Funding a United States Space Program
Length: 771 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
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It is imperative that the United States government should put forth a better initiative regarding our flailing national space programs, and increase their budgets considerably, stressing modification on its goals, modification of its resources, and for overall further advancement of its scope and capability. The space program had been heralded for years as the pride, and future, of the United States. Its promise brought hope to a society plagued by fear and competition, and has since been both the impetus for both immense technological competition, and then conversely, a symbol of cooperation between two diametrically opposed cultures. It brought numerous breakthroughs in medicine, materials science, engineering, and defense—over 30,000 advancements to date, including MRIs and CAT scans for detecting cancers and other health threats. Why does our government choose to slowly phase out the life of an entity that has only but added years to our own? The space program is an important part of our existence as Americans, and as world citizens.
The space program needs the appropriate funding for modification for fundamental purposes. The program has worked with the same prototype rocket for almost 50 years. New breakthroughs have emerged in planning and research; however the program does not have the means to go about implementing new ideas. With advancements created through space science research, such findings could create better means of travel on Earth. Also, space exploration gave us the first stark warnings of a world damaged by our endangerment of the environment, and it could further nurture the repair of our planet by allowing us to find better ways of utilizing our resources.
Space travel and exploration is needed for social purposes. Just as Russians and Americans, and now the Chinese, are able to put aside differences to embark on the ultimate human pioneering experience, so it is needed for the sake of unifying humanity through example. Someday, everyone in the world, even those not as privileged as the aforementioned societies, will be touched by the immense advancements space research has made, if they haven’t been touched already. Since we do not truly know what can be ‘out there’ awaiting us, both living and nonliving, it is important that we are prepared as a race to face them, in case a need or emergency arises in which we are forced to.
Space travel concentrates on an investment in the betterment of humanity as a whole, and by so doing, it presents to the world the idea of our maturity as a race.
This ideal is opposed to the vigilant, primitive preoccupation with destroying each other through war that the world now unfortunately shares. Since space travel challenges our level of development as a species, it is in our best interest as a race to build on—the cost of progress can be high, but the cost of complacency can be greater.
America can serve as an example. In fact, America should be entitled to do so, as it has monopolized on the resource power of the world. Especially in a time where it could use some positive identification with certain regions of the world, America can pioneer the start of a global project, calling on the bravest intellectuals from all corners of the world to assist in the process.
America needs to advance its space program for practical, perceivably American reasons as well. Creating the need for more jobs in the IT sector would not only help the economy, but given the possible potentials of a functioning space program, it could usher in a whole new, sub-class of “celebrities”—intellectual pioneers; true idols that kids can look up to, instead of the usual superfluous media characters little boys and girls are finding themselves identifying with. Also, in light of recent tragedies with first Challenger, then Columbia, and now with the latest project, Discovery, we need to honor those brave citizens who’d died for our well-being, and their families, by working on making future missions safer for later explorers. It is not ethical to send off some of our smartest citizens to a terrain unknown without trying the absolute best to ensure their safety. The U.S. army wouldn’t do that; they’ve invested billions of our dollars in surveillance that ensures soldiers are “safe and accounted for”— types of surveillance that wouldn’t be made possible without the innovations created from projects conducted in space.
Therefore, because of fundamental, social, and practical purposes, America needs to ensure the future of what could be the greatest venture its embarked on since conceiving her freedom—the mission to expand the horizons of not only her people, but of humanity.