First, I'd like to welcome you to my article on Space Exploration.
Keep in mind that this will be the first article that I have 'officially' authored, so don't expect it to be perfect
Some of you may or may not remember/know of the great Space Race of 1957-1975. If not;
The Space Race - Facts & Summary - HISTORY.com
In a nutshell, the United States and Russia were in a 'race' to be the first country to send a man into space during the Cold War. There are some conspiracies and some speculation surrounding the matter of whether or not the United States was the first country or not, but the general consensus is that America was in-fact not
the first country in space - the USSR (Russia) was. Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space.
The United States of America was the second
, country in space with astronaut Alan Shepard - China being the third country, with astronaut Yang Liwei. Ever since, only 3 Nations have launched their own manned spacecraft, Russia, America, and China - you can view all of the United States' Space Shuttle launch details here
, all of the Russian Soyuz launch details here
, and all of the Chinese Long March Rocket details here
. As you can see, there have been quite a few rocket/shuttle launches over the years - both successful and unsuccessful. So now let's focus on the numbers of these launches.
The average price of an American Space Shuttle launch is in the vicinity of half-a-billion dollars, (that is $450 Million dollars to be exact with you) you can view more information about the Space Shuttle program and all of the logistics and numbers here
. The average price of a Russian Soyuz rocket launch is in the vicinity of 150 million dollars, you can view more information about the Soyuz Rocket launches here
. I did a little bit of Googling to try and find out how much the average Chinese Long March rocket launch costs but I could not find any definitive figures that I would feel comfortable linking and relying on.
If you want an idea of how much money is spent on space exploration, than all you have to do is go to this link which lists just NASA's annual space budget for the United States since the mid-1950's. As you can see, it's quite a hefty chunk of money. So that is where the point/motive of this thread comes into play - are all of these resources, this time, money and manpower, being used towards something that is going to be beneficial towards the human race, or towards the Earth? Or are we just wasting money, time, resources and manpower, when we could be directing all of this towards something else?
Well, first, let us take a look at some of the things we have discovered/learned thanks to space exploration.
Here are 5 links alone that explain some of the everyday things we use now, thanks to space exploration;
As you can see, there are quite a few beneficial things that we have gained from space exploration, I'm not going to list them because I want you to read them for yourself
But, we have to look at and consider both sides of this matter. There are also disadvantages to spending so much time, money and manpower on space exploration that not many people tend to think about when it comes down to it.
Sure, we learn a significant amount of information about the origin of the universe, and life, and reality, and time, and the list goes on; but we also could be spending these resources, and this time towards researching things here on our own Earth - and perhaps even save resources, and manpower by doing this in the long run. Who says we can not figure out the origins of the human race, by studying.... humans! So, why not put more of that NASA budget, into biology? Why not spend more time and manpower on studying, humans? Why not spend all of those resources and manpower on studying our own Earth, that we just so happen to live on - and in the foreseeable future, will continue to live on?
The main argument that people have when it comes to the necessity of Space Exploration, is that it helps us better understand the workings of everything inside
the Universe. That would include humans, and of-course, the Earth! So, what is your opinion? Do you think that we should keep on spending as much time, resources, and manpower on space exploration, to perhaps maybe one day delve into the mysterious inner-workings of the Universe and how everything works and is made? Or do you think that we should cut spending and effort on space exploration and focus more on our own home planet, that we just so happen to live on for the time being - and the foreseeable future?