Written by Kennedy Allen in Science
Viewed by 20 readers since 07-22-2009
Outer space is the provider of an endless source of questions for scientists. Its enormous proportions are seemingly endless and interesting, and the knowledge garnered on the subject is very commonly well received by the supporting public. Nowadays in a time where economic recession is threatening to cut the funding necessary for space travel, how can we justify it?
On the positive side of things, space exploration helps scientists answer a lot of earths’ questions. That is a definite pro. Space exploration has proven immensely helpful in determining the theories of where earth came from, like the Big Bang. It also helped scientists single out what elements need to be present for an environment to sustain life. This can prove invaluable, especially if humans do end up completely destroying earth. We need that knowledge in order to find a new planet, right? Hopefully it won’t come to that.
Space explorations’ biggest pro is that it has given scientists content and examples to compare our earth to. This makes it easier to answer questions that would prove to be almost undecipherable otherwise, without thousands if not millions of years of study. Also, the invention of technology used in space exploration was essential for the advancement and development of many helpful technologies widely used today. In other words, without space exploration we would know a lot less.
Now, on the other side of the argument, a con of space exploration is that while being focused on the far reaches of the galaxy scientists neglect what we should be studying right here on earth. Oceans make up the largest percentage of our planet yet we know less about the deep sea than we do about stars thousands of miles away.
Space exploration has produced technology which can take humans to the inhospitable vacuum on the moon, yet there is not too much thought or effort going into exploring the deepest sea trenches, even though there is now proof that life exists down there. All this fascination and funding going to finding life in outer space while the actual life on the darkest corners of our own planet goes unstudied.
Space exploration is also responsible for producing thousands of jobs. There are people needed for all sorts of tasks involving the complicated process of exploring the galaxies. Of course, those jobs would probably exist too if the preferred field of exploration were to be the oceans.
This brings about the money issue, which might be its biggest con. Space exploration and all its technological advances come at a very high price. However, it was money well spent until now that government is undergoing major budget cuts to abate financial crisis. Which is more important, knowledge or health care? This is unarguably a big concern.
When weighing the pros and cons of space exploration, it is all a matter of relativity. Science should pay more attention to our own planet before focusing on others, but it is undeniably a fact that focusing on those others through space exploration has helped us understand earth a whole lot better.