The Instigator
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The Contender
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Should the government invest more money in space travel?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/6/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 784 times Debate No: 79446
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)




I believe space travel is important to the human race. If a crisis ever occurs on Earth, we should have somewhere else to turn to. Obviously it's important to spend money on other things like the US military so we can have some defenses, just not as much. Scientists are already thinking about colonizing Mars, but they need money to do that, and only the government can supply it.

This is my first debate, and I'm really ready to fight for my opinion. I invite anyone to accept the debate.


Since my opponent has started with arguments, I will do the same.

Argument 1

Science may well give us good things. We all know Velcro came from NASA. But why bother spending all this money exploring space and finding out there was water on Mars at some point in the last few thousand years (we have water in Earth) when these same great minds could be applied to finding better ways to power humanity's insatiable desire for energy, to feeding the starving millions around the globe, and generally making life down here better before looking up into the heavens. It seems the authoritative powers have their heads way, way up in the clouds.

The needs of humanity should always come first. While there are people on Earth who need help, they should be helped, rather than seeing money spent on sending robots onto other planets. Humanity is the number one priority; keeping the human race alive is a necessity. Alternatively, space exploration is a desire. If we put our desires before our needs, then everyone loses out on a better standard of living. Sure, it's great that NASA can elevate technology to the next level time and time again, so why not make technology that directly benefits us? And as there are millions round the world who are starving to death, when people spend more and more money on space technology they should realize they are the killers.

Also, why take so much time and money to learn about Mars or any other planet, when we know so little about our own? We should learn more about Earth and the ocean before wasting time and money on Space exploration.

Argument 2

Space exploration has always been a gimmick. The USA was doing it only to look better than the USSR and vice versa; it has never really been about the science.
There are far more valuable scientific endeavours to fund, such as the exploration of our own planet. The seabed, especially around volcanic regions, is relatively unexplored, as is Antarctica. One recent news story about a ‘lost tribe’ also highlighted the fact that we are not in contact with all indigenous peoples across the planet.
The scientific knowledge obtainable from our own planet, particularly organisms that inhabit locations with extreme conditions, offers far more value than that of space.

Argument 3

There are two major crisis going on at your home planet. global warming and the world wild economic crisis, both are severe. If the government doesn't handle the economic crisis with care we all will end up poor. How can we feed the poor,fend for our selves and take care of really expensive space travels?

Space travel is a unwanted business for now. How many of you'll know that NASA lost count of there budget after the first billions of dollar after the first year? is this more important than caring for the needy? When so many people are dieing as we speak can we just neglect them and say "the money we just spend went for a good cause, and these few hundreds of people who died are nothing because if we don't find a another planet to escape the cultures of global warming we all will die" is that fair for them? I say no and what will you say?

Global warming is the second most severe issue the earth is going through. We have to take care of our planet before we go roaming other planets. if the great legendary tribes of yesterday were here to see all this they would not believe that long time ago there used to be pure air to breath e and man and animal lived side by everything is destroyed. If we take care of this problem with with care we would be able to overcome this disaster.

What if the space shuttle launches and then falls? Then what? The government is going to have to pay more money for that. Plus they might get sued. our government is dumb for going along with this.

First priority is to teach people to help themselves so that they can help us when it is time to explore space, so let's prioritize. We would not have most of the problems of today if our parents taught us better than to steal and hurt others, so let's teach the next generation so that they can explore space when they are well grounded.

Our goal here is to create a balance, not to give up one option for another.

Most humanitarian organizations simply give poor countries money to fend for their sick and hungry when they can instead teach them how to plant crops that survive in their harsh conditions and educate people who are illiterate and turn them into doctors or farmers. When money is just thrown at their feet, what will happen if the money runs out? When they send people to give them prepared food and medication, what will happen when they leave?

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.

Space exploration is a waste of money. Money is better used to help human lives in their own country
Debate Round No. 1


While I understand that it is important to fix problems on Earth, we need to understand that some problems can not be fixed. Sure, we can encourage recycling and try to stop pollution and all that, what is the probability that everyone will go along with that? Many people have tried to change the world, but the thing is, the world is too big with too many people. We can try all we want, but it won't make a difference big enough to turn things around for the whole planet.
I know it may seem like I'm being a pessimist, but there really is hope for humanity--going to another planet. NASA is really planning on doing it sometime in the future, but they obviously can't do it if they don't have enough money. I'm not just talking about sending more robots out there, I'm talking about people. Of course we need to help people on Earth now, but the fate of humanity as a whole may rest in this. You said that humanity is the number one priority, and I agree with you there. That is why I'm saying we should take action and save it instead of just letting it die out on this planet that is inevitably headed for disaster.
Exploring our own planet and going into the depths of the ocean to understand it more sounds like an amazing thing, however, it is just as unnecessary as you claimed space travel to be. If we had the time and excess money to do it, it would be great. But we don't.

Even if space travel was just a gimmick, that doesn't mean it has to stay that way. In the past, exploring the moon was not, I admit, entirely necessary. But this problem really is. What space travel was like in the past doesn't really have anything to do with what it will be like in the future.
As I stated before, yes, it would be nice to discover our own planet, but that should not be our first priority.

I understand these crises are major, and that strengthens my point. These problems are on the verge of ruining humanity, and they may not be fixable at all. We can still save the human race, and it doesn't have to be on the planet earth. Someday we have to admit that we need something else, someplace that ensures the safety of an entire race. If we are on the verge of an economic crisis, that just means we need to work harder on space travel because if that crisis does happen, we'll never be able to get away from the planet if necessary.
Yes, space travel needs a lot of money. But it will be worth it. Helping people in need is a great and amazing thing, but it doesn't help the pollution and global warming problems. No it's not fair to those people, but I would rather make sure the human race is safe before we move on to the needs of particular individuals. What's the point of trying to save these people one way if we can effectively do it another?
Pollution is an important problem to solve, but just to make any changes at all will take a long time. And what will happen in that time? The world's condition may keep declining, but let's say that it doesn't. Even if it doesn't, people will grow impatient and see that they are not making a big difference. This world has already been ruined, and it will take a long time and a lot of work to fix it, and most people probably won't even participate. I say the best solution to care for our earth is to leave it completely alone. Space travel will let us do that. And in time, who knows? Maybe it will be possible for humans to return to Earth.
First of all, obviously there will be tests before the official spacecraft is launched. Scientists depend on proven facts and information, not just the assumption that it will work. We can trust people like this, especially because they understand that the human race may be in their hands. Don't you think they would try their absolute hardest and put in as much effort as possible to make sure they don't fail?
Yes, I agree that many organizations are spending too much money. What I'm saying is that money should be used to actually save humanity. Because when we help these people individually we are not saving them like we should be. If we go to space to colonize another planet, we can solve both problems by perhaps starting over and creating a better society on the new planet.



I will use this round primarily for rebuttals. I did write a huge response however the tab got deleted and nothing saved. I apologise for the delay.


When I was refering to problems on the Earth I was not just talking about problems like recycling and pollution. I was talking about big problems that we can actually spend time and money on and help save the planet. Here is a statistic about how much exactly the USA pay for spae exploration:

"NASA's FY 2011 budget of $18.4 billion represented about 0.5% of the$3.4 trillion United States federal budget during that year, or about 35% of total spending on academic scientific research in the United States."

This money could go towards cancer research. Even a fraction of that money could help save the lives of thousands and could even potentially help to find a cure more seveare types of cancer. We could spend the money on fixing the huge gap between the rich and the poor. Clean water is a huge issue in some countries and this also links in with famine and people dying of starvation. Do you think that getting people to another planet is really necessary at the moment. We can reduce the amount of money being put into space exploration and we could still make it onto other planets before we are wiped out. Even after saying this. I still think that we should be making bigger cuts since I do not believe that it right that we should be moving from planet to planet. Polluting one planet and moving to another planet just so we can pollute that one too. My opponent may state that people will change and they wont pollute the new planets however my opponent has already stated this:

"Sure, we can encourage recycling and try to stop pollution and all that, what is the probability that everyone will go along with that? Many people have tried to change the world, but the thing is, the world is too big with too many people."

This means that my opponent agrees with me when I say that the next planets will be polluted. By hopping from planet to planet. Using them and then throwing them away is playing the role of God. Once we get to the stage where we can just leave the Earth and go to any planet we like (that meet certain criteria) then humanity will be playing death and avoiding our species being wiped out. It is always interesting to repsond to someone who complains about death and wants to live forever. But the good thing about life is that it's precious and doesn't last forever. When eventually the Earth is destroyed and humans are extinct, then that will be that. We shouldn't be trying to cheat death and keep looking for ways to preserve humanity.

My opponent also says:

"Exploring our own planet and going into the depths of the ocean to understand it more sounds like an amazing thing, however, it is just as unnecessary as you claimed space travel to be. If we had the time and excess money to do it, it would be great. But we don't."

Here are the differences between exploring the depths of the ocean and exloring space.

a) Exploring the depths of the ocean don't even come close to the costs of space explorations.

b) There is a significantly higher change that we will discover new species of animals and vegetation at the bottom of the ocean than the chances that we will find aliens in space.

c) Continuing on from b. These new samples that are more likely to be found may help to cure diseases whereas as we know already. There is no known vegetation on any of the planets in our solar system. If we need samples we already have many robots and probes on the planets which can test for samples and send pictures directly to NASA without them needing to send off any more space ships.

As I have previously mentioned. Yes, space travel is expensive but if you are that keen on it happening it doesn't need to be now. If we cut the money being put into it then we can do this in the long term and still help to solve the rest of our global issues now with the money saved from these cuts. Surely, you don't believe that moving into space to another planet is more important than the millions of people suffering and dying from cancer, starvation and the lack of clean water. Is investing on a project that may never happen really worth that many lives and that much money?

At the moment we only have a slim chance of even getting humanity onto Mars. Do you really expect humans to actually start colonizing multiple planets? When our Sun dies all the planets in our solar system will be obliterated. Unless we make it out of our entire solar system (which is virtually impossible) then we will all die eventually. We should be focussing on making everyones life a happy life and when humans finally die out - at least we would have accomplished something. Moving to another planet wont help to stop wars. It wont help to cure diseases. Even getting people to other planets will be difficult. Imagine how expensive and hard it will be to build houses and shops here so that people can live a normal life. We would be potentially designing the Earth from scratch. As well as this we would also have to be constantly importing food from the Earth. On many other planets their is no soil and plants can not grow. Many of the animals that we eat today and keep as pets will not accustom to the strange, new conditions. Whilst your argument appears to make sense at first. It really doesn't look very convincing when you begin to add up the costs ...


Debate Round No. 2



First of all, I'd just like to say that space exploration can help solve some of these problems. NASA actually helps the environment by doing air-quality research to study things like pollution. They also research climate change and alternative energy. They educate and spread knowledge about the Earth, and they make sure to warn and protect the Earth from any harmful objects in space. These things are all important to Earth. If we fund NASA more, they can work even harder on these problems.
My opponent pointed out that diseases like cancer are a big problem on Earth too, however, NASA can also help with this. Cancer is often caused by radiation, and NASA studies radiation. These studies can help, not only in space, but also on Earth. Space travel isn't the only thing they are capable of doing.
This isn't entirely relevant, but the budget statistics provided by the opponent are four years old, and things have changed. NASA's budget has gone down.
The government is spending too much money on some things that could easily be cut, even by just a little. For instance, $636 billion is currently going to the military. In other words, 15.88% of the federal budget. America definitely needs defenses, but so much money should not be going to that alone. $29.81 billion, only 0.78% of the budget, is going to science. This includes all science, not just NASA. We need to balance this out a little more.
There are so many other ways we can find money for these problems that don't include cutting science funds. As I suggested before, it would help to balance out the budget more instead of making small funds even smaller.
I'm not trying to be cold, but right now, the world is overpopulated. If we cure these diseases and solve those problems, there will be even more people. More people means more poverty, which will make the problem worse. I'm definitely not saying we shouldn't help people, I'm just saying we need to secure the future of humankind so we CAN help those people without worrying about overpopulation.
If NASA's budget were cut, do you actually believe that the money would be used for the causes you mentioned? Knowing the current US government, I would say that the funds would actually be used in war to hurt the people you want to help. Or maybe things like government campaigns? That's not any better, it only helps the people working for the government. Helping other countries to get clean water is even less probable, because America will only want to support itself. You can't be sure what people will do.
The opponent mentioned "playing the role of god". Using the same logic, I could say that curing a disease is also playing the role of god. A disease is a natural thing meant to control the population. If it's cured, the population could get out of control, giving NASA an even better reason to get away. If we ended up living on multiple planets at once, it would make more space for those people so we can cure them and not have an overpopulation problem. This would help us last longer and therefore accomplish more.

"We should be focusing on making everyone's life a happy life and when humans finally die out - at least we would have accomplished something."

If we use this multiple planets method, it will make everyone happier because
1. No more overpopulation, which means
2. There will be room for curing diseases
3. Space travel can bring people together. If everyone, or at least multiple nations, worked together on getting to another planet, we would be closer because we'd be glad to have accomplished something together. This can help solve war problems and make people happy
4. Other planets may be capable of producing food that we don't know about, so multiple planets would be producing food at once, which could solve hunger problems.

Also, it pains me to think that you believe reaching and colonizing another planet isn't "accomplishing something". For all we know, we're one of the most advanced species in the universe. I'm not trying to avoid death, I'm trying to avoid total destruction of an advanced planet with so many rich and amazing cultures and histories. You want that to be wiped out? If people are really your priority, you shouldn't want that. What really would be accomplishing nothing, however, is quenching natural human curiosity and thirst for knowledge by staying on our own planet forever. So you're saying we shouldn't even try to explore? For some people, that wouldn't be true happiness, which is what you were arguing for to begin with.
My opponent said that the sun is going to die, so we'll all die eventually. But I'd like to propose the question: If we all know we're going to die at some point, why do we do anything? It's because we want to change things and live a good life while we can. I don't want to just sit around and wait for death. What is the point of doing that when we could change the universe?

"There is a significantly higher change that we will discover new species of animals and vegetation at the bottom of the ocean than the chances that we will find aliens in space."

I'm not talking about finding aliens. I am talking about expanding and evolving, which is, after all, what everything has been doing for billions of years. There is another chance for happiness, and who are we to pass up on that chance?
The reasons NASA has only been sending robots into space are
1. They don't have enough money to do anything else
2. Yes, we do need samples and pictures. Because if we do end up moving to a different planet, we want to know about that planet so we know it's possible to colonize it.

First of all, I'm not saying we need to go to another planet right now. But if the Earth keeps declining like it is now, we may need to do it eventually. If Earth does happen to get better soon (which I doubt), then that's great. You've proved me wrong. However, the chance of that happening is very small.
Maybe we won't build a life like we did on Earth, After all, we've done that already and look how it's turning out for us. We will need food, but I'm sure the human race will adapt to another planet just like we did to Earth. If NASA thinks it is possible to colonize Mars within the next fifty years, obviously they have thought and planned about that fact.


-A lot of the technology they use in space travel can help discover and learn things on Earth.
-Astronauts and astronomers have been exploring and discovering space for many decades. People have been curious about outer space for centuries. We shouldn't let all that work go to waste.
-Exploration is an amazing thing. If we just stop exploring the universe, what will we do?

What I'm saying is, let's change the universe while we still can. Because even when the human race is totally wiped out, we can still be remembered.



Yes, NASA does air quality research and research on energy but are they doing this to help us? Or are they doing this to build more rockets and pollute our planet even more. If all the money spent on getting into space was actually spent on directly helping to protect the environment and its air quality, then we would be a lot further in our studies in terms of where we are now. As I have said, NASA does do this research but the real question is whether NASA spends enough money on the reasearch and whether NASA are doing it for the morally correct reasons. Is this education that NASA 'spreads' around the Earth really worth the money? With that much money we could bring the poorest parts of the world out of poverty - imagine how much good we could really do. If you insist that NASA helps to educate people about space then it you do realise that with that money we could hire qualified teachers in all school to teach the subject and have enough money to contribute to ending poverty. Here is a true statement:

"Ending world poverty. To end extreme poverty worldwide in 20 years, Sachs calculated that the total cost per year would be about $175 billion. This represents less than one percent of the combined income of the richest countries in the world."

Would it be too hard to give up space exploration and help the people in today's society rather than worrying about people who will die in thousands of years if we do not manage to get off of the planet Earth (which could easily be achieved without having to spend so much money on it now).

Anyway, I'll allow Pro to think about that whilst I continue with the rebuttals...

Yes, Cancer can be caused by radiation but radiation is not the primary cause of cancer.


As you will see on the website, cancer can be caused by tobacco, genetics and the sun, as well as radiation. Even if radiation was the primary cause of cancer and even if NASA's research was primarily focussed on radiation they wouldn't use this information to help benefit cancer they would use it to help develop astronaut suits and more protective space ships. Space is the only thing that they are capable of doing properly. My opponent states that my budget figures have gone down but hasn't provided an alternative so I reject the claim that they are old and have gone down because my opponent hasn't provided any evidence to suggest otherwise. Even if the budget has decreased, my opponent is arguing that they should be raised so this would essentially just revert them back to the statistics that I provided or higher since there is no reason for me to say that those statistics show the current budget of NASA.

I agree that too much money is being spent on the military however this doesn't mean that we should use all the money that is being reduced from the militaries budget on something equally as pointless. I'm not sure if my opponent truely understands the value of nearly $30 billion. In 2013 the population of the whole of Africa added up to just over 1 billion US dollars. That means that the money could be divided to help everyone and that statistic includes the rich people too. If you exclude them, there will be even more money to spend helping people. My opponent acts like $30 billion is nothing.

I'm not necessarily suggesting that we cut science funds. I am suggesting that we do not increase them. The world is not overpopulated that is a false statment that I can prove.

Some like to assert that everybody on Earth could be fit into the State of Texas, using logic as follows. The area of Texas is about 262,000 mi2. Dividing this figure by the current human population of 7 billion leaves each person with less than 100 square meters, a small plot the size of a big room about 10 m x 10 m. Nevertheless, this still means that the whole of the world could fit into 1 state. That doesn't make the world sound overpopulated does it? This is another false claim by Pro - making his argument seem less and less reliable.

Curing diseases wont make the world overpopulated, because it's nowhere near to that stage. It will help our population remain stable. My opponent say that more people mean more poverty but if we save $30 billion dollars from space exploration and the military then ending world poverty shouldn't be too difficult. Since the point regarding diseases has been refuted this means that the rest of my opponents argument regarding overpopulation has no purpose in this debate. My opponent states that because I said that moving from planet to planet is playing the role of God the same can apply for curing disease. We are curing diseases already so just because the funds will make it quicker it doesn't change the fact that we are already doing it already so it wont make a difference to whether or not we are playing the role of God. It is debatable whether diseases are there to control the population since that would require a God to confirm this. In every argument my opponent appears to make links to the overpopulation argument which is incorrect as I have had to say multiple times.

The multiple planets method will anger many. If this would satisfy everyone then this wouldn't be a debatable topic.

I will now refute the claims made by my opponent:

1) There is no overpopulation.
2) There already is room.
3) My opponent has not demonstrated how it will solve war problems and make people happy.
4) Other planets in our solar system cannot produe food.

If we did reach and colonize another planet we would be accomplishing something it just wouldn't be much of an accomplishment if you looked at the bill. In other words, if we could do this for less money then it would be good. I am not in favour of our planet wasting our resources and money on something than will just be considered as an achievment.

I was not talking about individuals dying. I was talking about the human race coming to an end. The human race will die out eventually. We should focus on making sure that everyone's life quality will be good rather than making sure that the human race stays alive because there is no point in preserving the human race if everyone is going to suffer. I don't want us to be wiped out just as much as you don't but I am not willing to allow the human race to intervine with nature any more than already has done. I'm not saying that we shouldn't explore because that would be wrong. As I have stated in previous rounds, we can still explore our own planet. The Earth is huge, there is always somewhere that you haven't been and somewhere new to explore.

If you are talking about expanding and evolving then that isn't something that is going to happen overnight. The evolution of the human species is going to take a very long time. If you are waiting for that, then we don't really need to do much because it is going to be a long time before the human species fully evoves.

Your information is again faulty and false. The reason that NASA are actually sending robots is because:

1) 'According to Captain Bowersox, “There are a lot of environments where it isnot safe or cost effective to send humans."'

So, the reason that robots are being sent into space not humans has nothing to do with the money. If you think my information is fault or incorrect then you are wrong. This information came directly off the NASA website.

I agree the chances of the Earth getting better are small - but the reason for this is because there are people who agree with what NASA are saying and so money is being wasted on going to space instead of confronting the problem. By going to space you are avoiding the problem that could be saved with the money being wasted on avoiding it.
I agree that technololgy can be used to help discover and learn things from space. We are already doing this. There is no need to increase the money being put into this.

Curiosity alone isn't a good enough reason to spend $30 billion on space exploration.

In your list of arguments the only valid arguments are that we are curious and that exploration is an amazing thing. Is that really a good enough reason to postpone fixing the huge issue of poverty and famine.

Vote Con!


Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Cecilia 11 months ago
Yep, and it was my first debate.
Posted by Balacafa 11 months ago
This was a good debate. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Posted by ax123man 1 year ago

Pro's contention seems to be that, because humanity has caused such a mess on Earth, we should go to other planets. Con's position is that we should spend this money solving the problems here on Earth. These two contentions more or less dead-lock. Both sides appear to agree that man is headed for disaster on earth. I'm not sure either side realized how important it was to distinguish between natural and man-made events that would lead to our demise. If natural, this favors Pro since those events likely can't be controlled and we would need to "get out of dodge". But it was Con who mentioned the sun burning out, and the events in question seemed focused on man-made events. I think Con could have argued that man is not headed for disaster by our own hand, but then would have had to argue against global warming, economic disaster, etc. Instead Con focused on over-population and covered that well. Still Con played into Pro's doom-and-gloom, which didn't help. However, Con countered with the issue that man would just go to other planets and continue polluting them. Cons use of Pro's quote about recycling against pro was powerful. The pollution argument ended up being very important and Pro never addressed this issue. However, I think an opportunity was missed here by Con, because this point could be generalized: why would ANY man-made problems be solved simply by going to another planet? There was the talk of evolution, but I wasn't 100% of the point being made.

In the end, arguments were VERY close, but Con wins be a small margin because Pro never addresses the question of why pollution wouldn't continue on other planets.
Posted by Cecilia 1 year ago
I agree, Balacafa. Everyone, before you vote, read the whole debate and vote fairly.
Posted by Balacafa 1 year ago
If you are going to vote on this I hope you will not let your bias effect your voting.
Posted by Rezamee 1 year ago
God I hate debates like this, in my opinion we spend WAY too little money on NASA. I bet you fifty years from now when China is taking over space with a superior budget we will regret not spending enough on space exploration and the Chinese will benefit from the fruits of the cosmos. I'm not saying this will happen but it's my two cents. I wish we had infinite money..if only... if only.
Posted by DuBbAcOnCaT 1 year ago
Yes to an extent, the government should invest more money into space travel but we can't neglect the unresolved problems on Earth that require money.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
does this include satellites?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ax123man 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: See comments for RFD: