Technology has allowed man to explore beyond the confines of Earth. In the past centuries, space was studied by astronomers armed with telescopes. Now, advancements in technology have allowed man to step foot on the moon, live in space and send probes out to neighboring planets.
But while the concept of space exploration is fascinating to many, there is a group who are not so keen on it. Why is that the case? Here’s a better look at the pros and cons of space exploration:
List of Pros of Space Exploration
1. It allows us to know more about what’s around us.
Pluto was considered as the ninth planet until October 2006. But despite its downgrade, the former planet still captures the attention of many. A mission, called New Horizons, was granted funding from the United States government in 2003 (despite a great political battle). The mission was officially launched in January 19, 2006 and made its closest approach on July 14, 2015. Images sent back by the craft have given us more information about the once planet.
While that was considered a great scientific feat, the quest to know what’s out there can be traced way back. An unmanned mission called Sputnik 1 was launched on October 4, 1957 to gather information about the electron density of the ionosphere. Men then were able to send a dog into space and eventually humans.
2. It ensures the survival of humanity.
How many films have we seen that focus on this topic? The latest that comes to mind is The Martian which was more centered on what went wrong but the point was there: alternatives to living on earth is being explored. The Christopher Nolan film Interstellar also tackled similar themes.
We humans have destroyed our planet and critics are arguing that we should do something to save it rather than spend lots of money in leaving it. After all, not everyone will get to board a spaceship and get the opportunity to live in another habitable planet.
3. It creates jobs.
A lot of people dream about being a part of an organization dedicated to space – NASA is surely the biggest one. They have many space programs that need people to participate in it and that alone create jobs. While not everyone who works for them will get to space, engineers and scientists can help behind the scenes (giving advice, building and designing better crafts, etc).
List of Cons of Space Exploration
1. It is costly.
Essentially, we spend lots of money on research alone without any guarantees that a project will succeed. Critics have argued that why not spend money on helping those in need rather than exploring celestial bodies.
2. It is risky for astronauts sent to space.
Space exploration risks human life. We have witnessed several disasters when it comes to launching and re-entering spacecrafts. Although technology and safety precautions have gotten better, there is still that overwhelming concern regarding danger.
3. It might endanger life on earth.
Who knows what we may find in space? It could be useful and it could also be harmful. Not only that, we leave behind space junk as well and junk always means pollution.