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Casey Beck

Mandan High School track athlete Casey Beck clears a hurdle during an indoor workout in January as he prepares for the spring track season.

When originally asked what expectations I had for society in the future, many things came to mind. Of course, everyone wants to see hunger ended or world peace; however, I also thought it would be important to look at what is physically possible for my generation to overcome.

The one thing I would love to see in my lifetime, that I believe to be obtainable, is an expansion to space travel. This would be a great scientific jump not only for my generation, but for the future of Earth and mankind.

Lately, NASA has fallen out of favor with politicians and society. The American space program is a far cry from it’s heyday in the 1960s and ‘70s. I have always heard stories from family about when America first reached the stars and the moon. Headlines such as “U.S. puts man in space” or “U.S. beats Russia to the moon” created pride and hope for America’s and the world’s future. During this time, we also saw the inception of pop culture classics, such as“Star Trek,” “Star Wars” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.” These films and TV shows were the children of the space age.

In the modern era, I now believe it’s time for the culture to drive innovation. Movies such as “The Martian,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Interstellar” have shown a new generation what the outer reaches of space can look and feel like. I believe many people yearn to once again see headlines in our papers such as “Man steps foot on Mars” or “Americans reach edge of solar system.”

However, it is now obvious that private companies are the ones seeking these headlines. Corporations, such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, are leading the charge into space. While they are often seen as a continuation of the American Dream in space, I believe that no group is better fit to take the world into a new space age than NASA.

I would love to see a renewed NASA become a major topic in America. NASA bringing back space travel should be a goal for this country. Whether it’s back to the moon or the first steps on Mars, I would like nothing more than to see that achieved in my lifetime.

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