Advantages Of Space Exploration

What are the advantages and disadvantages of space exploration for our society?

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The advantages of space exploration are mainly long-term advantages. No doubt human beings will be living on the moon and on Mars and also on huge space stations floating in outer space. Eventually they will be colonizing planets in other parts of our galaxy. We will, of course, be learning...

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The advantages of space exploration are mainly long-term advantages. No doubt human beings will be living on the moon and on Mars and also on huge space stations floating in outer space. Eventually they will be colonizing planets in other parts of our galaxy. We will, of course, be learning more about our universe and developing all sorts of technologies for living in extraterrestrial environments. But all this is going to take centuries, and the cost will be enormous. In the meantime, there are many conditions right here on earth that could use a whole lot of improvement. The money spent on rocketry and other technological whiz-bang has to be withheld from all the things that could be done to improve our own congested, polluted planet. It would seem logical to fix things here on earth before we worry about some planet a zillion miles away.

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Space exploration is usually considered to be something of interest only to space scientists who can use the information obtained to test different theories of how the universe was created, how life started, and the alike. These have little, if any, practical application in the lives of millions of people who contribute to the funding of very expensive space exploration missions.

This is true to a large extent, after all why would someone have billions spent to determine if there is oxygen present on the moon of a planet in another stellar system when the same funds could be used to finance research and find a cure for diseases that affect and kill a large number of people, or to develop cleaner energy sources, etc.

An advantage of space exploration is the large number of spin-offs that have resulted from research done during space exploration missions. Some examples of these include scratch resistant lenses, invisible braces, shoe insoles, memory foam, various applications in long distance communication, hi-tech material that are widely used in automobiles, etc. These would have been difficult to obtain had it not been for the huge budgets allocated for space exploration missions.

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The benefits of space exploration are mainly scientific while the disadvantages are largely economic.

When we explore space we (hopefully) learn a great deal about the universe in which we live.  We learn about how other heavenly bodies like Mars developed.  We learn about the makeup of comets and add to our theories about how the building blocks of life might have come to Earth.  All of these things are of immense interest to science.

The disadvantages of space exploration (and particularly manned exploration) have to do with costs.  Exploring space costs huge amounts of money.  At a time like the present, it is questionable as to whether that money is well-spent on space exploration.

Today, space exploration largely benefits only scientists while imposing serious costs on a society that is having economic problems.

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