The American space program as well as the United States economy is facing many challenges at this time but we need to look at what the long term costs of not continuing a robust manned and unmanned space program will be. The solar system holds many mysteries and an untold amount of untapped resources that if not explored and utilized by the United States will be utilized by other Nations. With finite resources on Earth any nation that is able to tap into new resources will be at a tremendous advantage both economically and politically. Space exploration also has positive international benefits as well as inspiring young people to enter careers in science. Kofi Annan the United Nations Secretary General at the time stated: "....space exploration can help bring cultures together. Space is also helping us to address some of today's most urgent problems. Space technology has produced tools that are transforming weather forecasting, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance, education, medicine, agriculture and a wide range of other activities. And, of course, a fascination with space leads many young people to pursue careers in science and technology, helping developing countries in particular to build up their human resources, improve their technological base and enhance their prospects for development" (Driscoll, 2003, 68)
Beyond the economic and political aspects space exploration is a great catalyst for technological development and of course scientific discovery. If we neg...
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