Dawn M. Keiser

Community Education


How Space Exploration Benefits Society

sunrise from space.jpg

How Space Exploration Benefits Society

Offered periodically through the
Santa Rosa Junior College's Community Education Department

Santa Rosa Junior College
1501 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Emeritus Hall, Rm. 1596


Over the course of this class, students learn about and discuss NASA and the space industry’s current and future missions, what those missions mean for the rest of us, and why space exploration research is more relevant than ever.

Did you know that the case protecting your phone may have been made using NASA developed material? Or that the bubbles in your craft brew could be from technology originally designed for use on Mars? 

Aerospace organizations like NASA are on the front lines of technological, scientific, and industrial innovation, and perhaps without even knowing it we see evidence of their work every day.  From imaging technology that helps firefighters coordinate wildfire efforts to the GPS we use to navigate through busy city streets, the benefits of space exploration research are everywhere.  We even have the ability to recycle thousands of tons of plastic waste into usable fuel. 

As NASA prepares for the retirement of International Space State, and commercial businesses make ready to take over low earth orbit, the space industry is on the cusp paradigm shift that could change the world as profoundly as when we succeeded in sending human beings into space for the first time.

SPACE EXPLORATION RESEARCH has given the world innovations in technology, medicine, communications, climate science, and education.  Here are just a few examples of advancements we benefit from that were made possible by applied space research:

  • cancer detection and treatment
  • cardiovascular disease detection
  • imaging and diagnostic tools
  • surgical sterilization
  • water filtration
  • food preservation
  • climate modeling
  • energy conservation
  • renewable power
  • wildlife preservation
  • ocean debris removal
  • water pollution mitigation
  • panoramic photography
  • emergency life rafts
  • architectural stability and fire resistant design
  • home and vehicle insulation
  • prosthetics

New Means to Address Global Challenges. Partnerships and capabilities developed through space exploration create new opportunities for addressing global challenges. Space exploration is a global endeavor contributing to trust and diplomacy between nations. Enhanced global partnerships and exploration capabilities may help advance international preparedness for protecting the Earth from catastrophic events such as some asteroid strikes, advancing collaborative research on space weather and protecting spacecraft by developing new means for space debris removal. Knowledge derived from space exploration may also contribute to implementing policies for environmentally sustainable development.”

 ‘Benefits Stemming from Space Exploration’ International Space Exploration Group, 2013