Is A Space Station Finally the next logical Step Essay

This essay has a total of 896 words and 4 pages.

Is A Space Station Finally the next logical Step



Is A Space Station Finally "the next logical Step"?


If America plans to continue its space exploration program, the question that must be
asked next is: "Where do we go from here?" America has made major strides in space
exploration in this century. We have built enormous rockets that can carry three men and
their supplies to the moon and back. We have mastered the physics that are involved in
shooting a rocket out of our atmosphere and bringing the return capsule back again. The
next step in the space exploration process should be to build an orbiting space station.

A space station could be used to learn many things about spending large amounts of time in
space. If man plans on further exploring the vastness of space, we must understand what
the effect of space will be on our bodies. Once we understand this concept, then we can
start engineering projects that can send humans far out into space. A space station in
orbit around the earth will also teach us about what preparations will need to be made
when we decide to set up a colony on the moon. The only way we can learn about these
things is if we experiment with them in a space station. How could we know what to expect
when we start colonizing the moon if we don't first simulate the experience in a
controlled environment?

The space station will also serve as a stopping point for future missions out into space.
The station could be used like a pit stop in space where astronauts could refuel and make
any necessary repairs before starting their journey into outer space. This will prove
very useful since there is a limit to how much fuel can be carried on board a rocket
leaving earth because of gravity. There would be no weight restrictions out in space and
the amount of fuel needed for a long trip out into space will no longer be as much of a
problem.

NASA has been hoping to build a space station since the end of the Apollo program.
Interestingly enough is that Werner Von Braun is a very enthusiastic proponent of a space
station. According to Sam Hoffman, Von Braun felt that "the missiles and other things
were just steps along the way [to a space station.] It is very interesting to me that Von
Braun would be such an advocate of the space station when he himself has always been more
interested in rockets. He must feel that he had to invent a way to get out into space
before he could start to design a way to live out in space. To Von Braun a space station
seemed to be the next logical step in space exploration. First we proved to ourselves
that we could safely send men and equipment out into space and bring them back safely then
we start to figure out a way to stay out in space.

An alternative to a space station could be to spend more money on projects developing
rockets that run on nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. These rockets would be much more
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