Space exploration has been a major interest among the United States since the space race in the mid-1900’s. Though space exploration may seem vital for expanding the wealth of our nation and enhancing life for us earth dwellers, there are certain issues that should be taken into consideration such as costs, ethical concerns, and the safety of our planet before we launch the rockets. Exploring the solar system is positively viewed by many, but most people do not agree with the amount of money being used for these explorations. 0. 06 out of each federal dollar is spent on space and technology; that is three cents more that is being spent on space than being paid towards veterans benefits, and is two cents more than what the federal government spends on education, employment, and social services (Source C). Some people argue that our money could be used more wisely by putting it towards medical research. The National Institute of Health investigates ways to cure, prevent, and treat diseases.
Using the federal governments money, NIH has helped decreased deaths from heart diseases and AIDS and has significantly improved the quality of life for those living with an illness (Source D). After seeing these achievements in medical research, citizens find it more sensible to support the mission to improve health rather than supporting the mission to space. Another major factor that needs to be considered before the journey in space are the ethical concerns. A group dedicated to ethics has brought up the issue of humans impact on space.
Human expansion has nearly destroyed our Earth; we have problems such as global warming, pollution, and deforestation. This group fears the impact humans have on space sense there has been such a negative impact here on Earth (Source E). Another ethical concern is that space explorations is not a necessity. The United States is on a very tight budget. Being 14 trillion dollars in debt, tax payers believe the federal government should take care of the problems here on Earth, rather than spending money that the government doesn’t have, on space exploration.
The reason for the race to space in the first place was for defense during the Cold War. Now that we no longer need to satisfy that need for satellites as a means of spying on other countries, U. S residents do not find it necessary to support space exploration with their taxes. Lastly, safety is a big issue. There is a huge possibility of bringing extraterrestrial germs back with equipment/people who have recently come back from outer space. When crews return from space journeys, they have to be quarantined to prevent back contamination (Source F).
There is also a threat of forward contamination: contaminating the solar system ecosystem with terrestrial organisms that are brought from Earth to space via rockets, technology, and astronauts. Yes space exploration is important for the expansion of our nation, even our world, but it is in consideration if it is even worth it at this point in time due to ethical and safety concerns. Another concern is if we even have the means to support a trip to outer space when considering national debt and problems here on Earth.