Space exploration is beneficial to mankind in many ways. It should not be viewed as a waste of resources, time, or money. There are different arguments concerning the issue whether space exploration is a waste or not.
Space exploration and astronomy in general allow us to learn more about our home, the Earth. We are now aware of the existence of other planets, stars, and galaxies that exist beyond it. As humanity develops, so does the technological exploration that improves our abilities to travel to space, which are beneficial to us despite the fact that many opponents do not agree here.
Counterarguments only consider the disadvantages that come with space exploration – for example, the expensive cost of operations. But we should take into consideration that space exploration comes together with important technological improvements. Heavy reliance on technology triggers extensive research that develops technical knowledge that is applied not only in space exploration. Doeden (2011) asserts that space exploration involves investigation of physical conditions in space and on stars, planets, and their moons using artificial satellites. Astronomy encourages future generations to focus on what is beyond the Earth whether for fun or scientific discoveries. In addition, it creates sufficient awareness about what is around our planet.
Public contention and politics have over the years become a big challenge for space exploration. It is a political problem because of the high level of resources required for the related projects. Some members of the public ask why it is necessary to waste their money on space while it can be spent for some other purposes. This is an indicator of the lack of knowledge about the benefits of space exploration. Not many people remember that owing to astronomy and space exploration, we have learned that there is water on the Moon, meaning that there is a possibility of existence of life. The efforts in this case were applied for the overall benefit of mankind (Morris, 2012). Competition to travel to the Moon was at first a political issue that became competition between countries (Sadeh, 2002).
Space exploration has the potential of discovering new concepts and phenomena about space. These activities resolve mysteries about everything that surrounds the Earth. Through the exploration of space, we may discover resources that will help us in future – for example, minerals and rocks (Kirkland, 2010). This would be a good investment because of the pressure on the existing resources on Earth. And it is not just a fulfillment of the human appetite for adventure; rather, there is a lot to benefit from. Stott says that the “majority of those against space exploration do not understand its benefits to humanity” (Stott, 2010).
Space exploration brings together different people from various research and science fields and puts them to work on some very difficult problems. The result in this case is seen in useful inventions and discoveries. Thus, space exploration triggers technological advancement and is worth its cost because it benefits the people. Without knowledge of our surroundings we become vulnerable to threats. The Sun, asteroids, and other things around us can pose a great threat. Space exploration gives us better understanding of all the possible dangers we face and our relationship with things like the Sun and the Moon. A number of arguments against space exploration show that we do not have enough money to waste on such activities. Underfunding of space exploration programs leads to poor results. Space travel costs millions of dollars for a single trip. It is possible to pay millions to go to space adventure tours. For tours that are more than just adventure, the cost is justified (Morris, 2012).
The satellites in space help us predict any hazardous weather conditions and provide services such as television and communications. Without space exploration, television and communication services would not be as they are. Angelo shows that space programs also lead to other cutting edge technology developments that critics still take for granted – for example, long distance communication and smoke detectors. Cost should not be a concern in such important matters. Space exploration has pros and cons in this case. It is necessary to determine the level of disadvantages as opposed to advantages in terms of expenditures.
The cost of space exploration is high, but the return is even higher, thus making space exploration well worth the cost. Those who are convinced that it is all about wasteful adventure lack knowledge about basic things like telecommunication satellites in space. It is true, we have to settle the matters down here before focusing on those outside…
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Space exploration requires vast sums of money. Is the amount of money spent on space research justifiable? Could the money be better spent?
There has always been considerable discussion about whether governments should spend tax payers’ money on space research. In my view it is impossible to justify the amount of money spent on such projects. Generally speaking, the main reason for this position is that there are several areas in which the money could be invested better.
The first point to make is that politicians have a responsibility to spend public money on projects that bring a benefit to the general public. This has not been the case with space research as most developments have been limited to helping astronauts in space or have been very specialised. For example, it is not of great value to the general public that we now have pens and biros that can write upside down. This does not merit the huge amount of money spent.
The second point to make is that there are many much more urgent projects on Earth that require investment. If governments spent less money on space research, then they would be able to help solve some of these problems such as population control, elimination of diseases like cholera, global warming and food shortages. It seems to me that all of these issues are more important because they affect the lives of millions of ordinary people. An illustration of this is that the US government could provide food for all the starving people in the world if they did not spend so much on NASA.
My conclusion is that politicians should not fund space research. The grounds for saying this are that it is very costly and provides few real benefits. Furthermore, there are several more urgent issues that need to be funded.