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Why Space?

Why Space?

The reasons we explore are as diverse as the destinations. Space is an infinite frontier that beckons us with clues about the origins of the universe and our place in it. Investigations of our celestial neighbors will help scientists study mysteries of the cosmos and challenge engineers to develop cost-effective space systems to safely complete missions of tomorrow.


Over 250,000 high-tech American workers make human space exploration possible. The space industry accounts for nearly 2% of the U.S. gross domestic product.



Human spaceflight (HSF) drives innovation and showcases our nation’s technical prowess. Your support enables affordable deep space exploration and reliable transport to the International Space Station (ISS).


HSF programs provide unique microgravity and deep space environments for diverse scientific investigations. For example, research conducted aboard the space station is being utilized in both vaccine and cancer treatment development on Earth.


Over 43 million K-12 students have participated in HSF educational activities. Space exploration missions ignite curiosity and inspire students to pursue math and science disciplines.


Commitment to HSF programs is critical to global competitiveness and long-term economic growth. Every $1.00 invested in NASA produces an estimated $7.00 in the U.S. economy.

Why Space?

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Human Space Exploration Concept Maps

The Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) has teamed up with NASA to create the ultimate web of space exploration concepts, video, imagery, and mission program websites. The benefits of HSF are presented through a series of interactive maps catered to your preferences and areas of interest.