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Benefits and Dangers of Space Exploration

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    Why should we explore space? Why should we spend money, time and effort researching the great beyond with no immediate benefit? Should we spend resources on space rather than here on Earth? Perhaps the best answer lies in our own history. Past civilizations spent millions on exploring the “New World. ” Nearly all successful civilizations have been willing and eager to explore. Isn’t it the very nature of humans to ask questions and seek out new lands?

    We understand that there could be many dangers associated with exploring space. We could lose lives, squander budgets, and possible waste time and effort. But what would happen if we did not. We learn new things about our planet everyday from space exploration. With a new and better understanding of the dangers we may face, their effects or consequences could be lessened by simply seeing what else is out there. The question of why we should spend money on space exploration seems to always be the first question posed.

    As we see it, “…for the foreseeable future, space travel is going to be expensive, difficult and dangerous. But, for the United States, it is strategic” (Griffin). The United States government has enough money to work on problems both here and in space and will continue to explore the last frontier. America spends twelve million dollars an hour on the war in the Middle East; meanwhile, NASA is less than 1% of the US budget. While many resources are spent on what seems like a small return, the exploration of space has always allowed for new resources to be created.

    Also, we need to consider the fact that exploring space is a project that has brought together many nations. “But if no one sees the Moon, Mars and the now mostly constructed International Space Station as baby steps toward the exploration of space on a grander scale, then in the long run such UN etc. intervention will have little impact on human colonization and social experimentation. Furthermore, outer space is one of the few places governments of the world may actually work together toward specific goals” (Klein 10).

    These technologies may be more than the physical assets we think of. Space exploration is necessary because of the things we learn from it. Satellites have found holes in our ozone layers, letting us know we were damaging our own ecosystem. Weather predication, global communication, TV, GPS, and many more technologies were all developed from space exploration. Techniques acquired in space exploration or the ways we learn how to prepare for space exploration have filtered into everyday life.

    These techniques may also be medical applications, such as new drugs or ways of living to increase the quantity or quality of time lived. Other techniques may be social, allowing the people in a society to better understand those within or outside that culture. While space may hold many wonders and explanations of how the universe was formed or how it works, it also holds dangers. “Even so, science clearly will not be in the driver seat for any new initiative. So should researchers go along from the ride anyway” (Lawler 611)? The answer is yes.

    Eventually, the technologies we develop will reach the point where we can detect any threats or prepare for any dangers. It could be the best chance for us to survive any situation. Without the ability to reach out across space, the chance for us to survive may not exist. As far as we know now, Earth is the only planet known to be able to sustain life, but our ability as humans to adapt could eventually allow us to inhabit other planets and moons. Our lifestyles may change, but we have adapted in the past and surely could in the future.

    Space would allow us to expand and succeed. “Other countries will explore the cosmos, whether the United States does or not. And those will be Earth’s great nations in the years to come. I believe America should look to its future – and consider what that future will look like if we choose not to be a spacefaring nation” (Griffin). Analysis Reflecting on my paper, I realized that ethos and logos have been used. Firstly, I asked myself if I am ethical in my writing.

    Knowing that there are dangers that can occur while exploring space, I have come to realize that more dangers may exist from ignoring the issues. My sources of information, two being peer reviewed articles and one from the Nasa. gov website are all credible and well worth reading. We have learned so much already from exploring space, that space exploration would definitely have its ethical arguments. Without any observation, would we know that we were damaging our own ecosystem. Logically speaking, we would need to continue to explore space as we have explored the rest of the world before.

    We do have the ability to continue exploring the Earth, however, the next step in the progression of mankind would be to explore space. All of these points are supported by my sources of information making the heart of my argument strong. Works Cited Klein, Ellen. “Space Exploration; Humanity’s Single Most Important Moral Imperative. ” Philosophy Now 61 (2007): 8-10. Proquest. Web. 15 Nov 2009. Lawler, Andrew. “How Much Space for Science? ” Science 303 (2007): 610-612. Proquest. Web. 15 Nov. 2009. “Why Explore Space. ” Nasa. gov. Nasa. Web. 18 Jan. 2007.

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