Space Exploration (Advantages vs. Disadvantages)

Updated on September 25, 2014

" . . . The United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward, and so will space."—President John F. Kennedy, 1962

"In spite of the opinions of certain narrow-minded people, who would shut up the human race upon this globe, as within some magic circle which it must never outstep, we shall one day travel to the moon, the planets, and the stars, with the same facility, rapidity, and certainty as we now make the voyage from Liverpool to New York."—Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon, 1865

Space Travel in American History

By NASA via Wikimedia Commons
By NASA via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Space exploration is a huge part of American history, from July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon and won the “space race," all the way up to the Mars Rover programs. Yet, there are many opinions about whether space exploration is worthwhile. Some people feel that the disadvantages of a national space program far outweigh the benefits. Many others believe that space exploration should be continued at all costs, that it has proven to be beneficial in the past, and that it will continue to do so.

My opinion probably falls somewhere in the middle. I can understand all of the disadvantages, but I also believe that it has helped our country and our world in countless, irreplaceable ways. While there are many disadvantages to funding a space program, nearly all of them could be solved (or at least partially resolved) with a better understanding of space, better methods, and improved technology. How do we achieve these things? Experience. The more we explore space and experiment, the faster our technology and methods will evolve and the better we will understand our universe and planet.

It is a complex issue. I summarize the arguments for and against space exploration in the table below and go into more detail.

Some Pros and Cons of a Space Program at a Glance

Disadvantages
Advantages
Pollution of outer space
Inventions resulting from space research
Cost of funding space program
Jobs created by space program
Dangers to astronauts
Understanding of natural world

Disadvantages: Space Exploration and Pollution

One of the biggest concerns about space travel and exploration is the possibility of polluting space. There are people who argue that we are destroying space with all of the the old satellites, pieces of equipment, and rocket launch boosters that float aimlessly around the universe. This is indeed a huge problem. We are already polluting earth, and that has caused many problems. We cannot let the same thing happen to outer space.

Two recent events drastically increased the amount of space junk floating through the universe. The first took place in 2007 when the Chinese government tested a missile by smashing an old weather satellite, breaking the it into 150,000 pieces of debris. The next dramatic increase happened two years later, when two satellites crashed into one another.

A 2011 study by the National Research Council suggests all sorts of unusual techniques for cleaning up the space trash. While there are plenty of logistical and diplomatic hurdles before any of them can be tried, methods such as harpoons, nets, tethers, magnets, and even a giant umbrella could be used to essentially sweep up pieces of debris. One idea proposes that a satellite be fitted with nets that could be sprung on pieces of junk. Then an electromagnetic tether could either pull the junk down to a point where it would burn up harmlessly or boost it to safer orbit.

The High Cost of a National Space Program

Apollo 9 astronaut Dave Scott photographed on March 6, 1969. His crewmate Rusty Schweickart, lunar module pilot, took this photograph from the porch of the lunar module.
Apollo 9 astronaut Dave Scott photographed on March 6, 1969. His crewmate Rusty Schweickart, lunar module pilot, took this photograph from the porch of the lunar module. | Source

Another argument against funding a national space program is the very high cost. Some argue that our missions to space are not very cost effective, especially considering the current state of our economy. In 2011 NASA celebrated the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle program. At that time, that program was estimated to have cost $196.5 billion by the end of 2011.

The Dangers of Space Exploration

One of the most tragic accidents associated with the American space program is the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. On January 28, 1986 the space shuttle exploded just 73 seconds into its flight, killing the crew of seven on board. The shuttle program was put on hiatus for 32 months after the explosion.

With more experience, however, comes greater understanding, and with a greater understanding comes better, safer technology. So, once again, continuing to explore space could help mitigate the dangers.

Advantages: Innovations Developed Through Space Exploration

The Georgia Dome in Atlanta uses a Teflon-coated fiberglass as a permanent roofing material. The fabric was originally developed for astronaut uniforms.By Latics (Own work) via Creative Commons.
The Georgia Dome in Atlanta uses a Teflon-coated fiberglass as a permanent roofing material. The fabric was originally developed for astronaut uniforms.By Latics (Own work) via Creative Commons. | Source

Even with the disadvantages to space travel, research conducted by NASA to develop the American space program has benefited society in a number of ways. Discoveries related to space have helped advance medicine, transportation, public safety, consumer goods production, environmental and agricultural resource management, computer technology, and industrial productivity.

A few specific innovations developed as a result of space program research:

GPS technology

breast cancer test imaging

an artificial heart pump based on the design of NASA’s space shuttle main engine fuel pumps that supplements the heart’s pumping capacity in the left ventricle

a mechanical arm that allows surgeons to operate three instruments, while simultaneously performing laparoscopic surgery

a lightweight breathing system for firefighters, credited with significant reductions in inhalation injuries

Teflon-coated fiberglass developed in the 1970s as a new fabric for astronaut spacesuits has been used as a permanent roofing material for buildings and stadiums

Economic Benefits of Space Exploration

It is true that we could spend less money on our missions and make them more cost effective, but space exploration, research, and travel provides hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S.and even more worldwide.

If you think unemployment is bad now, imagine how it would be without space exploration!

Greater Scientific Understanding

One of the components of NASA's research involves satellite missions to observe the earth from a distance. This research helps scientists around the world understand the earth's atmosphere in order to improve weather and natural disaster predictions.

So far, earth is the only planet that we know is capable of sustaining life. Information generated by NASA's earth science satellites helps answer questions about whether earth can continue to sustain its growing population and about changes in our climate.

Space exploration plays a big part in our day-to-day life whether we know it or not. Yes, there are dangers and disadvantages, but if we continue to explore space, test technologies, and take some risks, I am sure that most of the problems can and will be fixed.

Of course, nothing about space exploration will ever be perfect, but nothing is ever completely risk free. In the past, space exploration has proven itself to be extremely beneficial and will continue to do so in the future just so long as we continue to work hard to make it better.

What do you think about space exploration?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      prag 

      2 months ago

      nice work

    • profile image

      not today 

      3 months ago

      no space exploration

      :(

    • profile image

      ????? 

      4 months ago

      i like it it help me in my school project

    • profile image

      nood 

      5 months ago

      cool bro

    • profile image

      oi 

      6 months ago

      hi, good artical

    • profile image

      lol 

      6 months ago

      hi how are you guys

    • profile image

      C.C 

      6 months ago

      i LOVE SPACE

    • profile image

      HAHA 

      6 months ago

      GOT AN A ON THIS TEST THANKS MY BOIII

    • profile image

      P.B. 

      6 months ago

      this is a great website for great information

    • profile image

      qwertyui 

      6 months ago

      how long does it take to get to mars

    • profile image

      0987654321 

      6 months ago

      cool

    • profile image

      bob stone 

      6 months ago

      that was good

    • profile image

      porter 

      6 months ago

      we shall continue

    • profile image

      Ninja VS Myth- Fortnite 

      6 months ago

      Who's better, Ninja or Myth

    • profile image

      bob 

      6 months ago

      i got a b+, needs more pros to going into space. still good

    • profile image

      your mom 

      6 months ago

      thx it was great help;)

    • profile image

      YEE 

      7 months ago

      This website helped me a lot, I got a yee because of it! thank you for the website!!!!

    • profile image

      Isaac 

      7 months ago

      Thank you this helped so much

    • profile image

      Thanks 

      7 months ago

      This helped me finish a lot of stuff about space

    • profile image

      leana 

      7 months ago

      helpful

    • profile image

      hi 

      7 months ago

      thanks it helped me

    • profile image

      boogie man 

      7 months ago

      great article helped me in school.

    • profile image

      ria 

      10 months ago

      helpful site

    • profile image

      ubuihgoiuh 

      16 months ago

      i like this riting

    • profile image

      hiimawesome 

      17 months ago

      Thats really cool, I didn't know much of space and now i do. Thanks!.

    • profile image

      Faye 

      17 months ago

      In my opinion it is way to expensive to keep spending money on

    • profile image

      person123 

      17 months ago

      it helps understand why we should not fund it

    • profile image

      flickdawrist 

      19 months ago

      thx for this amazing article I needed it for school:) pretty amazing

    • profile image

      Anoyonomousddddfsdf 

      19 months ago

      Thx for the info

    • profile image

      happy person 

      20 months ago

      this helped a lot thx

    • profile image

      The key 

      20 months ago

      This web sight credibility is not that good but I do think that you tried your absolut best so just keep working on it ok

    • profile image

      Nana Waffle 

      20 months ago

      A pro is it could increase what we know about planet earth. A con is it is a danger if we dicover aliens.

    • profile image

      Lily 

      20 months ago

      Nice I guess

    • profile image

      your mom.com 

      22 months ago

      Space X has made a shuttle that is reusable and that is made by Elon Musk look it up.

    • profile image

      mom 

      22 months ago

      this so cool never give up

    • profile image

      Raul 

      23 months ago

      So your not for space exploration?

    • profile image

      Midnight's Corner 

      2 years ago

      This helped me a lot for my academy summer project for Science . . . you really should write more articles like this!

    • profile image

      justin200213 

      2 years ago

      friend me on PSN: justin200213

    • profile image

      Justin200213 

      2 years ago

      This website is moderately informative but I was able to use it to help complete my schoolwork. I am a proud 14 year old Canadian.

    • profile image

      Diamonddoggy68 

      2 years ago

      Come on guys, it's not that bad. Stop being mean to Carol.

    • profile image

      Fraif 

      2 years ago

      Who is Faith? Oreo... :/

    • profile image

      oreo 

      2 years ago

      hi faith my name is oreo

    • profile image

      Fraif 

      2 years ago

      One hundredth comment ¡

    • profile image

      oreo 

      2 years ago

      im doing a debate for this at school can you plz have more information. thanks

    • profile image

      trlololololololololoolololololo 

      2 years ago

      They should put the price down

    • profile image

      MISS OLD GRANNY 

      2 years ago

      Thanks it really helps a lot ( Lifesaver)

    • profile image

      cool ;D 

      2 years ago

      Thanks, it's great!! ;P

    • profile image

      Hi 

      2 years ago

      Ur mom

    • profile image

      Amith 

      2 years ago

      Hey tell your leaders too feed your countrymen first.

    • profile image

      kirito 

      2 years ago

      hello this really helped me during school thxs a ton!

    • profile image

      steeve 

      2 years ago

      amazing info so proud of you son

    • profile image

      Mutton Lover 2000 

      2 years ago

      Batman Rules !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Mutton Lover 2000 

      2 years ago

      this is a awesome site

    • profile image

      MRS.BIEBER 

      2 years ago

      Hey too all the girls out there that are chasing my husband Justin Bieber... He is taken by me!!!! SO GO FIND YOU A LIFE....

    • profile image

      Caroline 

      2 years ago

      Who r u "batman"

    • profile image

      happy llama 

      2 years ago

      who is batman?

    • profile image

      Caroline 

      2 years ago

      who r u "batman"

    • profile image

      happy llama 

      2 years ago

      hey caroline and ew batman

    • profile image

      Caroline 

      2 years ago

      Hey happy llama

    • profile image

      Caroline 

      2 years ago

      Thats rude plz not hate!

    • profile image

      YOLO SWAG 

      2 years ago

      HAHAHA happy halloween

      TO : caroline and happy llama

      BOOOOOO :)

    • profile image

      happy llama 

      2 years ago

      no hate!

    • profile image

      happy llama 

      2 years ago

      fart u!!

    • profile image

      happy llama 

      2 years ago

      really "deez nuts"

    • profile image

      FAT MAMMA LLAMA 

      2 years ago

      well.........

    • profile image

      happy llama 

      2 years ago

      hey caroline and fat mamma llama:)

    • profile image

      Caroline 

      2 years ago

      Hiiiii

    • profile image

      happy llama 

      2 years ago

      This is a amazing website and is very helpful and helped me get an A+! Thank you so much for the help! keep up the good work and keep posting and block out all dem haters!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Caroline 

      2 years ago

      This was a very helpful website to me! It helped me do good Thanks!!

    • profile image

      David 

      3 years ago

      Cant help with home work thnks

    • profile image

      Ethan Elkstom 

      3 years ago

      This website was so very pleasant and gave copious amount of pleasure even though I am not planning on going to space I can tell you this we will win

    • profile image

      lightpony 

      3 years ago

      bruh

    • profile image

      DEEZ NUTS 

      3 years ago

      efefefeeeewegegg

    • profile image

      Neelraj patel 

      3 years ago

      Space rocket is more important to us so according to me, rocket knowledge is improves by government

    • profile image

      deez nuts 

      3 years ago

      your mom is filling the space

    • profile image

      spunk man (.Y.) 

      3 years ago

      i think all of you are sil*y

    • profile image

      jhonson 

      3 years ago

      hi

      i like this page its very informative

    • profile image

      Kruti 

      3 years ago

      Hi!!!!!

    • profile image

      Kriti 

      3 years ago

      This is an amazing website, it helped me get a "A" on my paper

    • profile image

      dzwaggergaming 

      3 years ago

      go to my chanell

    • profile image

      Crazy 

      3 years ago

      This was not helpful *Derp*

    • profile image

      noob 

      3 years ago

      :3 cvgdsgsg

    • profile image

      kcfan 

      3 years ago

      great article but space has so much for us to learn keep writhing these great pieces

    • profile image

      Bob 

      3 years ago

      I think this is very cool and I love my my name

    • profile image

      liveXdieXcryX 

      3 years ago

      dude your so goth!

      Gahl!

    • profile image

      liveXdieXcryX 

      3 years ago

      live die cry r.i.p.

    • profile image

      trincy 

      3 years ago

      It is very helpful to me guiding a debate thank you so much

    • profile image

      Sawsen 

      3 years ago

      Lové it (y)

    • profile image

      DanielOMG 

      3 years ago

      Great!

    • profile image

      rimpy 

      4 years ago

      Its nice thanks for this paper

    • profile image

      nishant 

      4 years ago

      Hi! I think the page is nice but must include more advantages .

    • profile image

      kaiwalya&manisha 

      4 years ago

      it helps us t0 get 2nd grade

    • profile image

      mark 

      4 years ago

      this page helped with a 6th grade project lol

    • profile image

      Toni 

      4 years ago

      Hi erm could u tell me the advantages and disadvantages plz I'm really silly when it comes to things like this thanks x

    • profile image

      Sneha 

      4 years ago

      Hi, as i mentioned before, this is a resource and I was wondering who is the author and what is his/her qualifications?

    • profile image

      Sneha 

      4 years ago

      Hi, I am using your website as resource for my project and am wondering when you wrote this, or the day it was published.

    • profile image

      loza 

      4 years ago

      im doing a debate on this at school. please some more disadvantages

    • profile image

      na 

      4 years ago

      no help with home work thanks anyways

    • profile image

      yajat 

      4 years ago

      I'm a kid and want disadvateges

    • profile image

      damini 

      4 years ago

      coooooooooll!!!!!!!!!!!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, soapboxie.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://soapboxie.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)