Overview of the Project:
We just went through Project Space Race. During this project, we learned all about how space programs and rovers work, how space and our moon orbits, along with many design tech techniques. At the start of our project, Mr. K also known as Phil came in to talk to us about his experience in SpaceX, a real space company, which inspired us and was very helpful. We then researched a lot about previous rovers and history innovation that was driven by competition. In the end, we came up with a plan to go to this exoplanet called PSO J318.5-22, created a website and an actual working rover for our space company. This project was very fun and I learned a lot about space and new designing skills while competing with our classmates.
Some important ideas people took away was that new space programs like us might be the key to innovation in humanity and lead to our future. Some people were surprised about how fast we could travel 80 light years with warp speed in just under 60 days. I was able to change some people’s thinking about space as we convinced them about the benefits for them in return like a trip to our solar system which concluded in many people investing in our company; Capricruise. I learned to attract their attention by hooking them in with something cool like our rover and the website pages. If we had more time and had a chance to make another prototype, I would change the back wheels to a wheel that could turn 360 degrees so that our rover could turn on the next iteration, but overall, I think I did pretty good researching and going from just an idea written on a piece of paper to a wooden rover that moves.
Reflection to the Driving Question:
What drives innovation?
One thing I found really surprising was that new space and old space programs are competing against each other for achieving more advanced space technology, but on the other hand, they also contain a symbiotic relationship. This made me think that competition drives innovation, but it could also form a bridge between them which would take their goal one step further. For example, during the Cold War and the Space Race in 1957, America and the Soviet Union also competed for space technology. This Space Race lead to many advancements in society here on Earth that is widely used today from memory foam to freeze-dry foods to LEDs in cancer treatment and the satellites. In the end, they successfully joint mission known as Apollo-Soyuz and got the two crews to meet, shake hands, exchange gifts, ending the space race in 1975, and continued to innovate more technology.
The driving question impacts me or my community because innovation is the key to creating and inventing new technology and ideas which will then help develop our world to a better condition. For example, in our company, I play the role of an engineer and I agreed to come to this space program since I believe that throughout this mission, humanity will improve in innovation and creativity. Particularly, we will make advancements in science by discovering new materials and substances, not to mention that this is also determining our future. Innovation is not only new ideas and actions that get rewarded, but it also has an effect on every single person on Earth, and maybe even outside of Earth into space.
Looking back on this Project Space Race, I realize that collaboration, competition, and also unanswered questions help to drive innovation. For example, when building our rover and coming up with an idea for our space mission, we found out that there were many challenges and obstacles in the way. This forced us to ask questions and work together to try and solve them. In this process, I believe we were innovating the entire time, as in the end we found warp speed and built an amazing rover that works. However, a big question I still have is if we spend billions of dollars and decades to get to this exoplanet, could we just find an alternative?