A Rhetorical Analysis of Michael Lind's "Human Spaceflight Should End" by Wyatt Cheney

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Michael Lind is an author, a columnist for Salon.com, and a policy director at the New America Foundation. In the article “Human Spaceflight Should End,” he favors unmanned spaceflights, arguing that robot space probes have been so successful in space exploration, that human lives should not be risked (Lind, Michael). In my opinion, robot space probes are better suited for space exploration because they do not require oxygen and if the probes get destroyed, there is no emotional attachment. With the closing of the human spaceflight program, many people would argue that this decision is a disgrace to America and its space program. However, the United States has been very successful using robots like the Mars rovers or the Phoenix lander. There has been a shift from using astronauts to using space probes due to the rapid growth in technology. An example of this technology is the Kepler Space Telescope. Using this, scientist have been able to discover more than 500 planets in a different solar system. A probe is orbiting Mercury right now, and there is another probe that is believed to go past Pluto in 2015. There are many arguments in favor of human spaceflight. One of the arguments Lind mentions and refutes is that machines are unable to conduct scientific experiments due to their lack of intelligence. This is proved wrong by the success of robotic drones and space probes. Another argument mentioned by Lind is that life is always seeking out new places to live. This argument is refuted by the fact that animals do not leave a comfortable habitat unless they have to. Lind also refutes the argument that space exploration is necessary for avoiding extinction. If a natural “catastrophe” such as a super-volcano or supernova made... ... middle of paper ... ...cost, and high risk. In this article, Lind devotes most of his time arguing of why human spaceflight should end. He provides very little evidence for any benefits of using robotic probes. He does describe a few examples of where they are going, but he doesn’t give any information on what the advantage is of using robotic probes rather than humans. Lind has a very sarcastic tone in this argument, and he doesn’t give enough credit to the astronauts. In conclusion, I believe that this article is not written well, and has minuscule evidence to why spaceflight should end, which ironically is the title of the article. Works Cited Lind, Michael. "Why We Should Embrace the End of Human Spaceflight."Salon.com. N.p.: n.p., 2011. N. pag. Rpt. in NASA. Ed. Margaret Haerens. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.

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