Along with politics, space is a topic you can never escape talking about. Even if you don’t follow space news, even if you don’t care that much about the new planets discovered recently, you still cannot deny that you do know about the latest discoveries of NASA and other giants of interstellar research work.
So, here is your chance to learn much more and put your findings on paper! You are going to write an argumentative essay about the needlessness of manned space exploration. Yes, you’ve got me right. We are going to prove that human life is a too high price for interstellar discoveries. However, our claims will not be groundless. What is more, we will even offer some rational alternatives to manned missions. After all, this is what top-notch argumentative writing requires.
So, are you ready to dig deeper into the unknown? Here we go!
Argument #1: Manned Space Missions Are Simply Dangerous
Give me a high five if this is the first idea that came to your mind after you found out that we were going to dethrone NASA the Great. I know the latter sounds like a rather bold claim. But we are going to reference to very valid sources, so you shouldn’t be afraid that your professor may have a serious talk to you after he or she reads your essay.
Rupert Cornwell, who worked for The Independent and is acknowledged as one of the most prominent foreign journalists of our time, once wrote that manned space travel was really dangerous, given all those infamous space shuttle disasters. Indeed, why would we risk lives of highly qualified specialists on space exploration if we could sacrifice artificial intelligence to it?
Below we will consider this issue in more detail.
Argument #2: Such an Adventure Is Indecently Expensive
In his article for The Telegraph Gerard DeGroot, current Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrew in Fife, Scotland, the UK, argues that numerous projects, launched with the purpose of space exploration, appear to be just a great way to waste another enormous sum of governmental money. To be precise, he wrote that NASA could be considered a machine for spending it.
If you agree with him, please make sure that you quote his idea right in your college paper, so your professor could see that it’s an opinion of a respectable person, not only of a student.
In his turn, Mr. DeGroot cited President Eisenhower, who once famously said that every space rocket launched into the space was a theft from the hungry and cold. Interestingly, he said it shortly before Yuri Gagarin became the first human to successfully journey into outer space.
Still, Gagarin’s death during his second trip was not enough to pay for our access to space. Every NASA’s or other centers’ failure (and there have been quite a lot of them) meant huge financial losses, not to mention those lives no money can ever compensate.
Argument #3: The Length of Missions Is Always Limited
Now think what you would need if you decided to take a world tour. What would you put in your backpack? Some clothes, some food, some water, as well as some personal hygiene items and, of course, your lucky teddy bear. Still, even if you happen to forget something at home, you can easily buy it in another town on the other edge of the Earth. So, you could travel as long as you wish, or as long as you have money to buy things you need.
But there are no little stores with cold snacks and hot coffee in space. There, far above our dear planet, astronauts can survive only with those things they were provided by the administration of the space center, including not only food or water, but even air.
Probably, in the future scientists and engineers will be able to create shuttles and special gadgets which will allow astronauts to stay away from the Earth as long as they want. However, nowadays, the amounts of food, water, and air, which they can take aboard, are limited. Either is the length of the space mission.
Argument #4: Computers Can Easily Do People’s Job
Let’s go back to the article by Rupert Cornwell. He admits that robots’ creative and decision-making capabilities do yield to those of humans. However, as artificial intelligence is much better at operating vast quantities of various data, robots could be much more effective in space than humans.
According to the statistics, success rate of manned missions makes 90%, but we have already discussed that they require much more supplies and bigger investments. Then why not spend those sums on designing smarter robots instead of risking both money and lives?
Argument #5: Manned Space Exploration Still Fails to Bring Us Any Scientific Benefit
In the very beginning of the era of space exploration each new discovery definitely weighed a lot. The humanity has learnt many new amazing things and it is natural that we want to know more and more. However, do we have enough technology and intelligence for it?
Sian Meaney, a journalist and researcher at Cherwell College in Oxford, the UK, writes that such giants as China and Russia have recently made no claims to the scientific benefits of manned missions. Nevertheless, space exploration takes the money that could be spent on the development of “earthly” sciences, or on the exploration of the planet Earth itself.
The supporters of manned space missions argue that it is so natural for the human to explore new territories and acquire new knowledge. But don’t the secrets of our planet suffice to satisfy scientists’ interest? Can’t complex human body and soul be the main subjects of heavily invested studies? We still do not know the entire truth about our world. So, how dare we intrude on the one where our laws do not work?