Between the years 1955 and 1975, the United States was in a “space race” with the Soviet Union. In the space race, both countries were trying to get men on the moon. However in 2021, the United States is now shooting for Mars. Other companies such as SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk; Virgin Galactic, owned by Richard Branson; and Blue Origin, owned by Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, are trying to help NASA make the trip cheaper and more affordable. Other countries are now also launching, China launched to the moon in 2019, India had a failed attempt in 2019, the United Arab Emirates sent their first astronaut in 2019 and plans to orbit around Mars in 2021, and the European Space Agency plans to launch a moon lander. So, this new “space race” will go on for quite some time.
During the original space race from 1955 to 1975, the United States and the Soviet Union were launching satellites, rockets, manned missions, and unmanned missions to the moon every chance they got. As most people know, that time period was when Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon, according to space.com. This time, the plan is to go back to the moon. The Artemis program plans to dock and allow four-person crews for three months to mine for mineral samples, and to create oxygen and rocket propellant. SpaceX is also trying to create a way to go to the moon’s south pole. According to the washingtonpost.com, when resources or food levels become low, there will be a refueling module for the space station and future Mars missions. NASA’s main goal to get to Mars is backed up with the idea of finding life on other planets. This year, in February, NASA successfully landed a rover on Mars that is currently picking up ancient microbial life.
The overall hope is to find signs of life, even if it’s ancient. Although it would be amazing if the rover, Curiosity, found rare minerals. Scientists are currently in this space race all over the world because it will eventually help technology on Earth, they are hoping to create things like radiation shielding and faster internet coverage. According to washingtonpost.com, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are working together to launch satellites to make the internet faster. NASA also made a similar attempt to Japan by landing on an asteroid and picking up samples and trying to find signs of water. Elon Musk invisions an eventual life-sustaining city on Mars. However, that would take a while because you have to see if there is any water on Mars, and even when people do find that out, it will still be challenging to build houses that can sustain the pressure, atmosphere, gravity, etc. It might be a while before we can buy houses on Mars.
In the long run, even though we’ve been to the moon before, we are going to experience different obstacles. Scientists and engineers are also trying to reach new heights and discover new theories, and a few people are even trying to take billionaires and other civilians around the moon starting in about 2 years.