Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Argumentative Essay: Space Exploration: Investment, or Money Down the Drain?

            “Space, the final frontier.” Any avid fan of the series, Star Trek, would know about this line. It is how they see space as the final destination of all living things. But it is not only they who see space in this light; scientists, and idealists, too, think that it is through the exploration of space and other celestial beings that we can truly discover the answers to life’s questions. But space exploration is very costly; about seven billion dollars a year alone is spent on space flight in the U.S. (Space Exploration, nd.). A contributing factor to the high costs of space exploration would be the errors in flight tests and experiments being done, which leads to a loss in effort, money, and time. Although space exploration does seem to be a waste in resources, space exploration is not a waste of money because: (1) it is not expensive, actually; (2) exploration is man’s nature; (3) new discoveries are made through space exploration.

            It is not expensive, actually. How much is seven billion dollars compared to the other expenses of the U.S government? How much is seven billion dollars, compared to the GDP of the U.S? Each year, 22 times the amount for space exploration is spent on alcohol, and over ten million dollars is spent in Iraq by the government each month. Compared to these two, the budget spent for space exploration is small, considering the fact that the U.S government earns trillions of dollars a year (Space Exploration, nd.). Is war and alcohol, then, a better way of spending/ investing the taxpayer’s money? Is space exploration, then, really a waste of money?

            Exploration is man’s nature. Ever since the time of Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and other great explorers, man has sought to discover his world and what lies within it. It is natural of man to be curious, to ask questions, to constantly search for answers to his questions. And so man explored the seas and discovered/unearthed/made known to others their findings. Now, in the 21st century, space is being explored by man. But why explore space, when the earth itself is not yet fully explored? One incident would be about a “lost tribe”, which highlights the fact that we are not in contact with every indigenous tribe in our planet, and in a greater sense, with our own world (Space Exploration is a Waste of Money, nd.). This “discovery” is sufficient enough to show that we have to check again what we have overlooked in our planet. But space exploration would not be a waste of money since organisms found in space offer the same value to the scientific community (Space Exploration is a Waste of Money, nd.). We only have to look at it in a different perspective, and see that what is out there is equally important to what we have in earth. Money is not really wasted in the process of exploration; rather, it is invested into discovering new things, for the benefit of mankind.

            New discoveries are made through space exploration. The space exploration program has been around since the Cold War and it continues until now. Discoveries have been made that benefit man in a lot of ways. One major discovery would be GPS (Global Positioning System) that helps man navigate through land, air, and sea. Another would be in medicine. Nitinol is an alloy used to make braces. This alloy is used in space crafts. The benefits of exploration and are limitless, and all of which are beneficial to us all (Kanade, nd.).

            Space is a mystery, being big and borderless. No one knows how long we will be exploring space; all that we know is that we will be benefiting from it. It is not a waste of money because we ourselves reap its benefits. It is not a waste of money we can learn a lot from it, which the future generations will benefit from. 

Reference List:

  1. Kanade, S. (nd.)., Space Exploration Benefits, Retrieval Date:                             August 18,2010;           
  1. Space Exploration (nd.)., Retrieval Date: August 18, 2010;
  1. Space Exploration is a Waste of Money (nd.)., Retrieval Date:                          Aug. 18, 2010;

            I found it hard writing this essay because I had to defend topic that I didn’t really have much knowledge of. Also, it was hard finding pros as there were more cons to this topic. Although I am satisfied with how this essay turned out, I could have improved by defending my topic more, and giving less of the arguments of the opposition. 

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