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Advances in technology will take NASA into deep space

Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket is seen here launching with a capsule attached in 2019.
Blue Origin
Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket is seen here launching with a capsule attached in 2019.

Rapidly improving technology is making access to outer space cheaper and more accessible — even high school kids have satellites in space. But it's also increasing deeper space explorations to other planets.

At a recent Small Sat technical session at the Utah State University Logan campus, James Spann, a space weather lead for NASA, presented the Artemis program. This is NASA’s first deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft.

With Artemis l, the spacecraft will travel from earth to the moon and even travel thousands of miles away from the moon and eventually to Mars, in a trip that will range from four to six weeks. Spann is hopeful that in future Artemis Programs, they will travel not just to Mars, but also to Venus. The theme of the conference this year is "Out of This World." Spann explains why deep space exploration is such a hot topic.

“I think the fundamental reason is that as humans, we are just curious. And it's, it's part of our nature, it kind of gets us in trouble sometimes. But it also is a great way to expand our abilities, and to use the knowledge that we gain here on the earth to try to understand how things work," Span said. "But also, I would say that the technology is available now to get into space for not very much money or compared to what it used to be, you know, 30 years ago."

Cameron Murray, business development manager for Edwards Vacuum says being able to go out of the planet and to others involves pushing boundaries of space and science, alongside learning more about the solar system.

“To go further out into the solar system, explore other planets requires more and more advanced technology. So actually, in doing that, we're actually developing higher tech products that can then be used here on Earth, and improve all of our lives,” Murray said.

Michael Ward, a research scientist of ASTER Labs says deep space exploration is something that piques the interest of others.

“It's that new frontier, you know, people are trying to become kind of new explorers and have something new. And it really is, almost like a citizen, you know, could actually explore another planet," Ward said.

Ward also says that because so many satellites and rockets have been launched in the past, it feels as though anyone can do it, even high schools now have their own satellites in space.