Space Exploration: How and Why?

Space Exploration: How and Why? Space Exploration: How and Why?
  • Contact

    Scott Smas
    Arizona State University
    ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration PO Box 876004 Tempe, AZ 85287-6004
    phone: 480-965-5081
    fax: 480-965-8102

  • Keywords

    Space Exploration, Private Space Companies, NewSpace, Academic Institutions, Arizona State University, Policy, Economics, Resources

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United States
Washington, DC

The American adventure in space is at a crossroads. During a generation of unprecedented exploration, we sent humans to the moon, peered into deepest space to understand the dawn of the Universe, discovered new planets orbiting other stars, and sought abodes for life in our Solar System. But now the shuttering of the Space Shuttle program, the cost growth of space missions, and the squeeze on federal spending place NASA in peril. What do these developments mean for our future in the final frontier… and our own home? Will the US continue to lead the world in space? Should it? Can the private sector pick up the baton? What are the consequences if we fail?

Discussion topics

  • What vision or motivations will drive the future of space exploration? 
  • What is the optimal balance between commercial, private, and government sectors in exploring space?
  • Why send humans into space?
  • Will the solutions to resource challenges be found beyond our atmosphere?
  • Does the study of other planets help us better understand our planet and secure its future?
  • Why should we search for life on other worlds? 
  • How can universities and spaceflight companies engage intellectually?