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Space Exploration (Advantages vs. Disadvantages)

Updated on September 25, 2014
Joined: 5 years agoFollowers: 2Articles: 1

" . . . 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?

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    • profile image

      Georgiachick98 5 years ago

      That was amazing! Well thought out and expertly presented. You should write more pieces!;)

    • profile image
      Author

      caro1120 5 years ago from Georgia; 13 years old

      Thank you Georgiachick98:) I am definatley planning on writing more soon. Probabaly not until school starts back and I start writing more again though.....I haven't written much this summer:)

    • Fluent Druid profile image

      Fluent Druid 5 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Yes! We need more of this type of stuff. The public should be more aware of this very real capability of ours.

    • profile image

      Sam6511 4 years ago

      you spelled "States was" wrong...

    • profile image

      grammernazi 4 years ago

      you also spelled "Russia was" wrong... sorry, it just buggs me, but otherwise GREAT PAPER BRO!

    • profile image

      grammernazi 4 years ago

      bugs*

    • profile image

      Wessam 4 years ago

      I like your style of writing!!!! The article is so beneficial

    • profile image

      fat7i 4 years ago

      hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

    • profile image

      hayden 4 years ago

      right on

    • profile image

      barnes 4 years ago

      i love space:)

    • profile image

      justinprater 4 years ago

      this was such a good paper thank you for uploading it

    • profile image

      tony miller 4 years ago

      science is so cool

    • profile image

      arod127 4 years ago

      this paper help me get a good grade in school lol

    • profile image

      arod297 4 years ago

      science is my fave subject of all

    • profile image

      adney 4 years ago

      tell me the disadvantage of space exploration

    • profile image

      4 years ago

      good article

    • pramodgokhale profile image

      pramodgokhale 4 years ago from Pune( India)

      I am an Indian and proud as Indian Space agency celebrated century of launching satellite, for our developing country it is matter of pride.There is strong critique in our country against this program.

      Space mission is a great job involving efforts, dedication and intelligence being utilized to achieve goals. Advantage of space mission and exploration is that spin-offs technologies and later transferred to industry thus creating wealth and employment.

      Human passions and ideas has no end.Creative humans never take rest and for benefit of mankind we should encourage them to utilize their intelligence, instead ruining. Military application is a controversial part but we leave to governments .

      In India our entire Internet, stock exchanges, IT industry, solely depends on satellite communication and without that it will not work and damage Indian economy too. Very few people know this fact.

      Development of new technologies including space is a process and we can not reverse it. It will be disastrous for mankind

      thank you for scientific article

      pramod gokhale

    • profile image

      KUMAR 4 years ago

      I am an indian too! WOAHHHH

    • profile image

      katie v 4 years ago

      I am a space expolation

    • profile image

      Kade 4 years ago

      I love space because it is cool and I want t live in space

    • profile image

      Trula528 4 years ago

      I hated this page. I got a D- because of it!

    • profile image

      rex 4 years ago

      hi i hate the sight

    • profile image

      dredon ryle 4 years ago

      wrong awnsers

    • profile image

      Ruby 4 years ago

      Stupid site I hate it carol, your information stinks!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Gamer 4 years ago

      stop blaming him, who cares if you got a D-. I don't, go find other info else where if you don't like it!!!!!

    • profile image

      mackey 3 years ago

      nice

    • profile image

      Flash Hacker 3 years ago

      not really a hackr but thx carol for this info

    • profile image

      damini 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      yajat 3 years ago

      I'm a kid and want disadvateges

    • profile image

      na 3 years ago

      no help with home work thanks anyways

    • profile image

      loza 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Sneha 3 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

      Sneha 3 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

      Toni 3 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

      mark 3 years ago

      this page helped with a 6th grade project lol

    • profile image

      kaiwalya&manisha 3 years ago

      it helps us t0 get 2nd grade

    • profile image

      nishant 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      rimpy 2 years ago

      Its nice thanks for this paper

    • profile image

      DanielOMG 2 years ago

      Great!

    • profile image

      Sawsen 2 years ago

      Lové it (y)

    • profile image

      trincy 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      liveXdieXcryX 2 years ago

      live die cry r.i.p.

    • profile image

      liveXdieXcryX 2 years ago

      dude your so goth!

      Gahl!

    • profile image

      Bob 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      kcfan 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      noob 2 years ago

      :3 cvgdsgsg

    • profile image

      Crazy 2 years ago

      This was not helpful *Derp*

    • profile image

      dzwaggergaming 2 years ago

      go to my chanell

    • profile image

      Kriti 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Kruti 2 years ago

      Hi!!!!!

    • profile image

      jhonson 23 months ago

      hi

      i like this page its very informative

    • profile image

      spunk man (.Y.) 22 months ago

      i think all of you are sil*y

    • profile image

      deez nuts 21 months ago

      your mom is filling the space

    • profile image

      Neelraj patel 21 months ago

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

    • profile image

      DEEZ NUTS 20 months ago

      efefefeeeewegegg

    • profile image

      lightpony 20 months ago

      bruh

    • profile image

      Ethan Elkstom 20 months 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

      David 20 months ago

      Cant help with home work thnks

    • profile image

      Caroline 16 months ago

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

    • profile image

      happy llama 16 months 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 16 months ago

      Hiiiii

    • profile image

      happy llama 16 months ago

      hey caroline and fat mamma llama:)

    • profile image

      FAT MAMMA LLAMA 16 months ago

      well.........

    • profile image

      happy llama 16 months ago

      really "deez nuts"

    • profile image

      happy llama 16 months ago

      fart u!!

    • profile image

      happy llama 16 months ago

      no hate!

    • profile image

      YOLO SWAG 16 months ago

      HAHAHA happy halloween

      TO : caroline and happy llama

      BOOOOOO :)

    • profile image

      Caroline 16 months ago

      Thats rude plz not hate!

    • profile image

      Caroline 16 months ago

      Hey happy llama

    • profile image

      happy llama 16 months ago

      hey caroline and ew batman

    • profile image

      Caroline 16 months ago

      who r u "batman"

    • profile image

      happy llama 16 months ago

      who is batman?

    • profile image

      Caroline 16 months ago

      Who r u "batman"

    • profile image

      MRS.BIEBER 16 months 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

      Mutton Lover 2000 16 months ago

      this is a awesome site

    • profile image

      Mutton Lover 2000 16 months ago

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

    • profile image

      steeve 13 months ago

      amazing info so proud of you son

    • profile image

      kirito 11 months ago

      hello this really helped me during school thxs a ton!

    • profile image

      Amith 11 months ago

      Hey tell your leaders too feed your countrymen first.

    • profile image

      Hi 11 months ago

      Ur mom

    • profile image

      cool ;D 11 months ago

      Thanks, it's great!! ;P

    • profile image

      MISS OLD GRANNY 11 months ago

      Thanks it really helps a lot ( Lifesaver)

    • profile image

      trlololololololololoolololololo 11 months ago

      They should put the price down

    • profile image

      oreo 10 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Fraif 10 months ago

      One hundredth comment ¡

    • profile image

      oreo 10 months ago

      hi faith my name is oreo

    • profile image

      Fraif 10 months ago

      Who is Faith? Oreo... :/

    • profile image

      Diamonddoggy68 10 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Justin200213 9 months 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

      justin200213 9 months ago

      friend me on PSN: justin200213

    • profile image

      Midnight's Corner 8 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Raul 5 months ago

      So your not for space exploration?

    • profile image

      mom 4 months ago

      this so cool never give up

    • profile image

      your mom.com 4 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Alwosta 3 months ago

    • profile image

      Rana Safdar 2 months ago

      It is so much costly I read to know this topic is if benefit for us but not found any things else only spend money instead Allah will happy if u spend this money on his creatures. We spend our all previous history for space exploration but you also know that universe expending day by day.It seem you are going to in front of Allah but Allah has such type of power say" Qun and then desired things happened but we spends our all effects most of generation died due to unavailability of necessity.What u will answer before Allah that you spent public money on useless work.He is Lord of univers .Have you conquered all univers no it is going to expand day by day we are countless for from Allah,s space missions.Even man can't compete Allah but he create us for judgment whether who is his humble man on earth who spent his efforts for humanity and spent his time for pray Allah and read Darood and Salaam on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

      If any country Mushtaq or quarreler creates nuclear bomb for human destroying purpose is he a civilyzed society or civilyzed country.

      So if we want our better good life on Earth and after death eternal life then we should act upon Quran and Hadith principle and will act like Muhammad (PBUH) life.

      May Allah guides whole of the world include me.

    • profile image

      Rana Safdar 2 months ago

      I post my article for wellbeing of humanity and preach of Allah,s massage of Islam to whole world it was my responsibility from Allah And his Prophet PBUH.

      When my article will published or not acknowledged me on

      Ranasafdar@live.com

    • profile image

      Lily 2 months ago

      Nice I guess

    • profile image

      Nana Waffle 2 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

      The key 2 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

      happy person 2 months ago

      this helped a lot thx

    • profile image

      Anoyonomousddddfsdf 7 weeks ago

      Thx for the info

    • profile image

      flickdawrist 6 weeks ago

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

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