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Children are the key to our success in space. Every student knows that an astronaut is someone who goes up to space and back down to earth. By promoting the idea of an evolution of astronautics as earth’s second-generation of astronauts who get to go up to space and stay there, around the world we can reignite and recapture the imaginations of students and school children.
Presently, the idea of returning to space holds little in the way of imagination. By introducing children at grassroots, individual classroom level—particularly elementary and primary students, 8-12 years of age—to the idea that by the time they are young adults they will have the opportunity to be part of “earth’s next generation of astronaut”, ordinary school students can be transformed into the most formidable allies for the cause of space. By allowing children to “consider new careers in space” such as “asteroid miner” or “zero-grav athlete” or “space captain”, a reignited imagination will take students up paths of science and math towards careers as engineers and physicists (as well as well-educated space athletes).
Children and students are not a secondary-concern of any plan for a commitment to space; children are the single-most important component to the success of this next foray into space. With more leisure time on their hands and arguably the greatest influence of any single group on the planet, empowering children to become space acolytes will be the single-greatest determining factor in the move towards a global policy of space.