• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is Space Exploration Worth the Cost?

Extracts from this document...


Is Space Exploration Worth the Cost?


In this report I will investigate if space exploration is worth the cost of its budget. I will provide evidence for both side of argument and will include information about how satellites work. Finally I will come to a conclusion as to whether I think and space exploration is worth the cost and will evaluate all of the sources that I have used.



Space exploration is the use of astronomy and space technology to explore outer space.The US spends $18.7 billion on space exploration every year, but the big question going through many minds is “Is it really worth the cost?” I will identify reasons for and against the spending of this money on space exploration and will include examples of perceived better uses for the designated budget.

Reasons for Space Exploration Being Worth the Cost:

Important new technologies which advance the economy are created through space exploration. For every dollar spent on the space program, the U.S. economy receives about $8 of economic benefit [1]. Some of these main advances in technology which shape our lives today include flat panel televisions, G.P.S, computer operations and mobile phones [2].

Space exploration has also provided technologies which save lives as well as entertain and convenient them. For example space exploration allows the prediction and management of hurricanes and other natural disasters.

...read more.




A satellite is defined as any object that orbits any other object. Man-made satellites are typically launched into outer space from earth to collect data, photos and other information about Earth and all the many things that exist around it. Satellites are used in weather reports, television transmission, everyday telephone calls, GPS and scientific research. The main function of satellites is to receive and send signals all across the globe. The key components are antennas, receivers and transmitters. Most satellites use both power from the Sun and batteries to work. They catch the Sun's energy using solar panels that point at the sun.

 They use batteries when the Sun doesn't shine on them [5] & [6].



Reasons against Space Exploration Being Worth the Cost:

Many people believe that it is ludicrous to pump money into space when we still have problems here on Earth. The money could be better spent on improving education, fighting poverty and researching a cure for cancer.

Respected figures in our society have also supported this view point. For example Martin Luther King Jr stated "If our nation can spend twenty billion dollars to put a man on the moon, it can spend billions of dollars to put God's children on their own two feet right here on earth." [3]


As America is the leading nation

...read more.


[3] http://www.spacedaily.com/news/oped-04b.html

Space daily is a website which provides up to date space news and NASA proposals. This particular article was written in 2004 and includes key facts about the expenditure of the US as well as quotes from US politicians. I think it is a reliable source as important politicians have contributed to the article and the website is constantly updated with the latest space news.

[4] http://jeffreyellis.org/blog/?p=1614

This source provided the graphs for NASA’s budget history.

[5] http://www.space.com/satellite/ & [6] http://www.buzzle.com/articles/how-do-satellites-work.html

These sources provide information about how satellites work, as well as current satellites in space.

[7] http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats

This source provides key facts and statistics on poverty. It is reliable as it is up to date as it has been updated during 2009.

[8] http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/history/q0114.shtml

This is source provides detailed information about the thirty two people who have lost their lives to space exploration. The only fault with this source is that it has not been updated since 2003 so there may be additional deaths that have not been included.


...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern Physics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern Physics essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Black Holes Research and Report

    4 star(s)

    Stellar-mass - these black holes are easier to comprehend as they are about the same size as the Earth. It is difficult to distinguish between stellar black holes and neutron stars as the size between the stars that form them is very similar, but like all black holes the matter

  2. Peer reviewed

    What affects the voltage output of a solar panel?

    3 star(s)

    The setting on the power pack will be kept the same to ensure this. The same light source and solar cell will be kept constant as changing them could lead to a variation in the results. If a solar cell or light source breaks, the experiment must be done all over again.

  1. Peer reviewed

    Astronomy - the urge to explore space.

    3 star(s)

    We are part of a system. Our planet is in the Solar System which is in a galaxy accompanied by other billions of stars in it. There are trillions of other galaxies in the universe. The closest of them is about 2.2 million light years away.

  2. Investigate any relationship present between the distance between a solar cell and a lamp, ...

    ___ I ? VW I2 ? W This is because the formula W = I2 R, where R in this scenario is fixed (making them proportional) through fixed distance between the bulb and the solar cell, and no noticeable change in temperature once the experiment was under way.

  1. Earthquake Simulation Program.

    force of friction, the two plates move, in this instance, a shearing motion. The rock can only withstand deformation to a certain point, whereby it then releases its energy as an earthquake (see third picture). The last picture shows the "recoil effect".

  2. The history of Bodyboarding.

    As the sport became very popular it was also improving all the time, new companies were starting up and the technologies of the boards and equipment started to evolve. Boards started to be made out of a rigid foam and accessories started to be used to improve the performance in the water.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work