Space exploration

To the Editor:

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, is a space transport company headquartered in California. It was founded in 2002 by former Pay Pal entrepreneur Elon Musk. SpaceX is going to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket into space at the end of this year. Only NASA Saturn V rocket produced more thrust. That is the rocket we went to the moon with last used in 1972. Falcon Heavy rocket can lift 117,000 pounds to low earth orbit. When the space shuttles retired in 2011 some thought space exploration was over. It never stopped. Other than SpaceX there has been other developments. NASA has developed Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicles (MPCV). It is going to be used for man missions beyond-low-earth-orbit. It will have a 4-man crew for missions to the Moon, to asteroids, and Mars.

In addition, it is a backup vehicle for cargo and crewed missions to the International Space Station. It will take its first flight unmanned in 2014. The first manned mission is expected to take place after 2020. As for unmanned missions Curiosity has and still is very successful. Curiosity is a car-size robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission. Curiosity is giving us information to help prepare for human exploration. Things are moving forward.

It is part of our nature as human beings that we want to explore and try to better understand the world in which we live. Space exploration is the logical extension of that need. In the future this little blue grain of sand we call earth will be unlivable due to the expansion of our sun. We can move on or go extinct. Space exploration can't even stop.

Joseph Pineo

Lisbon, N.H.

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