Curiosity And Exploration Are Hardwired Into Our Basic Human Nature Essay

Curiosity And Exploration Are Hardwired Into Our Basic Human Nature Essay

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Curiosity and exploration are hardwired into our basic human nature. We strive to understand and explore the environment around us. From individuals climbing Mt. Everest, to those journeying deep into the Amazon Rainforest, it is our innate desire to discover and be adventurous. It is natural that this desire would eventually turn to areas beyond our planet. In the late 1950’s the escalation of the Cold War led to the space race. It started with the launch of the satellite Sputnik I by Russia, and produced amazing feats such as the United States putting a man on the moon. During the height of the space race, NASA was receiving 4.31 % of the national budget (Office of Management and Budget), and it took only eight years for NASA to reach the Moon. Currently, another Moon mission is not even an option due to NASA’s cancelling of the Constellation mission, which set a deadline to return to the Moon by 2020. This is a result of the mere .47% of the budget that is currently allotted to NASA now. This is approximately $17.64 billion out of a $3 trillion budget. Figure 1 demonstrates the levels of funding in the 1960’s as compared to meager amount during the rest of twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The sharp increase from 1960 until 1966 indicates that it is possible for our country to devote funding and resources to a worthy cause almost immediately. If our nation was motivated once again, by a proposed mission to Mars, for example, it would not be difficult to restore the NASA budget to reasonable levels.
NASA needs a substantial increase in its funding and resources in order to make any significant gains in space exploration. The budget needs to be made a priority in the eyes of our nation. An increase from .5 percent of t...

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...s the rarest metal on our planet and there have been estimates that one-fifth of everything we use or manufacture contains platinum. Furthermore, Zubrin states, “there are over 5,000 asteroids known today” (Zubrin, 147). One asteroid can yield billions in potential resources, if there was a push to mine these asteroids, the U.S. as well as the world’s economy could rise to unimaginable levels. The first step to accomplishing this task is giving NASA the required funding to develop spacecraft that are capable of reaching these objects. With current propulsion systems, the idea of traveling to asteroids is not likely, nor profitable. Zubrin argues “it can safely be said that useful trade between Earth… and any other body in the Main Belt using chemical propulsion is probably impossible” (Zubrin, 149). This means that current rocket technology is not anywhere near being

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