Is the biggest barrier to future space exploration in our heads?

Challenge Question.jpg

'Stretch and Challenge' questions involve reading a longer piece of text and tackling deeper questions based on it. This is aimed at secondary school students but doesn't mean it's just for them. It will require a reading of an article aimed at older students.

Enjoy this article by Jared Lindzon:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90419017/the-biggest-barrier-to-future-space-exploration-is-in-our-heads

He argues that the biggest barrier to future space exploration is not to do with technology, but our own mindset. He states that scientists have made predictions that we’ve failed, so far, to turn into reality, and wants to know why has the trajectory of our reach into space gone so far off course. After hearing from experts, he concludes we have a psychological barrier.

Read the full article carefully for Lindzon's reasons and evidence and work out what you think of his main statement:

"The biggest barrier to future space exploration is in our heads". Do you agree?

When giving your answers, you can quote the writer and then explain why you agree/disagree.

Comments (24)

  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg memorable_orchard | Michael Faraday School
    11 Nov 2019

    Yes, because it is our future and as far as we know, we are the only form of life researching space now. We are planning to move to Mars but aren't too sure on the idea. So would we be completely ready to disconnect from Earth?

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      memorable_orchard's comment 11 Nov 2019

      What do you think of the views in the article? Can you pick out some quotes and state whether you agree or disagree?

      Reply to this comment
    2. Arnhem-Wharf-logo-250x250.jpg persistent_effort | Arnhem Wharf Primary School
      memorable_orchard's comment 19 Nov 2019

      moving from earth to mars would take seven months but trying to live there .... you would need the newest, highest tech also a multi billion pound gel (to protect yourself from the suns rays)

      Reply to this comment
  • Evelyn-Street-logo-250x250.jpg loyal_peach | Evelyn Street Primary School
    11 Nov 2019

    yes because it is our future and people like to explore space and mars

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo genuine_cat | Hammond Junior School A
    12 Nov 2019

    I agree that the biggest barrier to future space exploration is our mind, because the further we venture into space the more daunting it becomes because of the risk involved. The thought of our space missions failing and past failures makes it harder for countries to spend more money on space exploration.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      genuine_cat's comment 12 Nov 2019

      Very maturely written, genuine_cat. Is it just the failures that are stopping us, or other worries too?

      Reply to this comment
  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg quickwitted_hurricane | Graveney School
    13 Nov 2019

    I feel that this post speaks the truth, as when there has been news about a death in space, or a narrow escape in space, astronauts get scared, thinking they will be the ones to die next. if we do not think of the misfortunes that have happened in the past and look at the statistics, you will see that less than 4% of the astronauts that go into orbit do not make it back down to earth alive. this means that there is a very small chance of you not surviving the mission to space. if we stay positive and keep driving forwards, we will make lots of groundbreaking discoveries.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      quickwitted_hurricane's comment 13 Nov 2019

      Where did you find this statistic, quickwitted_hurricane?

      Reply to this comment
  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg compassionate_seal | Upton Cross Primary School A
    13 Nov 2019

    I agree because everyone is creative and everyone has the right to speak so since all your ideas come from your head this a very good slogan for me.

    Reply to this comment
  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg compassionate_seal | Upton Cross Primary School A
    13 Nov 2019

    Aswell as we think from our minds. (i forgot to mention that)

    Reply to this comment
  • Portobello-logo-250x250.jpg alert_fish | Portobello High School
    14 Nov 2019

    My head is small and massive

    Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg brilliant_blackberry | Noel Park Primary School
    14 Nov 2019

    The article contains a quote from Jeffrey Manber, the CEO of Nanoracks: “I get up on the planet earth, I work on the planet earth, I play on the planet earth, I go to sleep on the planet earth. Why do I need to do anything elsewhere?” What I think he’s saying by this is that we have everything we need here on Earth and are satisfied by what we have so we don’t have enough curiosity to put in the effort in to pushing forward space exploration.

    Although I can see what he’s saying, I don’t agree that people think like this. The majority of people I’ve spoken to, including our entire Burnet News Club, are really curious about space and are desperate to know what’s out there. I can’t believe that the scientists responsible for developments in space exploration aren’t curious too. Curiosity is what pushes a lot of scientists forward in their work, after all…

    The article asks if we are ready to disconnect from the Earth but I’m not convinced that space exploration means that this has to happen. Surely we can focus on both space and Earth at the same time if we really want to. Putting effort into space exploration doesn’t mean that we will be completely moving on from Earth, it just means that we will be exploring other opportunities.

    The article also says- however- that, in the last 50 years, very little effort has been dedicated to exploring space. If you think about technology improvements here on Earth in the past 50 years, that’s quite shocking! It does make me consider that maybe scientists are putting so much time and effort into developing the future here on our planet that they are forgetting or ignoring the possibilities that the wider universe might provide.

    Despite this, I’m not sure mindset is the main barrier, to space exploration. But if it isn’t the main barrier, what is? In my opinion, money is what is holding us back. Although world leaders may want to spend the money to fund space programmes, there is so much going on in the world that requires their attention. Like I said, we can’t just ignore Earth completely. There are still things that we need to learn about Earth that require funding and, at the moment, there is no other option of where to live. We can’t say that all it needs is a visionary leader to invest in space exploration. It’s a nice a thought that someone with passion and future thinking might think only about space exploration but, in my opinion, it isn’t realistic. After all, we can’t ignore the fact that Earth is our home, however curious we may be.

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      brilliant_blackberry's comment 14 Nov 2019

      This comment shows excellent, thoughtful and well-developed reasons. Well done! I'm interested in your third paragraph. You're right that both might be possible to explore at the same time. However, if space exploration came at the cost of other research or exploration, what would you be willing to sacrifice?

      Reply to this comment
  • Hillyfield School logo considerate_construction | Hillyfield Primary Academy
    14 Nov 2019

    Partially,but it is mainly limited financially and technologically

    Reply to this comment
  • Ben-Jonson-logo-250x250.jpg honorable_seal | Ben Jonson Primary School
    18 Nov 2019

    probable because rockets that go to outer space take lots of money like billions

    Reply to this comment
  • Evelyn-Street-logo-250x250.jpg tranquil_robin | Evelyn Street Primary School
    19 Nov 2019

    how can people eat in space would it be a problem or would it be easy?

    Reply to this comment
  • Braiswick Primary School succinct_leaves | Braiswick Primary School
    19 Nov 2019

    The biggest barrier to future space exploration isn't in our heads because astronauts aren't afraid to travel to space as they are specially trained for this. They know what to do and they rely on technology to make them get to space. Currently, technology isn't that advanced to allow people to get very far into space but it will soon allow people to get to Mars which will be a huge accomplishment for mankind. But it takes a lot of money for it to work so that is why space exploration isn't usual for non-astronauts.

    Reply to this comment
  • Brompton Westbrook logo eager_tiger | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
    19 Nov 2019

    I agree because if you had the chance to go to space and you said yes, you'll start to get really anxious until the time when you don't want to do it anymore. You might get anxiety about what will happen, if you'll be able to breathe, will the rocket fail, will you get stuck in space and much more.If you didn't think about at all and you had no bad ideas about what will happen, you could have the best time of your life.

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo versatile_molecule | Hammond Junior School B
    22 Nov 2019

    As we progress we start to take bigger risks so investing in space exploration becomes increasingly harder but in my opinion risk taking is the way forward. You take a risk and it turns out well, you have achieved something by taking that risk but if it does not go well you do not stop , you persevere and you do something differently. You will never know if something will work or won't work if you do not try.

    Reply to this comment
  • Faringdon-logo-250x250.jpg motivated_grape | Faringdon Community College
    26 Nov 2019

    Space Exploration is great and all but is it worth the cost, not just money?
    Global government invested $14.6 billion in 2017 and an average of at least $15billion a year on space exploration.

    Is that too much?

    Good things about Space Exploration...
    Space Exploration is great because i think we need to learn about other planets just in case we kill this one.

    Also we need to be educated on it so if there is a disaster about to happen -eg:massive meteor the size of the Earth coming towards us- then we need to know so we can prevent it.

    It helps us do experiments on the human body just in case we need to move planets in the future.

    It helps us with something we use everyday and cant live without...

    "The Internet"

    Yes if we didn't have satellites there would be no internet or phone service!

    It helps us with climate change (also causing it a little) yes it really does because we can look at the Earth from space and see and test the bad parts of the Earth and that can help us back at our Space Centers across the world.

    Bad things about space exploration...
    On the other hand, the cost is extraordinary and is too much for something that may be damaging our O-Zone layer and could be one of the main causes of Global Warning.

    Also we might not like what we find eg:we spend billions of dollars on a rocket to find Alien-life-form and find nothing and unfortunately leaving masses of junk in Earth's orbit.

    Other nations could use it to exploit each other like for instance "The Space Race" that caused a lot of commission between countries in seeing who would be first in Space.

    Space Exploration will always have risks due to rockets blowing up costing peoples lives and a lot of time and money.

    So what do you think?

    Written by a proud member of FCC's BNC

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      motivated_grape's comment 26 Nov 2019

      A well-reasoned answer!

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