7 Unexpected Lessons We Can Learn From Space Exploration
Space travel is a personal growth booster once we apply these learnings to our lives.
Let’s pretend it’s the year 2030, and a friend hands you a free one-way ticket to the latest Mars colony. Your cruise will only take seven months with a travel distance of 300 million miles. Would you take it?
It might sound alluring for some of us to escape the problems here on Earth. But let’s be real — most of us will never be experienced space travelers. The amount of demanded astronauts is extremely slight. It takes years of training and preparation to put your feet on another planet. Even if you’ve accomplished the long-lasting training period and finally arrive on Mars, you’d need to have a strong affection for red stones and sand to not freak out within your first week.
Nevertheless, it’s incredible how much brainpower we put into exploring space, yet we are still in the early development stages.
All the lessons learned from space exploration in the last century are precious — not just for the astronauts and the engineers but for each of us. The problems and limitations of space exploration are often similar to the challenges we face in our lives, even if just metaphorically. Space travel can act as a powerful personal growth booster once we apply the lessons learned in our lives.
#1 There Is Seemingly No End.
Science currently estimates 100–400 billion stars to be contained by the Milky Way. The number of stars in our neighboring galaxy Andromeda is estimated to be roughly twice the number Milky Way envelops.
The Hubble space telescope recorded a 4K shot of Andromeda, which is definitely worth watching if you want to get lost in the incredible vastness of the universe.
In 2016, scientists revised the number of galaxies in the observable universe from a previous estimate of 200 billion to a suggested two trillion galaxies. We don’t need to count them precisely to make the statement that there is seemingly no end in reach.
Currently, we’ve neither realistic chances nor practicable technologies to travel these vast distances within a lifespan of a human. Nevertheless, it doesn’t dissuade humans from longing for interstellar travels. Scientists are developing new kinds of engines and simulate possibilities. They are tapping into new territory every day.
Treat your personal growth the same way. There is no clear answer to the famous “meaning of life” question. There is no definite path you should take. There is no ultimate advice for dealing with uncertainty and guessing your next step when you’ve pushed yourself out of your comfort zone.
But you don’t need a clear explanation. All your needs, passions, and existential goals are within you, and they will change over time as you mature and grow. Just start with what you have. Once you allow yourself to handle your sh*t, you’ll adopt a stronger, more resilient, and more positive attitude.
Your growth won’t have an endpoint. There are no achievements that point out that you’ve reached your maximum level of personal growth. Your milestones, your outcomes, and your results are just the fruits of your evolvement, but the evolvement itself is the most meaningful factor.
#2 It All Starts With the Bold Dream.
Let me go out on a limb and say Elon Musk is the modern Christopher Columbus.
Columbus had this bold dream in mind to make the western trading route to India accessible. Back then, pursuing his bold dream was uncertain and risky. His target was a harbor town in China (which was back then a part of India). Through his expedition, he landed on an island of the Bahamas and hence discovered America in 1492.
Transferring this to modern intentions, have you noticed the website of the Mars vision of SpaceX? It looks futuristic, almost like a movie trailer. But Elon Musk is serious about it. He has this bold dream in mind. He is one of the most hyped people on this planet, maybe because he allows himself to dream big and bold and puts his dreams into reality by taking the necessary actions.
Have that bold dream in mind. Take your unrealistic dream, protect it, and put a practice around it. Let it give you purpose and drive.
#3 The Hardest Part Is To Overcome Gravity.
If you want to get off Earth, you need to do it quickly and with as little baggage as possible. The two variables are energy and weight.
If you have a project or a craft, you need to consider these two variables, especially if you’re at the beginning.
Decrease your mental weight by unlearning unsupportive beliefs that hold you down and replace them with thinking patterns that push you to the next level.
Like a spacecraft has enough fuel in its tanks to leave earth, you need an extraordinary amount of steady energy to take off. Hence, consume things that raise your energy level: Everything you hear, see, smell, taste, and feel. These impressions will be processed in similar means by your body and mind. Make sure you feed your body with healthy, energizing food. Create recharging routines and keep a flawless sleeping routine. Read uplifting books. If you have a TV routine, prefer valuable content.
Mental weight affects physical energy more than you might think at first. Because your life is always a manifestation of your thoughts, a heavy mind damps your energy level.
A good example is how we get out of bed: If we don’t want to get up, often the reason is that we’re not pumped to live our day. We don’t have energy because our brains are literally sitting on us, spinning afraid, angry, sad, uncertain thoughts.
Shape a positive attitude towards your life. Let negative emotions surface and find ways to resolve them, even if it’s painful to do so. Your mental baggage will get lighter, and your energy level will increase implicitly.
Consuming positive and supportive things will metabolize into an extraordinary amount of energy and also a positive attitude towards life.
#4 Reusability and Repetition Creates Progress.
Lots of composite and costly materials like exotic metal alloys and fibered sheets are used in spacecraft development.
“As the number of flights increases, economies of scale kick in. That’s the key to getting the cost to drop dramatically.” says Les Johnson, a technical assistant at NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office.
The Falcon 9 of SpaceX is the first orbital-class rocket capable of re-flight. It was designed to launch over and over again. This reusability of rockets and devices drops the cost heavily. To simplify the rule: the more space travels we do, the more sustained the development must become, and as follows, the cheater it gets.
Work with this rule to create a habitual practice around your craft. The more you consistently execute your actions, the less conscious energy it will cost you to maintain. Create a routine that allows your brain to work on autopilot, in other words, to get into a flow state.
Make time to sit down and execute as regularly and often as possible. Let your brain do the rest.
#5 Uncontrollable Space Debris Can Always Hit You.
Ok, congratulations! You’ve launched a rocket into orbit. Now you travel to Mars, and that’s it, right? Unfortunately not, in case of a clunky, softball-sized piece of satellite coming from out of nowhere with around 17,500 mph and bursting through your fuel tank.
In fact, if you count all the pieces currently floating around Earth’s orbit, you’ll get around 500,000 objects (including pieces under 10 centimeters). Even though there is no protection against a whole dead satellite, layers of metal and Kevlar are added to the ships to protect them against this trash.
There will be setbacks on your personal way to your goal, obstacles that will hit you from the left and the right.
“The № 1 thing holding you back from overcoming obstacles is your wish for them to disappear.” — Ayodeji Awosika
If you wish these setbacks to disappear, a simple fact is: They won’t.
Growth is hard, so you need to adopt a mindset that involves confronting this reality head-on, even though you know it will hurt. Traveling with this fact in mind will create a mental Kevlar that makes you resilient and perseverant.
#6 There’s No GPS for Space.
The Deep Space Network is a collection of antenna arrays in Spain, Australia, and California. It is the only navigation tool for space. An ultraprecise atomic clock on Earth tracks how long it takes for a signal to get from the Deep Space Network to a spacecraft and back. By doing so, the navigators can determine the craft’s position.
So far, so good. However, the farther the spacecraft moves away from Earth, the less reliable this method becomes. The stars can tell you where to go, but they’re too distant to tell you where you are.
New deep-space navigation systems are under development which will run autonomously by aligning on nearby known objects to use their relative location to triangulate the space ship's coordinates.
Apply the same method on your life’s path. The more you live a life outside of society's expectations, the more you need to rely on your own intuition to travel in the correct direction towards your dreams.
Have teachers and mentors that already arrived where you desire to go. Use their knowledge to find nearby anchor points to calculate your current relative position on your path. They can give you a foothold and the certainty that you’re on the right path to some degree.
#7 Leave the Planet Because We Can, Not Because We Have To.
Why should we travel into space? Movies like Interstellar bring up the idea that the foremost reason for leaving the planet is because we f*cked up Earth.
This is a dangerous line of thinking that creates a moral hazard. We shouldn’t consider the option to leave Earth and be able to go to Mars after we messed up Earth. All cases about settlement beyond the solar system result in the same: that we probably can’t. For us, Earth is currently the only habitable place in the universe in our reach.
So we need to maintain Earth, and it starts with the individual, the same way collective thinking starts in individual thinking. Do you think your action doesn’t matter?
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” — The Dalai Lama
It’s essential not only to serve yourself with excellence but to share it with the world. Focus on the stuff that Earth and its inhabitants need.
The challenges of space travel often seem so abstract, technical, and too distant to concern. But they can actually serve your personal growth and shift the way you perceive life.
- The universe has seemingly no end, just as your growth won’t reach an endpoint.
- Your bold dream in mind might sound unrealistic, but it sparks the fire to create something bigger than yourself.
- A light rocket can overcome gravity easier, just as a positive attitude towards life can help you overcome resistance.
- Rockets are equipped with shields against uncontrollable space debris, just as a strong mindset acts like a mental kevlar supporting you to overcome impediments along your road.
And most of all, to share your skills with the world, the same way the world collaborates as a union to develop space travel technologies. Making a difference starts with the individual person. So focus on the stuff that Earth and its inhabitants need and share your breakthroughs.