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Space Exploration - the desire to chart the unknown

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Discursive Essay

Space Exploration

The Cold War surprisingly started the beginning of something that would some would argue should be stepped up and others believe it is not needed. Space exploration is a topic of discussion, expensive but needed to solve our curiosity of other planets, life and space in general. It has given us new technology but of which could possibly have been made from other projects on Earth, but is needed to find new resources as the Earths own runs out.

        The cost involved in space exploration is the main argument against its need. During the Cold War space exploration was at its peak. The Russian launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, and the first human in space, Yuri Gargarin. Led to the USA making the first moon landing and both superpowers investing massive amounts of money in order to compete in what was called the ‘space race’. The money thrown at the space programs by the governments of both countries at the time was not questioned, as they were at war. The ‘space race’ allowed both countries to challenge each other in a different way. Not to

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        Space exploration has also helped communications on Earth with the development of better technology to create satellites. This has given way to instantaneous communication with people all over the world via email, telephone or text messaging. It has allowed for radio and television broadcasts to be heard or seen by anyone all over the world. Surely this is a major contribution which we now could not live without, and could not maintain a world free from war, disease and famine without. Weather satellites are increasingly becoming harder to live without as they can predict when major weather patterns such as, tornadoes and hurricanes or floods due to heavy rain might occur. Providing vital information which saves property and lives. Weather satellites are helping to show us what the climate in the future will be like and why it is changing, helping us to understand our world better. However people sceptical of space exploration would argue that satellites are not space exploration anyway, that they are commercial tools used by companies to make profit. We only believe they are objects of good for the world because companies allow us to use them in this way, assuming there is money paid to the companies who own them.

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        Through space exploration we do know for certain that there will be a time when the Earth is not suitable for life, as it will become too hot. The Earth will move out of the safe zone or ‘green zone’, a distance from the sun. This safe zone will move to Mars. Therefore plans are already ongoing to develop an atmosphere on Mars suitable for human life. This has many possibilities, if an atmosphere could be created on Mars, and Earth is still habitable this would help solve over population as well as create more natural resources, which could be found on Mars. This may be far off in the future but space exploration must be an investment in our future. If we fail to continue to develop in as many areas as we can we will fail to take advantage of these possibilities.

        On balance of the points raised I believe resources should continue to be used for space exploration. There are many people who look upon space exploration as an unnecessary expense incurred trying to satisfy dreamers, while leaving real problems like human suffering unresolved. But it has many practical benefits to offer. I believe it would be ludicrously impossible to stop space exploration.

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