The Pros And Cons Of Space Exploration

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In the 1950s, space exploration represented the epitome of human scientific achievement. However, beginning in the 1970s, long-term goals of space exploration were shelved in favor of smaller projects that kept astronauts closer to Earth. Throughout the years, advocates have pushed for a return to space exploration, noting that valuable discoveries and technological advancements would likely emerge from such a program. In 2011, the United States ended its space shuttle program. While other countries such as China and Russia continue to expand their space programs today, American space exploration has been put to a halt. Many Americans believe that the United States space program requires a huge chunk of government funding. In reality, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) spending typically comprises of less than one percent of the federal government's budget ("Space Exploration"). Many Americans have called for an end to government-funded space exploration because they feel like the space program does not offer any benefits to the average citizen and that the money would be better spent on Earth-based efforts to improve the nation ("Space Exploration"). What if by traveling to space and exploring the unknown territory, we in fact improve our nation? What if Mars is capable of sustaining life? What if the cure for cancer is lying beneath the surface of a planet? If space exploration remains halted, there might be many questions left unanswered. In 2004, President George W. Bush announced the end of the US space shuttle program in 2010. He planned to replace it with a space program named Constellation, which aimed to return Americans to the moon to do more research and to tap into that body's frozen water for mak... ... middle of paper ... ...chael Lind, an author and policy director at the New America Foundation, said: When the Apollo astronauts landed on the moon, many assumed that this was the first step toward the permanent colonization of the moon and journeys by astronauts to other planets. From today's perspective, though, the space race was like the races to the North Pole and the South Pole. Once explorers had reached those destinations, the world lost interest. Space exploration is something that is extremely important to the future of our nation. Leaving space undiscovered would leave many questions unanswered. The solution to many of our nation's problems could be found in space, but Americans will never know unless space exploration continues to be successful. If the government no longer wants to fund a space program, space exploration should become privatized so that progress can be made.

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