Essay on Benefits of Space Exploration: Finding Underground Water Resources

Essay on Benefits of Space Exploration: Finding Underground Water Resources

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It has long been said that the exploration of the cosmos should be secondary to the resolution of the problems on the planet Earth. However, as scientists and engineers reach further and further out into the reaches of the stars, they gain equally substantial insight into how to solve problems on Earth. Most people are ignorant to the potential gains the human race could make from exploring space. In fact, engineers have developed different ways to adapt technology from the space program to solve prevalent issues on Earth. Though the examples are plentiful, for the purposes of this paper, I will be focusing on a particular development in aquifer-detecting radar [1]. As one of the greatest challenges in today’s world is to find a way to provide clean water to the masses, finding a new, reliable source of water could be seen as a major breakthrough [2], [3].

SPACE TECHNOLOGY ADAPTED TO SOLVE EARTHLY PROBLEM
In the context of space exploration, finding water on another planet is one of the first steps to finding life. Many millions of dollars have been invested in engineering an effective technology to find water sources below the surface of a planet [3]. As a major problem in the world today is providing fresh water to Earth’s population, finding underground fresh-water sources could be a large step in achieving a solution [1]. Engineers have adapted Mars technology to do just that. This radar system is based on NASA’s Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface ad Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) [3]. Mounted on a helicopter, this system is an important step to helping geologists map the underground aquifer systems that have been largely untapped [3]. The human race could soon access an entirely new water source that can even be extract...


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[4] W. S. Bainbridge. (2009, Oct.) “Motivations for Space Exploration.” Futures. p. 514-522.
[5] D. Majors. (2009, July 20). “From cell phones to computers, technology from NASA’s space program continues to touch everyday life.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. [Online Article] Available: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09201/985039-51.stm
[6] D. Biccari, O. Bombaci, D. Calabrese, M. Cartacci, A. Cicchetti, S. M. Clifford. (2005, Dec. 23). “Radar soundings of the subsurface of Mars.” Science. p. 1925.
[7] G. Steyl, I. Dennis. (2010). “Review of coastal-area aquifers in Africa.” Hydrology Journal. p. 217-225.
[8] F. Guteri, M. Carmichael. (2002, June 10). “Water, Water Everywhere.” Newsweek. p. 41.

ADDITIONAL SOURCES
J. Kluger. (2004, March 15). “The Blueberries of Mars.” Time. p. 74-75.
J. Oberg. (2005, Jan.). “MARSIS: shake, rattle, and roll.” Astronomy. p. 28.

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