The Instigator
chuck_norris
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
belle
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points

Space Exploration is a waste of time and money

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
belle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2010 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 49,678 times Debate No: 10998
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (6)

 

chuck_norris

Con

A lot of people may say that space exploration should be abolished because it is a waste of money, but think of how much we have advanced in our knowledge of space. This has to be known because some of the planets and moons we have discovered are suitable for us to live on when we move from Earth, so it is essential that man knows about space and we constantly have to keep updating and developing our knowledge.
"I don't think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I'm an optimist. We will reach out to the stars." Stephen Hawking. This is very important because our human race is vulnerable to the effects of space and if we do not move, according to Stephen Hawking, man will not survive.
"The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in." Robert Heinlein. It is a fact that the world is continuously growing and we must move; resources are abating, but the population is still growing.
The world population is the total number of living humans on Earth at a given time. As of 21 January 2010, the Earth's population is estimated by the United States Census Bureau to be 6 797 700 000. The world population has been growing continuously since the end of the Black Death around 1400. The fastest rates of world population growth were seen quickly during the 1950s then for a longer period during the 1960s and 1970s (see graph). World births have levelled off at about 134 million per year, since their peak at 163 million in the late 1990s, and are expected to remain constant. However, deaths are only around 57 million per year. Because births outnumber deaths, the world's population is expected to reach 9 billion in 2040.
Space exploration benefits are various and they have contributed substantially to expand the human frontiers of science. The most important of all the benefits of space exploration is that it provided mankind with a challenge. Next, the knowledge that man gained out of his efforts that he made to explore the space. With the help of his spacecrafts and satellites, he realized that his theories regarding the universe are true.

The first thought is basically important that creates a yardstick for further accomplishments. The space exploration started when man tried to judge whether the stars that rise in the sky after the Sun sets. This curiosity about the stars was realized in the space exploration benefits in the form of astronomy and navigating the oceans. While doing this the stars acted as the beacons, the torch bearer for us.

Next, were the theories about the planets, the sun and universe; which you could count as the benefits of space exploration. What and who makes them work? Using these wisps of thoughts to overcome the limits of the gravity of the Earth, man tried to explain, with the help of binoculars and telescopes, the existence of universe, planets, the Sun, the moon and ultimately, his own.

The study of the Sun, a star, made man realizes that nuclear energy can be a resource too. Hence forth, mankind reaped another benefit of the space exploration in the form of a new energy source, that no one has used before.

In 1945, Sir Arthur C. Clarke broadcasted the idea of satellite communication and then we found the long awaited reason to leave the Earth. The space-exploration moved out of the margins of the brain.

Space shuttle launch realized the chance for a common man to go on a space travel. NASA and the rest of the agencies involved in space exploration launched many spacecrafts to explore our solar system.
We realize now what a big difference space exploration has made in our lives and will develop man's knowledge
Mankind must always struggle to expand its horizons. The desire to know what lies beyond current knowledge, the curiosity that constantly pushes at the boundaries of our understanding, is one of our noblest characteristics. The exploration of the universe is a high ideal – I believe space truly is the final frontier. The instinct to explore is vitally human; already some of our most amazing achievements have taken place in space. Nobody can deny the sense of wonder, world-wide, when for the first time a new man-made star rose in the sky, or when Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the moon. Space exploration converses to that part of us which rises beyond the everyday.
The utilization of space has directly changed our world. Satellites orbiting the Earth allow us to converse immediately with people on dissimilar continents, and to broadcast to people all over the world. The Global Positioning System allows us to pinpoint our location anywhere in the world. Without discovering space we would not have Global Positioning Systems. Weather satellites save lives by giving advance warning of adverse conditions, and together with other scientific instruments in orbit they have helped us understand our own world better. We could not make forecasts of weather which a lot of people depend on. Research into climate change, for example, would be almost impossible without the data provided by satellites. Satellites hold information that the majority of people do not even know about. People depend on space exploration, yet they do not even know.
Space exploration has also led to many indirect benefits. The challenge and difficulty of the space programme, and its ability to draw on some of the finest minds, has brought about great leaps in technology. The need to reduce weight on rockets led to shrinking, and so to the micro-chip and the modern computer. The need to produce safe but efficient power-sources for the Apollo missions led to the development of practical fuel-cells, which are now being explored as a possible future power-source for cleaner cars. The effects of zero-gravity on astronauts have substantially added to our knowledge of the workings of the human body, and the ageing process. We can never know exactly which benefits will emerge from the space programme in future, but we do know that we will constantly meet new obstacles in pursuit of our goals, and in overcoming they will find new solutions to old problems. We understand - just maybe - .1% about space and space-time. We must proceed with future missions and create more.
People argue that we could spend the money feeding children in need. However, space exploration has benefitted the whole world in many ways as mentioned previously so it is not only benefitting only one sector of people.
Space exploration is an investment in the future. Our world is rapidly running out of resources. Overpopulation could become a serious worldwide threat. In this position, it would be foolish to ignore the vast potential of our own solar system – mining resources on asteroids or other planets, or even the possibility of colonising other worlds. If we fail to continue to develop the ability to take advantage of these possibilities, we may in the future find it is too late.
belle

Pro

My opponent claims that the benefits of space exploration outweigh the costs. However, given our current knowledge
and abilities, I will argue that that is not the case.

First, I would like to highlight a tension in my opponent's use of the term "exploration".

ex⋅plore
  /ɪkˈsplɔr, -ˈsploʊr/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [ik-splawr, -splohr] Show IPA verb, -plored, -plor⋅ing.
Use explore in a Sentence
See images of explore
Search explore on the Web
–verb (used with object)
1. to traverse or range over (a region, area, etc.) for the purpose of discovery: to explore the island.
2. to look into closely; scrutinize; examine: Let us explore the possibilities for improvement.

(from http://dictionary.reference.com... )

Does he mean literal travel into space or the study thereof?

It would be disingenuous of him to refer to "exploration" of a physical area in a non-physical sense. In other words,
to cite the exploration of space through telescopes, as my opponent does, is to misuse the word. Examining the
definition, we see that "to scrutinize" is generally used in reference to abstractions rather than objects; in
reference to physical objects exploration involves actual travel.

Given that, my opponent's argument about expanded knowledge is moot. Everything we know thus far about objects in
space has been discovered almost exclusively through observation from earth, or from just outside earth's
atmosphere. There is no travel required to discover the knowledge he references.

The one space program that did send human beings into space ended up costing American taxpayers $150 billion,
almost 8 times the initial cost estimate of $20 billion. {1}

By contrast, the things we learned from these missions, while fascinating, are hardly beneficial to humans. Most
pertain to the composition and history of the moon.{2} While this settled many scientific debates, there are more
tangible uses to which such money could be put. For example, the National Cancer Institute spend about $5 billion
a year on various cancer research.{3} The funding for the Apollo program could have funded 30 years worth of research
into cancer, possibly leading to a better understanding and improved treatments for the suffering of millions of
human beings.

Additionally, at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.{4} To justify such outrageous expenditures
on space exploration for the benefit of future populations, when millions are suffering now, is inconsistent at best
and callous at worst.

Indeed, my opponent claims that space exploration is necessary to save humanity from extinction, but this is a
distortion of the facts. Given our current understanding of physics, either the universe will reach a state of
maximum entropy, in which we won't be able to survive, or the gravity of the universe will overcome its expansion
and all the matter will collapse back to a singularity. In which case we won't be able to survive. The extinction
of humanity is inevitable. The question of when it occurs is a question of what conditions it is tolerable to live
under, and my opponent has not provided any reasoning as to why potentially colonizing space and trying to extend
the longevity of the human race is preferable to alleviating the suffering of those who already exist.

Money thrown into the space program is basically being thrown away; certainly any returns will not be seen this
generation or the next. Our current technology is nowhere near advanced enough to propel us to distant star systems
and we have yet to discover any planets or moons that we know would support us even if we could get there. The
ephemeral nature of the goal, the outrageous costs, and the more beneficial potential uses to which the money could
be put conspire to make space exploration an untenable goal for society at its current level of scientific expertise. My
opponent claims that:

"We can never know exactly which benefits will emerge from the space programme in future, but we do know that we will constantly meet new obstacles in pursuit of our goals, and in overcoming they will find new solutions to old problems. We understand - just maybe - .1% about space and space-time. We must proceed with future missions and create more."

This is nothing more than an appeal to ignorance, and it is the basis for his entire argument. Something really good
might possibly come out of it so we must take action. Given the amount of money involved this is not a justifiable
position.

1.http://history.nasa.gov...
2. http://www.nasm.si.edu...
3. http://www.cancer.gov...
4. http://www.globalissues.org...
Debate Round No. 1
chuck_norris

Con

My opponent mentioned that we could be using this money for feeding people however we are helping people since it has benifitted the world. Also my opponent has claimed that there is a lot of money wasted however 500 billion was spent on the miliatary speaking of losing lives. Space exploration has also led to many indirect benefits. The challenge and difficulty of the space programme, and its ability to draw on some of the finest minds, has brought about great leaps in technology. The need to reduce weight on rockets led to shrinking, and so to the micro-chip and the modern computer. The need to produce safe but efficient power-sources for the Apollo missions led to the development of practical fuel-cells, which are now being explored as a possible future power-source for cleaner cars. The effects of zero-gravity on astronauts have substantially added to our knowledge of the workings of the human body, and the ageing process. We can never know exactly which benefits will emerge from the space programme in future, but we do know that we will constantly meet new obstacles in pursuit of our goals, and in overcoming they will find new solutions to old problems. We understand - just maybe - .1% about space and space-time. We must proceed with future missions and create more.
People argue that we could spend the money feeding children in need. However, space exploration has benefitted the whole world in many ways as mentioned previously so it is not only benefitting only one sector of people.
Space exploration is an investment in the future. Our world is rapidly running out of resources. Overpopulation could become a serious worldwide threat. In this position, it would be foolish to ignore the vast potential of our own solar system – mining resources on asteroids or other planets, or even the possibility of colonising other worlds. If we fail to continue to develop the ability to take advantage of these possibilities, we may in the future find it is too late.
One of the hardest questions that are often asked of us rocket scientists is "why is space exploration important?" Even JFK tried to answer this question many years ago. He said, "But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why should we climb to the peak of the many tall mountains?" Why? Because we want challenge, that is the flat out truth, man wants challenge, yet sometimes we skip a bit too many questions.

What kind of space program should we promote and what to do next, with it remains a chronic question. One could argue that this is because we in the aerospace community have yet to rational a satisfying answer. We talk about the survival of our species, about being made of the stuff of stars. And we talk about spin-offs.
It is a fact that the general public overwhelmingly supports the space program. Excitement was initially generated by bold accomplishments of heroism undertaken by the astronauts. We have since added to that support with the overwhelming pictures returned by the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spirit and Opportunity rovers on Mars. Everyone believes that space exploration is a good thing, even if we can't fully explain why. Americans, Canadians, Russians, and many other countries are incredibly forward leaning when it comes to funding journeys of discovery and we are mostly happy with the results.
Traditionally, it has been the role of the federal government, when confronted with capable frontier territory, to take a leading role in the development of the infrastructure easing expansion into that territory. Of course, much of those communications also helped to establish the mechanisms for stimulating local economies. Without modern transportation systems, authority and economic opportunities would have expanded much more slowly across our great land.
Clearly, some kind of transportation will also be required to expand into the space frontier and to accumulate any benefits it may have to offer. Where exactly are the suspected profits to be had from space? Sure, we have profitable communication satellites pushing television signals to cell phones in some parts of the world. While commercial and market-driven, space tourism is more management than commerce, in the general sense of the word. The answer to the profits question is that we just don't know yet. Following the development of a communication to access the frontier, discoveries will be made. Trade comes after discovery.
And then what will happen after we make those inevitable discoveries? Analogy may help us here. What has become of those early frontiers opened by theorizers? An idea is generated through a theory. Look around! Most of our country's over-the-horizon frontiers are people and structures.
So after we have the transportation to reliably get off the planet, we will make those inevitable discoveries on the moon. And those discoveries will be closely followed by opportunities for commerce.
In the old west, the hub of activity in frontier towns really was the saloon. Tomorrow, the lowly pub may once again help foster a burgeoning economy in some faraway places.
We can begin to tie together the existence of infrastructure to discovery, to commerce, to tourism, and maybe even to national security, all with one big bow.
Look up. We recently celebrated five years of continuous presence in low earth orbit on the International Space Station. Our former enemies are now our friends and, indeed, roommates on ISS. We continue to plan a build-out of the international components of the space station in order to meet our international partner commitments. We have already dismantled some of the missiles pointed at each other. Rival has become comrade.
Now look east. Have the Chinese learned from their history of looking inward, wrapping their borders with the Great Wall? Are they now looking outward to reproduce the successes we have enjoyed over the past 200 years? In the 1400's, they owned the resources to explore globally but chose to use their fleets to protect their borders, not sail past them. Are we now going to turn our backs and let them take the mantle we have carried proudly for the past 40 years?
Our first exploratory steps into the New World, the West, and indeed 62 miles up were motivated by security concerns, an expression of national pride, and a yearning to profit from developing markets. Exploration and discovery almost always lead the transformation of seemingly dilapidated places into engines of enterprise, commerce, and sustainable growth. When the President gave the US and Canada the Vision for Space Exploration, his stated fundamental goal was to advance U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests through a healthy space exploration program. When we go to the moon we are required to tackle the pressing issues back home.
We have discovered new resources in space, and resources in space means economic wealth. In space the resources are pretty much infinite in amount. For example, light and heat from the sun and minerals from the asteroid belt. The travel costs for space flight could be lowered if there are fuel sources in space, so if we can gather them, we are set for life in space. Scientists were actually able to find hydrogen and oxygen in moon rock; we can make water and then life will be sustainable on different planets. The hydrogen could also be used for fuel stations on different planets as a refuelling station.
belle

Pro

"My opponent mentioned that we could be using this money for feeding people however we are helping people since it
has benifitted the world. Also my opponent has claimed that there is a lot of money wasted however 500 billion was
spent on the miliatary speaking of losing lives. Space exploration has also led to many indirect benefits"

What benefit? My opponent makes the claim without actually specifying what the benefit is. In R1 he referenced some
of the discoveries made by astronomers over the centuries, yet none of these required actual exploration of space so
they are inadmissible. He has yet to respond to my objection regarding the nature of "exploration"; nor has he
addressed the contention that spreading out will not save the human race from extinction at all, but in fact will
only push back the date an extinction would occur.

Furthermore, military expenditures are irrelevant to this debate. The fact that we waste money in other areas is
not a justification for wasting money on exploring space.

"the challenge and difficulty of the space programme, and its ability to draw on some of the finest minds, has
brought about great leaps in technology. The need to reduce weight on rockets led to shrinking, and so to the
micro-chip and the modern computer. The need to produce safe but efficient power-sources for the Apollo missions
led to the development of practical fuel-cells, which are now being explored as a possible future power-source for
cleaner cars"

Firstly, theoretical physics is also difficult and challenging; on top of that it uses considerably less
resources (both funding and physical material) than space exploration. Mathematics and philosophy are also
challenging topics that spur new and innovative thinking and are comparatively cheap. The dearth of other options
available make the claim that space exploration is necessary for innovation patently false.

Secondly, it is a fairly large leap from a rocket to a microchip. The development of computers was actually spurred by
codebreakers in WW2, and it was *not* rocketry that led to the shrinking of the microchip, it was the invention
of the integrated circuit. {1} It is poor reasoning to presume that because they both involved making things smaller
and a gain in plausibility or efficiency followed that they are related.

"The need to produce safe but efficient power-sources for the Apollo missions led to the development of practical
fuel-cells, which are now being explored as a possible future power-source for cleaner cars."

Again, an appeal to a shadowy potential future benefit is not an argument in your favor.

"We understand - just maybe - .1% about space and space-time. We must proceed with future missions and create more."

A question for you- how can you claim to know what percentage of space and spacetime we are *not* aware of? And
even if I am given reason to believe you did not just pull that number out of your arse for rhetorical reasons,
you have not justified the imperative to discover more knowledge. You have not shown why the benefits of such a
costly action outweigh the costs.

"Everyone believes that space exploration is a good thing, even if we can't fully explain why."

Appeal to popularity. In 1850 it was a fact that the public overwhelmingly supported slavery. That was not, is not,
a justification for slavery.

The issue here is not whether people want to explore space, but whether the outrageous expenditure can be justified
given current knowledge and conditions. And you admit here that there is no justification, that you don't know why
it should be done, but that somehow, something good will come out of it eventually. Maybe...

"Traditionally, it has been the role of the federal government, when confronted with capable frontier territory,
to take a leading role in the development of the infrastructure easing expansion into that territory. Of course,
much of those communications also helped to establish the mechanisms for stimulating local economies. Without
modern transportation systems, authority and economic opportunities would have expanded much more slowly across
our great land."

While this may make sense in reference to trains or airplanes, this is a poor analogy in reference to space travel.
The cost of launching a rocket into space at speeds reasonable for the travel of interstellar distances, both
monetarily and in terms of energy, is orders of magnitude more than the cost of building a railroad across the
country. For example, in order to travel, roundtrip, to a star 5 parsecs from earth (16.3 lightyears) it would take
1000 times the yearly energy consumption of the US. Thats right. 1000 times.{2} If we are in the midst of an energy
crisis now, imagine how much worse it would be were we wasting that much energy hurling rockets into space.
Especially since we have no idea, when we send the rocket, if our destination will even be habitable, such
outrageous expenditures are unjustifiable.

Unless and until we have:
1. a better energy source, capable of output far exceeding what we are currently capable of and
2. a better understanding of the conditions where we are heading, so as to maximize the chance of actually landing
somewhere we could live

your arguments fail. As it stands you rest your case on a bunch of unverifiable "ifs"; the benefits are far too
contingent on lucky circumstance to support your case.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.physics.uc.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
chuck_norris

Con

To conclude here are my ending statements, rebutting some of your statements, however you made some excellent statements.
Some of the most frequently asked questions about the U.S. space program are "Why go into space when we have so many problems here on Earth?" and "What does the space program do for me?" These are legitimate questions and unfortunately not enough people have been made aware of the vast benefits the space program provides that increase the quality of our daily lives. Applications on Earth of technology needed for space flight have produced thousands of "spinoffs" that contribute to improving national security, the economy, productivity and lifestyle. It is almost impossible to find an area of everyday life that has not been improved by these spinoffs. Collectively, these secondary applications represent a substantial return on the national investment in aerospace research. We should be spending more.

Out of a $2.4 trillion budget, less than 0.8% is spent on the entire space program! That's less than 1 penny for every dollar spent. The average American spends more of their budget on their cable bill, eating out or entertainment than this yet the benefits of space flight are remarkable. It has been conservatively estimated by U.S. space experts that for every dollar the U.S. spends on R and D in the space program, it receives $7 back in the form of corporate and personal income taxes from increased jobs and economic growth. Besides the obvious jobs created in the aerospace industry, thousands more are created by many other companies applying NASA technology in nonspace related areas that affect us daily. One cannot even begin to place a dollar value on the lives saved and improved lifestyles of the less fortunate. Space technology benefits everyone and a rising technological tide does raise all boats.

One small example is the Hubble Space Telescope. Much maligned at first because of its flawed optics, it still produced better photographs than anything here on Earth. Once fixed, it has produced even more startling scientific data which we have only begun to understand and apply. One of the many spinoffs from the Hubble telescope is the use of its Charge Coupled Device (CCD) chips for digital imaging breast biopsies. The resulting device images breast tissue more clearly and efficiently than other existing technologies. The CCD chips are so advanced that they can detect the minute differences between a malignant or benign tumor without the need for a surgical biopsy. This saves the patient weeks of recovery time and the cost for this procedure is hundreds of dollars vs. thousands for a surgical biopsy. With over 500,000 women needing biopsies a year the economic benefit, per year, is tremendous and it greatly reduces the pain, scarring, radiation exposure, time, and money associated with surgical biopsies.
Forty years ago the world watched in wonder as American astronauts blazed through Earth's atmosphere into outer space and landed on the moon, the first time in history that humans set foot on another celestial body. But today, with the economy floundering and the national debt soaring into the stratosphere, some may suggest that we simply cannot afford to sustain human space exploration. I would argue just the opposite.

Anyone who follows NASA knows that President Obama recently launched an independent review of planned U.S. human spaceflight activities. The blue ribbon panel, headed by Norman Augustine, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin, and my friend, is expected to release its findings in August. I am confident that Norm will not sugarcoat the panel's findings, and I am also optimistic that the panel will promote an ambitious goal for manned space exploration. America's space and technological preeminence in the world hangs in the balance.Throughout its 40-year history, our space program has set goals that required innovation and technology yet to be developed, and the results have been astonishing. Miniaturized integrated circuits, satellite technology, GPS navigation systems, bone-density measurements, miniaturized heart pumps and other technologies derived from NASA research and development have saved and improved our lives. New spin-offs include water filtration systems that turn wastewater into drinkable water, wireless light switches, remediation solutions for sites contaminated by chemicals, the development of Liquidmetal and sensors on reconnaissance robots used in Afghanistan and Iraq to deal with improvised explosive devices. The list goes on and on.

The National Research Council recently released a report advocating that NASA align its civil space program with national needs. While I understand the temptation to focus on finding solutions to present problems, we need to remember that much of the R&D conducted by NASA has resulted in unintended yet beneficial breakthroughs. Space exploration drives innovation by reaching into the unknown and overcoming complex problems. This sort of problem-solving inherently pushes the limits of technology. Space exploration fundamentally necessitates basic research. If we try to task NASA with too narrow a mission for R&D, we lose the possibility of new discoveries and breakthroughs to adapt technologies in new and creative ways that could have unanticipated applications.

Rather than micromanage the type of research we want from our space program, I would prefer a clear goal for U.S. space exploration. NASA must have a challenging, inspirational goal that is ambitious and sufficiently funded. President Bush gave NASA the direction it needed with his Vision for Space Exploration, which included a plan to complete the International Space Station (ISS), retire the Space Shuttle, and develop a new launch system capable of traveling outside low Earth orbit, with a goal of returning to the moon by 2020 as a stepping stone to more difficult destinations such as Mars. This was a goal that Congress endorsed in the NASA Authorization Act of both 2005 and 2008, which were subsequently signed into law. Our space program has accomplished many great feats in the last half-century and it is only prudent to implement and fund a vision that builds on that progress.

America and our global partners have nearly completed the ISS, which is possibly the most elaborate engineering endeavor of all time. Unfortunately, with an impending five-year gap in U.S. spaceflight capability following retirement of the Space Shuttle, we will have to rely on Russia and our international partners to ferry crew and cargo to and from the ISS. This is a setback for our space program but one that can be overcome with a renewed commitment to space exploration.

I strongly believe that we must close the gap in U.S. access to space and it is my hope that the Augustine panel comes to a similar conclusion. NASA has made great progress in developing the Orion vehicle and the Ares launch systems. Constellation is already in the development phase, so to abandon this plan now would be a massive waste of time, money and resources.

The one-half of one percent of the national budget devoted to NASA may be the best investment we make, providing for long-term, high-dividend research, and technology breakthroughs. Economic growth is driven by technological innovation, and space exploration fuels this innovation.

It takes courage, desire, and vision to explore the unknown. And it takes national leadership at all levels. We must not default on our vision for space or permit other nations to take away our position of leadership at the forefront of exploration and research. That leadership translates into economic opportunities, national security, secure manufacturing jobs, and an increased standard of living for all Americans.

We will not succeed without space exploration, and in order to keep, living we must continue space exploration.
We would not have much technology without sp
belle

Pro

Firstly, I would like to thank my opponent for popping my debate.org cherry :P

now... onwards...

"Applications on Earth of technology needed for space flight have produced thousands of
"spinoffs" that contribute to improving national security, the economy, productivity and
lifestyle. It is almost impossible to find an area of everyday life that has not been
improved by these spinoffs. Collectively, these secondary applications represent a
substantial return on the national investment in aerospace research. We should be spending
more."

This is simply claimed without evidence, and apparently, expected to be accepted at face
value. The one specific example my opponent mentioned, in the form of microchips benefiting
from rockets, I specifically refuted. He did not address my objections at all and yet has
continued to assert the "benefits" of space exploration to technology without providing a
concrete example.

"Out of a $2.4 trillion budget, less than 0.8% is spent on the entire space program! That's
less than 1 penny for every dollar spent. The average American spends more of their budget
on their cable bill, eating out or entertainment than this yet the benefits of space flight
are remarkable"

The amount of money we spend on other things is irrelevant, as I stated in R2. At issue here
is whether or not the expenditure of billions of dollars is justified on a goal that we are
currently incapable of reaching.

"One small example is the Hubble Space Telescope."

My opponent still has not addressed the difference between studying space and exploring it.
The Hubble Space Telescope, being as it is in Earth orbit, is not an example of space
exploration at all, but rather of observation of objects in space.

"iniaturized integrated circuits, satellite technology, GPS navigation systems, bone-density
measurements, miniaturized heart pumps and other technologies derived from NASA research and
development have saved and improved our lives. New spin-offs include water filtration systems
that turn wastewater into drinkable water, wireless light switches, remediation solutions for
sites contaminated by chemicals, the development of Liquidmetal and sensors on reconnaissance
robots used in Afghanistan and Iraq to deal with improvised explosive devices. The list goes
on and on."

The fact that the pursuit of space exploration led us to these discoveries (which my opponent
has not established, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt) does not mean that they
were necessary for the discovery of said technologies. We already strive to discover new
medical technologies, and new technologies for war. Even if it were the case that space
research led directly to these innovations, the actual exploration process is completely
superfluous to those benefits listed. The research alone, without the need to overcome
overwhelming technical and practical hurdles facing space exploration can and does lead
to all the cited benefits to exploring space.

My opponent claims that without space exploration we would be without many technological
innovations and that space exploration is the way of the future. However, he has repeatedly
ignored the distinction between astronomy and spaceflight, as well as conflated space travel
with technological advance in all areas without providing sufficient reasoning for those assertions.
In order to spur technological advance we do not need to spend billions hurling people into
space; we need as questions and try to answer them. Space exploration is one way of doing
this, but certainly not the only way. And while there are some questions that can only be
answered by space exploration, the need to have them answered is not so pressing as to
justify the absurd expenditures necessary to commence with the exploration of space. There
are many other questions to be asked and problems to be solved right here on earth; indeed
all the benefits to spaceflight my opponent offered are problems of that nature, that
certainly could have been solved without it.

He has failed to make his case.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by nowecant 5 years ago
nowecant
Earth is a single-point failure. There are many disasters that can end our existence on Earth.

1) We've identified only a tiny fraction of every asteroid and comet in our solar system. Impacts have and will continue to happen, and we do not have the technology to stop them
2) a freakishly-large solar flare (yes, they've happened in the past) can blast nearly every electronic device and electrical grid on the planet (thereby resulting in mass starvation, death)

3) a star could go supernova nearby and send a gamma ray burst in our direction,

Not to mention all of the man-made disasters (climate change, etc) that could spell the end of our species.

Continuation of our species requires that we colonize outside of Earth, which in turn requires further space exploration and experimenting to develop the technology required. Not to mention that a lot of the technologies developed for space exploration have helped enhance our life here on Earth..
Posted by goldman 6 years ago
goldman
In particular, the government of the United States has to pay much attention to the fact that a large amount of public money gathered by tax has been invested in the space exploration after World War Two. In my opinion public money should be used for more meaningful purposes for society. Firstly, these days many people are facing serious recession and unemployment. They are finding it very difficult to get a job. Therefore I think public money should be invested in creating a job opportunity for them. For example, the high speed railway construction would contribute to offering an employment opportunity for those who lost it. Secondly, public money must be financed for more useful and meaningful purposes to protect the clean environment. For example, it should be used for the research and development for new energy sources such as solar power and wind power. This is urgently task required for the U.S.government. Finally, the aging people are increasing rapidly in the U.S. Therefore the U.S. government should increase welfare programs such as pension and retirement benefits for elederly people. In conclusion too much money and time for space exploration does not necessarily bring about successful results to coping with urgent problems facing U.S. citizens today. (May,14. 2010)
Posted by SexyLatina 6 years ago
SexyLatina
I wish that the character limit were shorter.
Posted by vcheng 6 years ago
vcheng
go pro!
Posted by Cpt.Price 6 years ago
Cpt.Price
Go CON!!!!!!!!!!!
X)
Posted by Puck 6 years ago
Puck
Haha, ya do realise Con's arguments are all plagiarised right, Cherymenthol?
Posted by Kefka 6 years ago
Kefka
Pragmatism is a terrible reason for stopping crazy abstract things like space travel.
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
Zetsubou
Lack of "sauce" man.
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
"This has to be known because some of the planets and moons we have discovered are suitable for us to live on when we move from Earth"

Erm... really?
Posted by vcheng 6 years ago
vcheng
whatever u say i still thispace exploration is a waste of money.
HAHAHA!
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Vote Placed by KendallAntigone 6 years ago
KendallAntigone
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Vote Placed by SexyLatina 6 years ago
SexyLatina
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Vote Placed by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
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Vote Placed by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
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Vote Placed by TheSeeker 6 years ago
TheSeeker
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Vote Placed by Cherymenthol 6 years ago
Cherymenthol
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