Opinions

Defending SpaceX

On February 6, American tech industry star Elon Musk saw his dream, and the countless employees at SpaceX dream become a reality. The Falcon Heavy test launch was successful. This launch was historic for many reasons. It is a huge leap forward for space travel, as the primary innovation developed for this test was reusable rockets. Where before boosters would burn apart in the atmosphere, now we can safely land and reuse boosters for multiple trips. This is also the first successful rocket launched in quite some time. With the NASA shuttle program ended, many worried that space was being abandoned.

I watched the launch myself online, and I was overjoyed to see this happening again in my lifetime. Where I expected a widespread triumphant response for humanity, I noticed a significant number of people who claimed that the launch was a “waste of resources” or that it was just some rich man’s private venture that was not any help to the rest of us.

As someone who is very conscious of social issues, and very passionate about doing something about them, I understand that the sheer cost of such an endeavor might seem misappropriated. However, I would ask those who think that what it is we are fighting for? There is hunger and poverty and war that plague the world, and it is our job to help fight against those problems, but there must be a greater goal for which we strive. While space is not an end in itself, the possibility for not just survival, but a great common goal for all humanity is something worthy of pursuing. We struggle over resources and land, but the stars are waiting for us.

It is my hope that as we fight for social justice, and continue to strive for betterment, that we don’t forget to reach out and explore. We must not lose that desire in ourselves in the day-to-day pain, and never lose hope in the future.

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