San Francisco Section of AIAA

AIAA SF, P.O. Box 1548, Mountain View, CA 94042-1548
AIAA AIAA-SF@Blogspot AIAA-SF@Facebook

Winning Entries in the 2009 AIAA-SF Essay Contest

How important is international cooperation for the growth of space exploration?



7th Grade, First Place

Primus Lam
Horner Junior High School, Fremont, CA
Sponsoring teacher: Ms. Cheryl Chiu

Man has always dreamt of reaching into the stars and observing everything among those shining points of light. Now, space exploration has come a long way from a mere dream, with the “Space Race” and other massive leaps into the heavens. However, to make even further progress, international cooperation is of utmost importance. International cooperation will allow full utilization of global resources, increasing the capacity of space exploration by a great factor. It will, meanwhile, destroy antagonistic relations between nations by joining the world in a unified endeavor to explore further into the depths of space.

International cooperation in space exploration has an obvious advantage over a national attempt. One nation’s great designers will be able to access another nation’s vast database of knowledge about space. Perhaps a country’s engineering process can be combined with another’s quality metals and other materials to build a superior spacecraft. This cooperation should cause an incredible growth in “scouting the heavens.”

While such an alliance can help speed progress in space exploration, it can also decrease hostility between nations and promote world peace. When people share a common goal, something incredible takes place as former antagonism is forgotten and combat is halted. This allows all the more time and money for progress in peaceful, constructive processes, like, say, space exploration.

In summary, the growth of space exploration will be painstakingly slow if only individual countries take place. International cooperation will not only kick start space exploration, but it will also promote healthy relations between nations. International cooperation is the way to go for space exploration.


7th Grade, Second Place

Aishwarya Aravind
Horner Junior High, Fremont, CA
Sponsoring teacher: Ms. Cheryl Chiu

Title: How important is international cooperation for the growth of space exploration?

“United We Stand, Divided We Fall” - This quote comes to my mind when I think about the importance of international cooperation for the growth of space exploration. Exploration has always been part of the American way of life, and we were the first country to put a man on the moon. Exploration programs also improve our knowledge of different sciences that consequently help people everywhere.

It has been said that the next frontier is outer space exploration. As the American experience has proved since our early days, exploration has always helped people since we usually gain access to new places, minerals, materials, etc., that enrich our life experience. Even though the benefits of space exploration may be great, we are at a point in time when no nation can effectively take on this daunting task independently. However, if many nations are willing to pool their resources, a lot can be accomplished. For example, some countries may only have expertise in specific fields of science; some may only have financial capacity, while others may only have special skills and knowledge needed for such missions.

Each of these nations will most likely be unable to take on the entire exploration project independently, and will consequently miss out on the benefits. However, if there is global cooperation, if everyone works as a team and get the best out of each other, they will succeed and help the entire human race.


7th Grade, Third Place

Fujia Luo
Joaquin Miller Middle School, San Jose, CA
Sponsoring teacher: Ms. Pallavi Shah

Title: “How important is international cooperation for the growth of space exploration?”

International cooperation is very important for space exploration. International cooperation needs more attention. Despite claims saying international cooperation won’t help much, with international cooperation, technological advantages from different countries can be combined, a wider choice of resources will be available to use, and space races will end to bring peace.

First, technological advantages from different countries can be combined. Every country has its own advantages and disadvantages of space knowledge. If we cooperate internationally, all the disadvantages will be mended by advantages from other countries. The more we cooperate, the more we will learn in space exploration.

Second, a wider choice of resources will be available to use to study space. If we cooperate internationally, we will be able to access other powerful resources such as new telescopes and rockets. As we share resources with other countries, we gain more to use to increase our space knowledge.

Lastly, space races will end to bring peace to our world. The space race in the last century did not make space exploration any more advanced but brought more troubles to people’s lives. International cooperation can eliminate this problem. We’ll always be one team, internationally.

In conclusion, international cooperation for the growth of space exploration is very important. With international cooperation, technological advantages from different countries can be combined, a wider choice of resources will be available, and space races will end to bring peace. So let’s make sure our knowledge of space will grow in a peaceful world. The choice is ours!


8th Grade, Second Place

Clair Floyd
Bernal Intermediate School, San Jose, CA
Sponsoring teacher: Mr. Daniel Judnick

Title: How important is international cooperation for the growth of space exploration?

International cooperation is very important when it comes to space exploration. Look at it like this; without international cooperation, every country would be launching their own satellites, without any communication of ideas and findings, or any sharing of earth’s recourses. It is vital to the expansion of space exploration to have all countries sharing a common goal and database.

Imagine a classroom where the teacher allows no interaction of students, so the students cannot help each other on projects. The teacher then asks the students to individually study, say, the growth of plants over a period of time and how much water is needed for maximum growth. However, there is only one plant in the entire classroom. The students cannot communicate, so they cannot decide how to share the plant to conduct the experiment. It is virtually impossible for them to complete the experiment. This is how space travel would be without the necessary international cooperation.

Now, imagine the same classroom, but now with a teacher that lets them communicate and share ideas. Although the experiment would still be difficult with the limited materials they have, they are now able to talk to each other and come up with a solution to their problem. Eventually, they will be able to complete the project and come up with a rough answer. Space exploration, as shown in this metaphor, would be a lot more productive if countries were willing to cooperate and communicate.

International cooperation would prevent wasted time and chaos in space exploration. Horrible accidents could be avoided, such as satellites crashing into each other. The same experiments would not be conducted twice saving the financial resources of all the countries involved if they were to share their information and plans. In conclusion, international cooperation is very important for the growth of space exploration.