How Should We Go to Space, How Do We Do It?
Race to Space is an original premier inter-school talent based aptitude test that tests students mathematical aptitude by measuring his or her performance on a national and state level. The top three finishers in each category receive an all expense paid trip to NASA, USA for an exceptional trip into space! Students who are interested in learning more about this exciting program should definitely study the materials provided in the book Race to Space: A Classroom Guide for the Math Pre-Hubble Orbiter Mission. This text provides an overview of how this prestigious NASA program works, how it was launched, how it works today, and how students can help. Its contents include NASA Langley’s mission, space shuttles, missions to Mars and beyond, and the history of space exploration.
Along with the entertainingly easy-to-read text, the book includes photographs and illustrations, side by side comparisons with famous aerospace engineers and celebrities, as well as lists of recommended reading, along with links to further reading information. For students who take pride in their mathematics, this is a definite must-have book. Those students who have shown a genuine interest in studying space flight are sure to enjoy this challenging and thorough read. And of course, those students who are already studying aerospace engineering with hopes of entering NASA will greatly benefit from the detailed descriptions and explanations of this program and the associated milestones.
The author, Bill Ingalls, PhD, has been an aerospace engineer for over 35 years. He is currently a senior research scientist with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Washington, D.C. He has worked on space craft designs, such as the Space Shuttle, Solid Rocket Motors, and the Advanced Spacecraft Program. Bill is absolutely convinced that space race concepts such as NASA should be used as an incentive to motivate private companies to develop private versions of these important vehicles. If we fail to do this, he feels, the US could find itself on the losing end.
Why is he so confident about his prediction? He believes that it will spur not only new private companies but also the major national space exploration organizations to re-evaluate their programs. In fact, many believe that we may have already begun such a reassessment. If so, what then? How should we prepare for the race to space?
To begin, we need to understand why there is such a race to get to space. The primary reason is that humans want to explore space to find out if it is indeed possible to live on the other side. Many believe that it is indeed possible to live on Mars, the one body of space that humans have ever visited. Other space explorers think that we may be able to live on the Moon, and even explore extrasolar planets.
The other reason that NASA is conducting a space race is to develop technologies that would allow us to go to space. Some believe that such technologies already exist. Others believe that it would take mankind a very long time to develop such technologies. NASA’s budget is therefore focused on getting such technologies as quickly as possible.
The first step in such a race to the stars would be to send astronauts into space. Such an endeavor would require them to become “orbital spacefare” passengers. This would involve them taking off from a runway and flying around the world using only their own aircraft. Such an endeavor could only be conducted by manned flight, but it certainly is possible for unmanned spaceflight. Eventually such unmanned flights would land on the dark side of the moon, where there would be nothing for the astronauts to eat or drink, but they would be warm and comfortable.
The next step in such a race to space, how should we go to space, would be for us to strap a device onto the moon known as the Manned Life Mission (MLM). Such an unmanned probe could go into orbit around the moon and stay there for at least two weeks. During this time NASA scientists and engineers would use a variety of technology to determine whether or not life was living in that vicinity. If they found life, they would sample the sample and study it under the microscope. NASA would use its research money for studying the effects of space on the life that was there.