Space exploration is often a topic that sparks a lot of debate. In the past, space exploration was a huge part of American history and was one of the biggest focal points during the “Space Race” until 1969 when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first to land on the moon. However, this fascination with space exploration did not stop here. Space exploration continued with the Mars Rover programs and is still ongoing to some extent.
There is rising debate on if space exploration is still necessary and relevant. There are differing opinions on this issue. Many people are split on if the space exploration program is still worthwhile. There are those that feel the negatives of space exploration outweigh the potential benefits, but others that have an opposing viewpoint. The only way to form your own opinion on this issue is to take a closer look at the pros and cons of space exploration and decide for yourself if it is still worthwhile.
The Pros of Space Exploration
Even though there are some down sides to space exploration, there are also some amazing benefits that can be gained. Space allows us to improve technology at a rapid rate and get access to innovation that might not be possible without the space program. Discoveries from space exploration have led to innovations in medicine, transportation, public safety, computer technology, agriculture and almost all areas of society. Examples of this innovation include GPS technology, breast cancer imaging and so much more. Halting space exploration could lead to a loss of innovation and technology.
2. Economic Benefits of Space Exploration
Even though the cost of space exploration is enormous, it still brings in a lot of money to the economy through jobs. Without space exploration the economy could be effected in a negative way with the loss of many jobs.
The Cons of Space Exploration
1. Space Pollution
One of the biggest disadvantages involving space exploration is space pollution. There are those that argue very vehemently that space exploration has the potential to pollute space at a rapid rate. Many feel that it is possible to actually destroy space by continuing to have rocket boosters launched in this direction or having satellites floating in space. We already know for a fact that we are polluting the earth at a rapid rate and some feel we should not take our polluting to space. This is a concern that will only grow as space exploration continues.
2. The High Cost of a National Space Program
It should also be noted that one of the biggest cons associated with space exploration is the enormous cost of space programs. Simply funding the space program is a huge cost and continuing the program has not shown to be cost effective to many. This is especially true given the dire situation that the economy is currently in. Spending so much money on space exploration is not seen as the best use of public funds. In 2011 NASA actually celebrated its 30th anniversary and at this time the total cost of running this space program had reached over $195 billion dollars. This is an astronomical amount of money. Many feel that the funds currently used for space exploration could be better used in other ways.
Another real negative of space exploration involves the potential for danger. Space exploration is incredibly risky and many tragic accidents have occurred due to the exploration of the space program. One of the most known accidents was in 1986 when The Challenger Shuttle exploded only 73 seconds after it took flight. This led to a hiatus for the entire space program for over 32 months. The dangers of space exploration are real and should not be forgotten.
There are many people that seem to fall right in the middle of the issue. These are the people that understand all the disadvantages of continuing space exploration, but also think that there are many benefits to be gained. The type of space exploration that is continued can vary depending on what the space program chooses to focus on. Many of those that are split on the issue feel that ultimately the universe and our planet can benefit greatly from improved space exploration.
Is Space Exploration All Good or All Bad?
It is important to understand that many different factors go into evaluating the effectiveness of space exploration. This issue is not one that is simply cut and dry. There are two sides that need to be taken seriously. This means that both the pros and cons of space exploration need to be evaluated concisely and given the importance that they deserve. This is the only way to determine if space exploration is still worthwhile. This is a complex issue that should not be taken lightly or forgotten.