Should We Keep Exploring Space?

astronautsShould we keep exploring space? This was on Good Question the other night on the 40th anniversary of the first landing of men on the moon.

I don’t really have an opinion on this. I’ve never really given it a whole lot of thought before. I do believe it’s costing us a whole lot of money and I’m just not sure that for the things we’ve gotten from it, it’s been worth it. The cost is estimated at around $230 billion over a 10-year period? That’s a LOT of money when we have all this other stuff going on here on earth.

“If you wear scratch-resistant glasses, you can thank the space program. Michael Phelps might owe NASA a gold medal or two, thanks to the technology in his swimsuit. The Dustbuster was developed by Black & Decker thanks to the technology it was researching for use in space. LED lights, golf balls and GPS systems all can be traced to the space program.” 

Medically they invented the programmable pacemaker, which I’m thankful for but I think we could have lived without the dust-buster, swimsuits or scratch resistant glasses and the other things I consider minor. So I’m very divided on how I feel. It just seems like a lot of money when we need it for many other things.

What do you think? Do you think we should keep exploring space?

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9 Responses to Should We Keep Exploring Space?

  1. SKL says:

    I am no expert in this area, but from what I have heard, basically every technological advance started out as a national defense or space development. Also, space is important for national defense. And all those satellites and such – communication as we now know it. I think some cool medical advances are also based on space research.

    If we were the only country on earth, maybe we could lighten up on space, but all the other developed countries are building up their own space programs, which will militarily kick our butts on earth and in space if we don’t stay at the cutting edge.

    I do think there are important scientific advances to be made as well. I don’t think each advance individually is sufficient to justify the program that supports it, but I think every time the shuttle goes up it has hundreds or thousands of scientific research projects on board. Probably when you spread out the cost across all of the projects that benefit, it isn’t so staggering. (And besides, I think corporations pay for some of this stuff.)

    I’m sure there are cost-cutting and prioritizing opportunities, just like in any other industry. But I think it would be a big mistake to abandon the final frontier.

  2. I’ve still got that childish fear/fantasy of there being life out there that we can find if we look hard enough. I think that space exploration is important, but the problem is, the next place to go after the moon is so far that it’s just impossible as of yet… So it seems as if some more technological developments need to be developed before anything more can really happen in space!

  3. nikki says:

    I don’t have enough knowledge to really have an opinion here. I believe a lot of money is wasted on unnecessary things. I think the technological advances are important but I just feel we have so many problems in this world, this country, more important issues we should be addressing. Spending money on medical devices and such is one thing but I think spending a lot of money to travel through space or find other life (and for what, just to say we did it?) isn’t necessary. Again I don’t know enough about it but that’s just my opinion.

  4. LVISS says:

    THERE IS ALWAYS AN OPINION THAT THE AMOUNT CAN BE SPENT ON SOMETHING MORE USEFUL THINGS.

  5. Just a Mom says:

    I live in the NASA community here in Houston, TX. I have lived here since I was 8 years old. My dad worked as a contractor for NASA and he helped develop many of the Shuttle’s computer software. So I am a bit bias about the Space program. Without it my community would die.
    I do think just like any other government run program there is always room for some fat to be trimmed, but I do think we need further exploration. We have gained so much from it in my opinion, bias as it may be.

  6. mssc54 says:

    Don’t forget all those pictures/images of the earth’s various layers taken from space.

  7. thegirlfromspace says:

    I think its very important we keep studying space because soon the sun is ging to get to hot and burn Earth so its as hot as Jupiter.We will not be able to live on our planet anymore we will have to look for a planet that we can survive on now who thinks its not important to keep exploring space and we dont only have a problem with the sun it is said that in 2012 the world is going to end well how everyone in this planet is acting with not recyclig or take a short sower sometimes NOT APPRECIATING OUR PLANET THE WORLD MAY JUST HAPPEN TO END!

  8. Anna says:

    I think it’s sad to think of a future that does not include space exploration. I appreciate the great expense of space exploration, but perhaps if we keep progressing forward (spend billions on Constellation, and then cancel it, etc.) the costs could be reduced.

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