Learning about space all day is exhausting… I need a launch break 🚀

Kareena Shah
6 min readOct 12, 2020


Why space exploration is the next step for humanity

Look up.

Look up at the sky and the sun and the stars and the moon. Don’t you feel a pang of curiosity and wonder coursing through your body? Don’t you want to fly up to outer space and take a long look at it for yourself?

But wait… something is stopping you. 🤔
You think “Why should I waste time going to space and exploring it when I might as well spend my life working towards solving the big problems here on Earth?”

Here’s why 👩‍🚀:

Exploring space proves to be advantageous in many cases and using it to reach higher levels will improve humanity as a whole.

  1. Outer space can be used to help life here on Earth. In fact, NASA has already started doing this through many of its projects such as SMAP, which is a satellite that measures all soil moisture levels on Earth within 2–3 days. Since its data is available to anyone for free, many countries in Africa use it to monitor their crops which has made it easier to sustain life, thus greatly improving their lifestyles.
    **NASA receives less than half a percent of the government’s total budget and yet they have still been able to make a major impact around the world.
  2. We’ve all heard about the apocalypse that will wipe out humanity. An asteroid impacting Earth really isn’t a far-fetched idea either. So if, in any case, this really happens, space will be our backup plan where we’ll be able to inhabit neighboring planets (like Mars 😏) and sustain our species for even more generations.
  3. Space Tech! Not sure what space tech is?

Space technology is technology being made to improve spaceflight, satellites, and make space exploration a reality. It mainly includes spacecrafts, satellites, and space stations.

Imagine all the innovations that will completely disrupt our world and the way we live. In fact, we have already started to develop numerous technologies that will help us gain a better understanding of our universe and beyond. Keep reading to find out more! ⬇️

Here are 4 major space technologies that are currently being developed:

Space Elevators

Space elevators are not your everyday elevators: you go in, press the button to your floor, and voila! They are much more complex and would probably be the biggest and most expensive construction made by humans. But, in the long term, it would make traveling to space considerably cheaper, with costs reduced from $20,000 to $200 per kilogram. There are 4 parts to the space elevator: the tether, anchor, counterweight, and climber which are further divided up. The elevator parts are the tether and climber which extend into space, while the anchor ensures that the elevator is stationary on Earth and the counterweight holds up the tether. As of now, the top would serve as a space station allowing for all space missions to launch into deep space.


Asteroid Mining

We’ve all heard of coal and mineral mining… but asteroid mining?!?
Mining on Earth comes with many environmental costs leading to effects that may prove to be detrimental in the long run. Scientists today are looking towards asteroid mining as an alternate solution allowing us to tap into asteroids’ abundant resources. The large amount of gold, platinum, water, and rare Earth metals found in many asteroids make them worth trillions (or even more 💸) of U.S. dollars.

Since bringing back materials to Earth from space could greatly devalue them, it is also most likely that the resources mined on the asteroids will stay and be used there, known as in-situ resource utilization. The asteroids could be a main hub that would provide fuel for rockets for deep space missions as well. Not only that, but mining in space will require new, innovative technology allowing us for even more off-Earth missions!


Space & Solar Power

With space, we can take solar power to the next level. Having a satellite that can collect power from the sun’s rays before the atmosphere filters it out would provide us with even more energy than we currently get out of solar panels and even have use for. 1 gigawatt could potentially be produced with the ability to power 500,000 homes or a major city 🤯. Although there would be some loss during the transversion of solar power into microwave power, a whopping 48% (versus the current day 20%) of it would reach consumers! Solar power is a clean and efficient alternative to energy and would prove to be much cheaper in the future than the current fossil fuels (which are limited in supply) that we use.


Solar-Based Rockets

The chemical rockets that we use today travel at 24,000 miles/second, which might seem fast, but in reality, it’s not even close. To reach Alpha Centauri, the next closest star to Earth, it would take more than 100,000 years, but with solar sails, we’d be able to reach within 20–40 years!

Unlike sails found on boats, solar sails are actually powered by sunlight that reflects off of them. This is because when light is reflected off an object, the photons, or particles that makeup light, push against it. The closer a satellite gets to the sun, the more of a “push” it receives, but this also means that as it moves farther away the thrust decreases. For deep space missions, the sail would have to be opened very close to the sun allowing it to travel to a destination at speeds even faster than today’s rockets. Not only that, but solar sails are scalable which means that it will be one of the few technologies that will allow us to send probes to a distant star.


Space elevators, asteroid mining, space & solar power, and solar-based rockets are not the only disruptions that will help us gain a better understanding of outer space. With all these innovations humans will be able to improve life here on Earth as well as gain a better understanding of our universe and beyond. Not only that but being able to explore space enables us to tap into our imagination and creativity to answer many of the burning questions that we have. In the end, the ability to just know more is what drives us as a civilization.
As we work to develop and improve space technologies, we may one day become an all-powerful species with the ability to manipulate and easily traverse from one universe to another 🔮.

Kareena Shah is an inquisitive 15-year-old starting her unconventional journey to gain unconventional success. She is interested in Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing and is working towards making Space Inhabitation a reality.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/kareena-shah-1a17461b7
Email: shah.kareena05@gmail.com



Kareena Shah

A 17-year-old space tech enthusiast interested in leveraging space technology to make space exploration and inhabitation a reality.