The saying goes, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” This phrase, famously spoken by Neil Armstrong, is the perfect advertisement for space exploration and its importance to the future. Less than a century old, space exploration has progressed leaps and bounds since the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was propelled into space in 1957. Since then, the world has witnessed marvels such as landing on the moon, the space shuttle program of the 1970s, and the launch of the International Space Station (ISS). The importance of these missions and their subsequent value is immeasurable.
While many might not realize on a day-to-day basis, space exploration has improved lives and the global economy to no end. Its impact can be seen in simple weather forecasting, broadcasting TV and radio, predicting natural disasters, monitoring for fertile land, forecasting sea level patterns, and even aiding research on muscular atrophy. It’s little wonder that this industry has significant value. The space industry was reportedly worth $384 million in 2017, growing at a rate of 7.4%. According to Morgan Stanley, the industry is projected to be worth $1.1 trillion by 2040.1