in space expedition activities to other planets by scientists and astronauts across the world. One of the leading countries around the globe in trying to explore other planets is the United States whereby it has established an organization known as NASA which has over the decades been promoting expedition activities. This research paper is going to provide a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the various measures and strategies that the people of NASA are using and implementing in their attempts of exploring other planets and ensure they mitigate any of the challenges that they may face along the way.

Finding the Perfect Place to Land on Other Planets

There are numerous projects, missions, and programs that NASA has put into place to help in ensuring that the United States remain the leader across the world in scientific discovery and space explorations through persistently making advancements in aeronautics, technology development, and aerospace. NASA through substantial support from the government has continued to build and design capabilities such as creating some of the never seen advanced spacecraft and rockets to farther send human beings to the solar system (De Renzi, Faglioni, and Scotti 192). The NASA people have ensured that they have designed these rockets and spacecraft in such a way that they are safe for use. For instance, the people of NASA through combined efforts with the most experienced and knowledgeable scientists in the country have come up with one of the most advanced heavy-lift rocket known as Orion spacecraft (Hopkins, Joshua, and Adam 62). Orion can carry about three to four astronauts hence providing them with an entirely new international ability to extend their missions and explorations beyond the moon and the orbit of the earth.

The people of NASA have become more concerned about the safety of the astronauts that they send for exploration whereby there have been various reported cases of the astronauts dying during such investigations. NASA has embarked on putting into place more measures while building and designing spacecraft, rockets and other technological machines that can help in mitigating the risks that the space explorers face and reduce the amount of trouble that they may encounter. The people of NASA have for instance developed an Asteroid Redirect Mission that was aimed at testing other spaceflight capabilities that will help in the realization of the mission of sending humans to the Mars (Gates, et al. 224). This Asteroid Redirect Mission has facilitated the identification, capturing and redirection one of the most outstanding ever created earth asteroid. That earth asteroid has the capability of maintaining enough stability of the orbit around the moon during navigation. There are plans to help astronauts explore the planet by the start of the 2020s and come back to earth with outstanding samples (Moore 50). These samples will be experimented and investigated in most of the well-equipped laboratories to help in deducing and discovering various facts about the planet that the country can use to its advantage such as mitigating natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Moreover, the people of NASA have established an international space station to help improve their expedition activities in the space. The international space station has played a significant role in facilitating the creation of a microgravity environment which has enabled the astronauts to conduct research that would otherwise not be possible to be done on the earth. The level of security that is guaranteed to the astronauts while conducting their research on this international space station is quite substantial enough to increase the degree of accuracy (Trappe, et al. 1162). The international space station has dramatically helped in putting into place a remarkable environment which has facilitated rapid breakthroughs in the ability of the astronauts and the scientists to understand the earth, physical, space and biological sciences. Currently, NASA is learning and realizing how crews which plan on navigating other planets in the future can be able to thrive longer during their missions in the solar system while at the same time ensuring that their safety is guaranteed through persistently investigating and studying the astronauts who have lived on the space before for about six months or more.

Again, the international space station that has been established by the people of NASA has created a remarkable test bed that can be used in the invention of advanced robotic or human interfaces and life support systems and undertaking exploration technologies such as autonomous refueling of the spacecraft (DeLucas 615). These kinds of technological advancements have facilitated the ability of the astronauts to reduce and eradicate the dangers of stacking on the space in case of fuel shortage. That is because the spacecraft can carry enough fuel stock that will not require manual refilling but instead the autonomous refuel system that will be installed in the spacecraft will ensure that the astronauts are not at the risk of having to make a stop for refueling purposes. Furthermore, the use of robotic interfaces during expeditions will help in ensuring the astronauts can collect some samples from the space that may be harmful to them in case they get into contact with them (Kiesler and Pamela 4). The robotic interfaces will be able to manipulate and instruct the robots on what to do hence ensuring the safety of these astronauts. In its focus to building new and outstanding capabilities that will facilitate deep space exploration, NASA through government support has continued to supply cargo to this international space station from the American soil through the use of commercial rockets and spacecraft hence ensuring that this station has enough resources to be used during research.

The people of NASA have tried to create a remarkable legacy by improving the aviation and exploration activities of the United States through putting into place NASA-developed technology in rockets and spacecraft to help in ensuring and maintaining the safety of these exploration technologies in more crowded areas that tend to inhibit the ability of the astronauts to navigate the solar system. At the same time, they have helped in reducing chances these rockets and spacecraft to be severely damaged if exposed to the complex and dangerous space environment (De Renzi, Faglioni, and Scotti 198). Moreover, NASA plans on continuing to take advantage of the existing and emerging technologies to help in increasing the safety of the astronauts during their expeditions while at the same time facilitate better and safer ways to explore the solar system and help the country improve its economic growth. Examples of these emerging technologies that NASA is using to achieve solutions to the exploration challenges include new green propellants, large-scale solar sails, solar electric propulsion and composite cryogenic storage tanks that can be used for refueling depots in orbit (Trappe, et al. 1164). Again, the invention of telescopes has assisted in ensuring the adequate preparedness of the astronauts by enabling them to see things that exist in the solar system before they even get there. Such space technologies that NASA has continued to implement will play a significant role in spawning new capabilities and knowledge that will help in efficiently sustaining the missions that the astronauts are going to undertake in the future (Pulinets 646).

Additionally, as a way of ensuring that the safety of the astronauts is guaranteed during expeditions, the people of NASA have already sent a fleet of robotic explorers around Mars and other planets in the solar system to help in investigating and finding out the kind of the environment that exists there especially in the Red planet to assist in determining whether it will be safe for the astronauts to go there and conduct extensive research in these planets or not. The past few years have witnessed numerous claims by the scientists about planets such as Mars having the ability and suitable conditions for supporting life (De Renzi, Faglioni, and Scotti 198). Most of the scientists have viewed that fact as one of the most outstanding solutions to the continued congestion of people on earth whereby the human population continues to increase in every single minute with more babies continuing to be born. Some of the space missions that NASA plans on undertaking include finding out answers to the current critical challenges such as extreme weather events, climate changes, and sea level rise among others that the earth planet is facing.

Moreover, NASA has in the recent years continued to hold periodical landing site workshops that are aimed at assisting the astronauts to establish potential and effective exploration zones that can be able to support human life. In its attempts to explore Mars which is believed to have conditions suitable for life, NASA has established Mars Exploration program. This program is aimed at ensuring and maintaining the safety of the astronauts while conducting the expeditions by ensuring that they have chosen the right landing site and one that is not going to put their lives in danger (Arvidson, et al. 113). Below figure shows a small basin that is located below the rim of Melas Chasma and marks one of the eight potential exploration sites that NASA is currently studying to establish whether it will be safe for landing during the Mars 2020 rover.


(Arvidson, et al. 113).

Additionally, the Mars Exploration program has enabled the space community to develop regions of interest which are considered to be areas that are crucial for maturation of capabilities and resources and further scientific investigations that are essential in determining the sustainability of human presence. Below figure shows a general layout of the some of the exploration zones that have been identified by NASA during its detailed space research activities.


(Hoffman and David 214)

The people of NASA are planning on using these exploration zones candidates in determining how and where the astronauts are going to explore Mars by using human beings. In other words, this exploration layout which is going to be part of the multi-year process in identifying resources and scientific regions of interest which are going to help in advancing human missions in space.


Conclusively, NASA has played a significant role in helping the United States deduce safety measures and strategies that assist in ensuring that the astronauts are ready to face challenges during their expeditions and that they can effectively undertake their space exploration activities in other planets. NASA plans on using the existing and future robotic spacecraft to gather data from different sites in the surface of Mars and other planets in the solar system.

Works Cited

De Renzi, E., P. Faglioni, and G. Scotti. "Hemispheric Contribution to Exploration of Space Through the Visual and Tactile Modality." Cortex 6.2, 2007, pp. 191-203.

Hopkins, Joshua, and Adam Dissel. "Plymouth Rock: Early Human Missions to Near Earth Asteroids using Orion Spacecraft." AIAA SPACE 2010 Conference & Exposition, 2010, pp. 58-89.

Gates, Michele, et al. "NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission Concept Development Summary." Aerospace Conference, 2015 IEEE. IEEE, 2015, pp. 209-286.

Moore, Christopher. "Technology Development for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission." 65th International Astronautical Congress. 2014, pp. 48-123

Trappe, Scott, et al. "Exercise in Space: Human Skeletal Muscle after 6 Months Aboard the International Space Station." Journal of applied physiology 106.4, 2009, pp. 1159-1168.

DeLucas, Lawrence J. "International Space Station." Acta Astronautica 38.4-8, 2016, pp. 613-619.

Kiesler, Sara, and Pamela Hinds. "Introduction to this Special Issue on Human-Robot Interaction." Human–Computer Interaction 19.1-2, 2014, pp. 1-8.

Pulinets, S. A. "Space Technologies for Short-Term Earthquake Warning." Advances in Space Research 37.4, 2016, pp. 643-652.

Arvidson, R., et al. "Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix Landing Site Selection and Characteristics." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 113.E3, 2008.

Hoffman, Stephen J., and David I. Kaplan. "Human Exploration of Mars: the Reference Mission of the NASA Mars Exploration Study Team." (2017). pp. 208-229

October 05, 2023




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