The Down to Earth Challenges of Space Exploration

The Down to Earth Challenges of Space Exploration

Length: 1332 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Down to Earth Challenges of Space Exploration

Humans have dreamed of leaving the earth and traveling space for many years, and up to this day they have taken many steps in the right direction. Yet, with every new frontier they approach, new problems loom over the horizon. All problems involved with space exploration may not directly involve space itself. Many of those problems surface right here on Earth. Some of the easier issues have been resolved, such as escaping the forces of gravity to reach outer space. More of these problems are far more arduous and the solutions need more time to be worked out properly. In “The Coming Schism” by James E. and Alcestis R. Oberg, humans have already begun colonizing space, yet there are still new problems arising. Major problems such as financing, communication and culture conflicts are important in the journey to space, because they all have the potential to disrupt progress.

When people think of troubles that are related to space, they tend to overlook one of the most obvious and most important problems, financing. Money may prevent humans from leaving the very earth we stand on in the first place. Money can easily be the solution to a problem or the cause of one. In the supporting film, Stationed in the Stars, it was mentioned that in 1992, NASA spent 8 billion dollars without building a single piece of material. The money was spent on other things such as payroll and international conferences. The film also brought up the fact that every pound of water needed would cost up to 10 thousand dollars; therefore, 100 lbs. of water would cost 1 million dollars. This problem was later solved with the help of Russia in the creation of the closed loop system. But Russia has not always been so helpful. While Russia was working with NASA to help build a service module, they purposely delayed their efforts in order to receive more money from NASA, until NASA had enough and gave them a deadline to comply with. There are times when financing may prevent a project from being ventured into completely without even spending the money. For example, further servicing of the International Space Station would have cost upwards of 100 billion dollars. That is why that project is still uncompleted.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Down to Earth Challenges of Space Exploration." 25 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Benefits of Space Exploration Essay

- Aside from all the negative remarks made about space exploration there is lots of innovation stemming from it. Exploration of space has directly and indirectly helped create new technologies and advancements that have directly benefitted our lives. The challenge of space exploration drives a continuing effort to design ever more capable, reliable, and efficient systems requiring the utmost ingenuity. Space exploration missions use the unique capabilities of humans and robots to achieve ambitious exploration goals....   [tags: Space Exploration Essays]

Research Papers
1806 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on Benefits of Space Exploration: Finding Underground Water Resources

- It has long been said that the exploration of the cosmos should be secondary to the resolution of the problems on the planet Earth. However, as scientists and engineers reach further and further out into the reaches of the stars, they gain equally substantial insight into how to solve problems on Earth. Most people are ignorant to the potential gains the human race could make from exploring space. In fact, engineers have developed different ways to adapt technology from the space program to solve prevalent issues on Earth....   [tags: Space Exploration Essays]

Research Papers
957 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on The Mars Exploration Rover Mission

- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched two similar twin robotic rovers, which were Spirit and Opportunity toward Mars on 10 June and 7 July 2003 (NASA 2012). Spirit and Opportunity landed in Gusev Crater on 4 January 2004 and in Meridiani Planum on 25 January 2004 respectively (NASA 2012). Opportunity is still operating and roving after 10 years on the Martian surface while final communication of Spirit to the Earth took place on 22 March 2010, which is around six years into its mission (NASA 2012)....   [tags: nasa, spirit and opportunity]

Research Papers
1060 words (3 pages)

America Should Spend More on Space Exploration Essay

- Space exploration should be funded at even greater levels than at present. It has provided scientific, technological, and economic benefits for all mankind. Furthermore it will continue to provide these benefits as long as we continue to explore. 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....   [tags: Argumentative Essays, Space Program]

Research Papers
2303 words (6.6 pages)

Essay on It's Time for a Less Destructive Relationship with Earth

- It's Time for a Less Destructive Relationship with the Planet Earth Humans have long looked to the sky and dreamed of space exploration and finding other planets in far-away galaxies that harbor life. Recently, in response to a growing recognition that resources are finite, some have considered distant planets viable supply stations when earthly resources run out. Supposedly, these foreign reserves will allow humans to maintain current, and even expanded, material standards. Despite these longings, energy and time constraints make large-scale intergalactic space travel something well beyond our life spans; it takes a huge amount of energy to get a space ship beyond the Earth's gravitation f...   [tags: Environmental Problems, Environment Essay]

Research Papers
1658 words (4.7 pages)

Essay about Space Exploration And Its Impact On Earth

- Space has been a topic of discussion since the dawn of man. We have made attempts to explore the near reaches of our solar system, mainly to examine the components of other planets compared to Earth. Space exploration has been slow since the beginning because of the technological barrier, but now that we live in the “Age of Technology” we can develop more advanced mechanisms to aid in our endeavors. We have never had an enormous use for space exploration, until we started to discover the natural resources we have on Earth are being drained by the vast population we have created....   [tags: Space exploration, NASA, Spacecraft]

Research Papers
710 words (2 pages)

Exploration Of Space And Its Effects On Human Society Essay

- “We choose to go the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because the goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win” Quoted by former president John F. Kennedy. Exploration of space is a huge necessity to our very well being and the funds are very well needed to keep explorations alive. Exploration of space helps us keep track of atmospheric conditions that can potentially bear a threat to human society, it gives us a healthier perceptive of the planet and how humans are effecting it thr...   [tags: Sun, Earth, Planet, Space exploration]

Research Papers
801 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Space Exploration Beyond Low Earth Orbit

- Space exploration beyond low earth orbit is considered by many to be essential to the survival or the human race. However, exploring deep space is not an easy task. There are many obstacles standing in the way of astronauts and scientists wishing to send humans into space. Some of the most prevalent issues surrounding manned space flight are bone loss, eyesight loss, radiation, and mental stress. Regarding getting to space and staying there for long periods of time in a hostile environment, many have been working to create incredibly complex rockets....   [tags: International Space Station, Space exploration]

Research Papers
1302 words (3.7 pages)

Reasons for Exploration Essay

- Reasons for Exploration Before the Age of Exploration, little was known to the Europeans of the outside world. There was the misconception that the earth was flat and finite. Likewise, in accordance to the Bible, people thought that the earth was 7/8 land. From this belief it was thought that any voyage around Africa to India would be impossible, as it was suggested that landmass would obstruct any vessel. As well there was no knowledge of the existence of the Americas or Australia. However, it was these misconceptions that gave explorers such as Columbus reasoning to sail west to go east....   [tags: Age of Exploration]

Research Papers
547 words (1.6 pages)

Essay about The Politics of Space Exploration

- The Politics of Space Exploration The simple commanding beauty of the moments before lift-off—thrusters ignited as dazzling shades of fire and smoke shatter the dreams of the sleeping rocket, contrasted by a flawlessly infinite blue sky and heightened by an almost surreal apprehension—depict the dramatic perfection that is space exploration. This image frozen in time, however captivating and serene, often overshadows the hidden agendas and secret dealings that go on behind the scenes. In reality, the probing of space has just as much to do with politics as with mankind’s actual zest for knowledge....   [tags: Space Exploration Essays]

Research Papers
2856 words (8.2 pages)

Related Searches

Also, in “The Coming Schism,” the subject of money is brought up differently. “It might reach out and, at some point, try to strangle off-world economics and the pursuit of happiness in space with taxation, quotas, and embargos” (Oberg and Oberg 24). The “it” the authors are referring to is the Earth. The taxation of the people living in space by the people on Earth may cause some tension between the two groups which could possibly result in a war, which would become a huge problem. In the end, money is always needed, but it is not always available, and that is why it is a problem now and why it will be a major problem, facing space exploration in the future.

Communication is another problem that may disrupt the journey ahead to space. There are a lot of problems that can come from communication or even a lack of it. The most recent example is the Columbia tragedy. Lower level engineers tried to relay the possibility of a problem to the higher officials who would relay it to the astronauts on the Columbia spacecraft, and warn them of a possible danger. But the letters never made it that far and because of this communication block, the astronauts were unaware of the possible danger awaiting them. Communication problems can also arise from language barriers, such as in Stationed in the Stars between the Russians and the Americans. Also

there was one point at which France, Russia, China and other countries would have sent astronauts up to the space station in other shuttles that would have attached to the space station. If this had succeeded, there would have been some confusion amongst them, because they do not speak the same languages and they probably would not have had a good way to communicate among them. In “The Coming Schism,” it is mentioned briefly that when trying to communicate among citizens of different planets, there could be a considerable lag and during an emergency this might cause problems; not being able to communicate vital information quickly enough (21). In The Voyager Mission Cosmic Journey, it is mentioned that it takes years to travel between the planets so human language would be a far less inferior method to be used. Definitely in the end, not being able to communicate properly will cause problems in a journey to space.

Different types of culture conflicts cause problems right here on Earth, so they may cause problems in space. Racism and prejudice would not simply be extinguished because people have left this planet. “The Coming Schism” states that many races may live in space. There may be problems among all of the different types of races living out in the same space colony. But as they eventually overcome the differences between them a new type of prejudice may evolve between the people that are living in space and the people that are remaining on Earth (24). This can be compared in way to the cultural differences between the United States and the Taliban. These differences started to surface in the manner of devastating attacks. The same could happen between the spacers and the earthlings. Because of their opposing views in culture, a war could break out between the two groups. “Some spacers may hate Earth” (Oberg and Oberg 23).

The authors then go into detail why the spacers may begin to dislike the Earth:

Imagine a world free of mosquitoes, gnats, and cockroaches, and then imagine coming back to Earth where these little intrepid little vectors of disease and filth thrive. If this Moon native travels into any large city, he or she will see congestion, pollution, and traffic, and will hear noise and confusion. Hotel rooms are cluttered with furniture, and no Earth mattress can ever be as comfortable as a sleeping bag in weightlessness. (Oberg and Oberg 23)

Problems like these can cause one’s opinions to change over time. The longer the people live away from the Earth the more they will change from the people on Earth. The differences between them, their beliefs and their culture, and why they choose to hate, are not problems that can be solved with technology. Each problem is better left for the people themselves to solve, and by the current looks of things, such psychological and social problems will continue to affect the Earth now and the space in the future.

In the end, there are a myriad of problems that face space exploration. Some of them are small and easy to overcome, but others are huge and need more planning. The recent Columbia tragedy shows us that we have not conquered space yet and that there are still many things that can go wrong. Some of the problems that occur here on Earth will also occur in space. To help smooth the problematic path ahead for space exploration, major problems such as financing, communication, and cultural

differences should, at the very least, receive the most attention if they cannot be solved at the present time. These problems cannot just be left on the back burner and ignored; they are very important and should be at the top priority when considering how to further our journey into space.

Works Cited

NOVA: Stationed in the Stars. Written by Stephen Lyons. Nar. Will Lyman. PBS Special Presentation. Videocassette. January 2003.

Oberg, James E. and Alcestis R. “The Coming Schism.” The Example of Science: An Anthology for College Composition. Ed. Robert E. Lynch, Thomas B. Swanzey and John M. Coakley. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2003. (20-26)

The Voyager Mission Cosmic Journey. Nar. Carl Sagan, Frank Drake and Ann Druyan. Videocassette. A&E Special Presentation. Cosmo Studios, 2003.
Return to