The Instigator
Con (against)
3 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
7 Points

The U.S. Federal Government should increase its exploration and/or development of space

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/10/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,666 times Debate No: 16416
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)




First of all I would thank my opponent who accepts this challenge for their time and knowledge.

I would like to add that by space I mean outer space, beyond the Earth's mesosphere.

Position descriptions

Pro: has to say why the U.S. federal government should increase its exploration and/or development of space.

Con: has to say why the U.S. federal government shouldn't increase its exploration and/or development of space.

I will leave the first round for my opponent to ask any questions and/or to say any comments or concerns to the topic.

Thank you and good luck.


*My first debate here so bare with me*

I would like to pose several questions for my opponent:

- Would you go so far as to say the U.S should do away with space exploration and never consider it again?

- Are you debating against the idea of space exploration/research as a whole(As in all the nations) or just the United States' involvement with the endeavor? By this I mean are you saying that the U.S. should cease to ever get involved or "step up" it's participation in extrasolar exploration?

My opening thoughts and comments:

- Should the U.S allow other nations to surpass it in this field?

- Isn't the technology and knowledge acquired worth the costs?

I think space exploration is the next logical step in the human endeavor. We are an exploratory species with philosophical differences that have been getting slightly better over the centuries with some low points and high points. The trials of a space program unite and inspire not just a country, but the entire world. Science done in space and potentially other worlds could lead to wonderful technologies that could improve the lives of people on Earth, and the overall condition of the planet.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting to this debate, now lets get this party started then.

To answer your first two questions.
"Would you go so far as to say the U.S should do away with space exploration and never consider it again?"
-It is not forever it is saying that the U.S. should do it now or in the very near future.

"Are you debating against the idea of space exploration/research as a whole(As in all the nations) or just the United States' involvement with the..."
-It is only for the U.S. and I am saying that the U.S. should not increase it's extrasolar exploration and/or development.

I propose that the exploration and/or development of space should be the last thing taken care of from the U.S. federal government. Why must the U.S. federal government worry about space when there are many problems on the planet we all live on right now.

Now for the definitions.
1. Exploration: "the investigation of unknown regions."[1]
2. Development: "the act or process of developing; growth; progress"[1]

Now for my case, which consists of 3 main points.
1. There are too many problems with planet Earth.
2. It is far too expensive.
3. It is far too dangerous.

1. There are too many problems on planet Earth.

Earth, it holds about 7 billion strange beings who walk on two legs, called human. There are too many problems on the planet Earth, let alone America, to even consider going out into space.

There is no world peace.
There needs to be a world peace before America go out into space, the risk for space war fair would be too high if the world isn't at an agreement on peace. The world would have to come together and create a world peace before the world let alone America goes out and does space missions. For example, al Qaeda, now that Osama bin laden died "Lone individuals are the most likely to launch attacks in the United States following the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to a joint Department of Homeland Security/FBI bulletin sent to state and local law enforcement."[2].

2. It is far too expensive.

America's economy is going in a downward spiral into the extreme pit of debt. Something like putting a person in space would take a lot of money to do. Everything about sending things into space would require money that America doesn't have. "Q. How much does it cost to launch a Space Shuttle?
A. The average cost to launch a Space Shuttle is about $450 million per mission."[3]. How can America spend money if there is no extra money? If America got $450 million dollars, America should use it for more important issues like education or public health.

3. It is far too dangerous.

Taking a look back to history, when the explorers came to the Americas, they have been introduced to new things that they weren't ready for such as disease, and new hard ships.

Sub point A, foreign disease possibility.
In the T.V. movie "The Adromina strain" an asteroid hits the earth and it contains a new disease called the Adromina strain where it would infect the human race and leave the population dwindling, luckily Hollywood added the happy ending of the human race finding the cure and then saves their race, but reality isn't Hollywood. Exploring new and foreign planets could contain a new disease that could wipe out the human population. The discovery of ice on the poles of Mars could hold new bacteria or viruses that could be taken back to Earth and, because humans haven't been introduced to this new disease, it could cause deaths on the global level.

Sub point B, accidents, radiation, and harsh condition, oh my!
Accidents can happen any where you might say, but if someone broke something in space, or someone was hurt and needed to be rushed to the hospital, how can they get this person to the hospital if there isn't hospital's in space, which could lead to more deaths. The sun emits high amounts of radiation, with out the protective gear, the radiation would give people cancer, or other medical problems. Trying to colonize on a new planet could be very hard, going back to my example of the explorers going to the Americas, when they got to the Americas they had to live in harsh environments, but unlike the uncolonized Americas, other planets, like Mars, would be a challenge to colonize. All of these problems could lead to an unwanted death rate that would cause problems.

So, because there are problems on Earth, it is far too expensive, and it is far too dangerous, the U.S. federal government shouldn't increase is exploration and/or development of space.

Now for my opponent to construct his/her case, and to attack my case.

Vote Con!

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Okay then, I will adopt a response structure similar to that of my opponent's. I will first present four points of my own with elaboration followed by a rebuttal to each of my opponents points.

1. Space Exploration has the potential to inspire a society of Scientists and Engineers.
2. By studying beyond the Earth we gain a better understanding of our planet and our place in the Universe.
3. Space research and exploration leads to technological and scientific advancements that benefit humanity and the planet.
4. The United States doesn't spend as much money as many believe on space related development.

1. Space Exploration has the potential to inspire a society of Scientists and Engineers.

When NASA put a man on the moon in 1969, the entire world witnessed a first not just for America, but humanity. The object of many cultures folklore had become a reachable, conquerable destination. This left an unquestionable impression on anyone witnessing this event live on television across the world. This inspired a generation to pickup science and engineering in hopes of one day getting involved in something so monumental. A society abundant with scientists and engineers is a very positive payoff for the amount invested in the program.

2. By studying beyond the Earth we gain a better understanding of our planet and our place in the Universe.

Global warming, or climate change can best be understood from what we have been able to gather from our study of the Earth's neighboring planets, such as Venus. On Venus, we have been able to calculate surface temperatures over 800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt lead! [ 1 ] The reason this happens is because of a phenomenon known as the "greenhouse effect" which occurs when there are excess amounts of greenhouse gases[such as carbon dioxide, methane, or ozone] present in the atmosphere. This very real example helps us understand just how serious the concept is and how important it is to pay close attention to the matter.

Other examples include the discovery of the origin of atoms, the formation of our Sun, or the Hubble telescope. Knowing about these discoveries tells us a lot about our place in the Universe, and teaches us a very important lesson about just how important it is to take care of our planet. Having this knowledge available to us also teaches us about the dangers of Universe, such as solar flares, asteroid impacts, or cosmic radiation, and prepares us for figuring out how to prevent, avoid, or minimize disaster. There's no guarantee such disasters won't happen in the very near future, having the knowledge and resources ready to combat it is a worthy investment.

3. Space research and exploration leads to technological and scientific advancements that benefit humanity and the planet.

Before America entered into the Space Race there was nothing many of us take for granted today. Examples include satellite technology, the space station, Skylab, cell phones, telemedicine, or GPS navigation. The start of space research and exploration has had a ripple effect on past and present technology, and unfortunately present issues have caused NASA's priorities to shift. Without a major goal, and a decreased budget, NASA stagnates, and there's no schedule or restrictions to abide by that motivate anything major from happening. No research and development yields no new discoveries. The type of advancement that could be occurring through NASA is also decades ahead of what the private sector could achieve. The sooner we start making advancement, the sooner we can begin to reap the rewards.

4. The United States doesn't spend as much money as many believe on space related development.

The most funding NASA has ever received from the government was approximately 5.5% of the annual budget in 1966 during the Apollo program. After 1975, the budget dropped off to values on average of less than 1.0 %, having an average of approximately 0.76 % of the national budget from 1998-2008. [ 2 ] It's also important to understand that not all of the money that goes to NASA is put toward space related projects. NASA also does work on aeronautics, so some of the budget is put toward other endeavors. [Could not find reliable data that specified difference] In terms of the knowledge, technology, and inspiration acquired, isn't the Universe worth a little bit more to us?

I shall now address my opponents points:

1. There are too many problems on planet Earth.

I disagree that because of the many problems on Earth we[America] should cease a healthy push toward a more vigorous space program. I happen to agree with my opponent that world peace would be essential for deep space exploration. However, the potential benefits that going it alone for now, and by that I mean Mars and Moon excursions, foster what I would lightly claim to be a "healthy space race." Imagine rather than mustering military might we focus more on trying to accomplish a common goal that is likely to lead to the same kind of benefits as the Apollo program and other space endeavors have.

Also, there wasn't world peace when we launched the Apollo program, in fact we were well into the Cold War. Yet the fruits of the program which led to satellites which enabled the ability to see what the "other side" was up to, which could have been responsible for calming both sides down by allowing them to truly see what was going on in each others "back yards."

2. It is far too expensive.

As I've already addressed in my fourth point, NASA has received at most 5.5% of the annual budget during it's lifetime, and the results of that higher percentage [Namely Apollo] marked the starting point of many technologies that eventually led to the components of what stimulates our economy to this day. If you could spend 'x' amount of dollars fostering a program that influences members of your society to pursue paths that promote careers that are essential to solving world problems, what would be your limit?

3. It is far too dangerous.

I have to apologize to my opponent and claim that accidents do happen. Accidents are a part of learning and unfortunately great discovery and advancement often comes with that risk. Gasoline is dangerous yet we sit on gallons of the stuff as we drive to and from work day by day. There has even been serious attempts to make hydrogen a fuel source in cars eventually. Nuclear Power even has it's risks as we've recently been reminded of. We wouldn't have satellites, air planes, fossil fuels, or medicines if we didn't accept those risks associated with the benefits.

You referenced "The Andromeda Strain" having it's "Hollywood ending" in which a miracle cure is somehow found to save humanity. However we must remember that the movie is also based on a "Hollywood premise" which we shouldn't take too seriously when concerning what we actually know and theorize about life[or disease] on other worlds.

I understand your point about how helpless a crew would be rendered if a critical failure of some type were to occur. However these are challenges and risks the crew of a mission accepts, and there many people who feel the same way. These problems are viewed as challenges to engineers and scientists to solve and develop new technologies that can be reworked and applied to problems on the Earth.

Seeing that the potential increase of knowledge, national pride, and technological advancement vastly outweighs the expenditures, it is perfectly reasonable to increase the federal spending on the advancement of space exploration.

Look forward to round 3!

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Debate Round No. 2


I enjoy this debate so far, but the play must go on!

I will first defend my points from the attacks and then attack my opponents case.

So in my opponents first attack to my first point, to summarize it, if America were to go to the moon and mars, then there will be great benefits like the ones at the Apollo program. Well first of all, times have changed, and America would get more harm then benefits for going out to Mars or to the Moon for expansions. The bush administration wanted to put man on the moon again in the year 2020, but there was nothing to back it up, there wasn't the money to do it, and there wasn't the resources to do it either, so the Obama administration turned it down because it would cost too much money and other reasons.

To my opponents second attack to my first point, basically saying that there doesn't have to be world peace to go to space. Once again times have changed, and there are some more countries that have hostilities towards America, like Pakistan, and extremist organizations such as Al Qaeda who are willing to attack at any moment if they saw America doing well in something.

There needs to be a world peace to expand in America's space program, because of extremist groups and hostile countries to America will be willing to harm America if they try to do any big progression.

To my opponent's attack to my second point.
Well first of all, "The U.S. government officially hit its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling... The U.S. spends on average $118 billion more each month than it takes in."[1] The U.S. is in major debt! The U.S. can't afford major missions to the moon or mars or any where else in space! The reason why America could afford the Apollo missions is because America wasn't in this much debt, so they had the money. Besides, Obama is taking money out of NASA and putting it into private companies to take care of all the sending things into space.

To my opponent's attack on my third point.
A. To the "everyday risk attack", on earth, there are hospitals if something were to go bad like the gallons of gasoline that we sit on every day to get to work, but in space, there are no hospitals, just like the Apollo 13 mission, because you love the Apollo missions so much.

B. With the recent quest to find life in space, and the search of water on other planets, which can harbor bacteria, viruses, and other disease that can harm the human race because the human race isn't ready for it, that's not Hollywood, the finding of a cure in a short amount of time is Hollywood.

C. Do you really think that new technology is more important than life?

Now to my opponents case

1. That is all childhood dreams, when I was a kid I wanted to be a scientist, but now I don't. Anything can leave impressions on people to be something, but it is their choice to choose to be what ever they want to be. A child could watch a rock and roll band, then that kid would want to be in a rock and roll band. There are more important jobs scientists and engineers, such as jobs that help society function.

2. First of all, how can America know more about our planet by studying other planets? They're different planets, they have different features, studying Jupiter won't say how the Earth will turn out. Global warming is a myth, the earth goes through both hot and cold cycles. America currently knows a lot of the universe all ready, I can tell you the brief story of the creation of the universe to where we are right now, the big bang theory of there was a big boom and that created the simplest of elements, Hydrogen, in these big hydrogen clouds, the hydrogen started to come together and then make heavier elements and soon that created stars, and when a star super nova-ed, it would create even heavier elements where those elements would come together and make planets and other bodies in space and then it would create the earth and then through a long period of time of certain things it would lead to us right now (there is a TON more but I don't want to explain it all). Just by that we know a lot of this stuff already, so there isn't a big need to obtain more knowledge.

3. If we look at the time line of technological discoveries, at the start it would take a long time to come up with new technologies, but as soon as the human race went further in technology it would get shorter and shorter to get some new technology, this is called Moore's law, where technological discoveries would come sooner as time went on. There has been many many more discoveries before the ability to go out into space. America is going to get new technology, its only a matter of time, space program or not it is going to happen, like the work on artificial intelligence is now being worked on.

4. Going back to my defending, America wasn't in a big debt crisis back during the Apollo missions, and now that America hit the debt ceiling.

I ask you to vote for Con!
I can't wait to see my opponents response.

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I shall first defend my initial points, then rebut my opponents arguments.

1.) "That is all childhood dreams, when I was a kid I wanted to be a scientist, but now I don't."

Many people don't follow their childhood ambitions through, however I was saying was that the impression that the program left sparked an interest which, even if someone strayed, would have set them on a career path that would land them in a field related to science and engineering. If we look directly at what the space program yielded at the time, it was the moon landing. Children, as impressionable as they always are, saw this event, and to the ones who took an interest found a goal, "I want to be an astronaut!" they would exclaim. Even if they changed their mind later in life, the very drive instilled in them from the program was a positive force in shaping their lives. Of course there are other important career fields that exist to help (or impose) society to function properly, however I'm discussing the space program benefits, and the career fields which it could affect. (scientists and engineers)

2. "... how can America know more about our planet by studying other planets? They're different planets, they have different features, studying Jupiter won't say how the Earth will turn out.Global warming is a myth... "

Planets have different features, however matter and physics behave the same way throughout the Cosmos. I was referring to a comparison of the Earth with Venus, not Jupiter. Venus has an atmosphere just as Earth has an atmosphere. However Venus' atmosphere contains a high abundance of greenhouse gases. These gases behave the same way on Venus as they would on the Earth. By studying the average surface temperature of Venus we can see what happens to planets that have high amounts of these gases. The amount of greenhouse gas in Earths atmosphere is rising[1] and the Earth is getting warmer. So Venus is a very real example of what happens to worlds with high levels of those gases. We have our study of space to thank for what we know about the Big Bang, along with the origin of the chemical elements in the nuclear fusion process that occurs within the stars, which is the concept we are now basing nuclear fusion reactors on.

3. " soon as the human race went further in technology it would get shorter and shorter to get some new technology, this is called Moore's law, where technological discoveries would come sooner as time went on."

Moore's law applies to computer hardware, not technology in general.[2] Not to mention Moore's law will start to become invalid around 2030 at the latest due to physical limitations. The spin off technologies developed by the space program yield wonderful benefits. These include aircraft controls, microcomputers, golf ball aerodynamics, shock-absorbing helmets, fire resistant material, MRI, radiation hazard detectors, the list goes on.[3] [Note: Yes some of these have not been invented because of the space program, however they were fine tuned and improved drastically because of the innovation and technology the space program yielded which would have otherwise have taken decades or more to advanced to the present level they are at today]

4. "...America wasn't in a big debt crisis back during the Apollo missions, and now that America hit the debt ceiling."

Despite the "debt crisis" as it's so called, America is still spending money. Spending money on social security, income security, and international affairs. When you examine the specifics of these matters you come to find that a large portion of funds are going to the "wrong places" as many would say. Or that they are even regulated in such a way that's causing the debt to skyrocket. "For every $1 the federal government spends on NASA, it spends $98 on social programs(2007). In other words, if we cut spending on social programs by a mere one percent, we could very nearly double NASA's budget."[4] Associating America's large debt with no context can mislead people into thinking space research is getting some unreasonable amount of the budget, and this simply isn't the case.

Now my responses to my opponents defense:

1. "Well first of all, times have changed, and America would get more harm then benefits for going out to Mars or to the Moon for expansions."

It's difficult to really pin point what the potential harm and benefits we would incur from such a project, however if Apollo, Hubble, or the Space Station are any indication, more benefits surely will follow despite several horrible disasters. Projects don't have to only involve Mars or Moon colonization either, they can involve anything related to space research such as new satellite technology, interplanetary study via robots, or more experiments on the space station. The material resources do exist, however the problem was the goal process, money, and political figures, that generated an "artificial" scarcity that crippled the idea.
It's highly likely we won't see world peace until quite far into the future, assuming we(humans) even have one. Even so, we can't neglect the avenues that provide advancement, grant knowledge, and promote scientific literacy, even if our enemies find reasons to attack us. These enemies want to attack us regardless if we are advancing some aspect of ourselves or not.

2. "The U.S. is in major debt! The U.S. can't afford major missions to the moon or mars or any where else in space! "

[Addressed in more depth in my defense of my point 4] The spinoff technology provides plenty of opportunity for economic stimulation, not to mention the vast array of jobs it provides.

3. "...there are hospitals if something were to go bad like the gallons of gasoline that we sit on every day to get to work, but in space, there are no hospitals, just like the Apollo 13 mission..."

A. Thankfully, the crew of Apollo 13 made it back to Earth alive though. This exemplifies how important it is to be self-sufficient, and have plenty of redundancy built into the vessel that is to be used. The way things seem to play out is that a few people will take risks and eventually everyone else will gain the benefits. We owe a lot to the people in the past who have taken risks, and without them we wouldn't be where we are today.

B. Presently we haven't found life anywhere else in our solar system, the quest for life doesn't necessarily imply we will find life, or life as we know it for that matter. What's to say that life would form elsewhere in the Cosmos with the exact same chemistry as we have? Viruses that lie dormant on a planet or asteroid throughout time only to come in contact with Humanity with dire consequences? The only place anyone hears premises like these are in the movies or fiction books.

C. "Do you really think that new technology is more important than life?"

I'm not sure how I came across that way but as I touched on earlier; the people undertaking these missions are intelligent, well-informed people who assume all the risks with the endeavor. The final launch of Space Shuttle Endeavor occurred Monday, May 16, 2011 and Endeavor's commander Mark Kelly had this to say moments before lift off, "As Americans, we endeavor to build a better life than the generation before and we endeavor to be a united nation. In these efforts we are often tested. It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore. We must not stop."[5] I think what this man conveyed makes it pretty clear that exploring space is not just about spinoff technology, which is an economical and technological stimulator, but the medium through which advancement and oneness with eachother and the Universe is realised.

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Debate Round No. 3


I will first attack my opponents defense, then re-defend my case.

1. When you ask a young kid, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" the usual response would be "a firefighter" or "a veterinarian" but only a very small few would be of those careers. It is the same with all careers, children get impressed with all different kinds of careers but only a small few choose that career. If there was a huge advancement in, lets say acting, do you think a bunch of children would go running off to be actors or actresses? No, once again a small few would, it is the same with advancing the space program.

2. I will bring up again, the other planets are different, "Each of the planets has a different atmosphere..."[1]. Besides the fact that America already knows enough about Venus, to know about the CO2 and greenhouse gasses, so there is no need to increase its exploration and/or development of space. America doesn't need to increase its space program because we know enough already, America knows that: solar flares emit tons of radiation that the earths atmosphere protects us from, everything came from the big bang and how we(America) knows that is because the universe is expanding, our sun was formed by "light elements" such as hydrogen, the effects of asteroid impacts are fatal by seeing where the asteroids impacted the earth a long time ago, and there is more and more. Clearly America knows enough about the universe already, so there is no need to increase its exploration and/or development of space.

3. Moore's law still concerns with technology, just with the computers, and computers are important in modern life. Yet there is also great advancements in times of war, so the space program isn't the only thing that advances America's technology. I also go back to the fact that we have enough to keep our technologies advancing so there won't be a need to increase the space program.

4. To your source about the $1 spent on NASA compared to the $98, that was at 2007, but now its at the debt ceiling, so the money paying would have to change. It is better to use as much money to help lower the national debt then to use money to pay for the space program. Although it might be small but every penny counts to help lower the national debt. Let America use the money on more important things.

Now to re-defend my case.
1. I still think that there needs to be world peace before America increases its exploration and/or development of space, because there could be in a sense "space bandits" or "space terrorists" if America increases its space program. If America does, then other countries could and will find out about this information and then use it against us. "Iran's announcement that it launched a research rocket has called new attention to a space program that Tehran says is peaceful but which some fear aims to produce long-range ballistic missiles that could reach Europe or the United States."[2]. The change of space war is close, and it will be closer if the space program is increased.

2. America still needs to focus on trying to lower the debt than to spend more money on the space program

A. Yes the Apollo 13 mission did come back to earth, but it started the road of the dangers of space, there is still many other dangerous things in space, such as radiation, small dust particles moving at high speeds, and many others, that would lead the people in space in much greater danger.

B. You got to remember that the universe is very large, there is a high chance of finding alien life or any thing else. There has been discovers of other planets that have the potential of containing life, due to a strategy of finding planets that circle stars and then they measure if it is in the "Goldy locks zone" where it is a zone that the planet is a perfect distance of a star to inhabit life because it is not to hot and not to cold.

C. Although the space shuttle Endeavor has launched, it has had problems already "Mike Fincke, one of NASA's most experienced spacemen, had to settle for a partial lube job, after the bolts holding down covers on the massive joint started popping off unexpectedly. "[3] Even though it is a minor problem it still shows that it could still be too dangerous.

There is currently too many issues to increase the space program, and we are already in the lead of the world space programs, there is no need to increase it.

Please vote Con!

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As did my opponent, I will first address his defense, then re-defend my arguments.

On his case:

1. World Peace

I believe world peace, or whatever we call as close as we will ever get to it, shall be very important for exploration and research along the caliber of missions that take humans beyond the asteroid belt. Missions that take place on Mars, the Moon, or the reconnaissance/exploration of worlds beyond though the use of robots or satellites are reasonable endeavors that America could undertake on it's own. Now let's consider what you proposed for a moment. "Space terrorists" could utilize the acquired technology to do harm on America or other nations. According to your quote, it would seem that other parts of the world are developing space technology while America remains in the same place, despite the potential yield the program has to offer. If America was to cut back on any/all space research and development, how is it to thwart off potential attacks[space piracy included] based on such technology?

2. Debt and Money

The debt crisis can be solved though a number of methods: stimulating the economy, re-evaluating other government programs, increasing taxes, or educating Americans on the matter. Making all other agencies stop what they are doing to focus on the debt isn't going to solve the debt problem. 10+ years ago the space program existed and wasn't causing the country to go into debt, and it isn't to this day. What has caused this debt though? Wars, tax cuts, stimulus packages, bailouts, certain administrations? No one seemed to have a problem where all the money was going then, yet now the space program needs to take the heat?

3. Various Dangers

A. The fact space exploration is dangerous shouldn't deter us from undertaking it. I shall reiterate as I said before, great peoples throughout history took great risk to give us what we have today, and we should consider where we would be if they had not. Such as the Wright Brothers, Martin Luther King Jr, outspoken skeptics of religious dogma, Hirsi Ali, the colonists who ventured out to find America, and so on. To this day we still have the same type of people who are willing to put their lives on the line to aid in the advancement in the human endeavor, and turn a blind eye on the risks involved because they believe it to be worthwhile.

B. Just because a planet resides in the "goldilocks zone" doesn't imply life exists there, just that chances are the planet could have conditions that are favorable for life to exist. What your referring to is deep space exploration for which I agree a global effort is required, however the technologies required to undertake such an achievement are so far into our future that I believe humans will have either settled their differences and worked together to solve their problems, or have perished. Now my argument isn't that life can or can't exist elsewhere in the Universe, I'm just addressing your assertions on the facts you've presented. However, I don't see how whether or not some extra solar planets have detectable life at the present would be any reason why America should cease space advancement. It would be good if we could find out more about such a world, like Gliese 581g[1], unfortunately present satellite technology can only do so much.

C. Again, these problems, "come with the territory" so to speak, the advancement in this field requires our knowledge to be fine-tuned. Not everything can go as planned, however how is that a reason for degrading or ceasing our development of space?

Defending my case:

1. Inspiration

What I was saying was that regardless of what any of them decided to do, the program had a positive influence, and the ones that stayed with it for a good number of years had the program to thank for giving them the knowledge that such career fields even existed. Many people today working at NASA or highly technical careers thank the happenings of the Apollo program for setting them off on the right foot, for having that idea propel them in a direction that would lead to multiple opportunities for careers in not just space study/exploration, but all the fields of industry that employ scientists and engineers.

2. Knowledge

What I want to first address is that when one says America knows x about something scientific, we should reflect upon what that really means. America is lagging behind in both mathematics and scientific literacy when compared to other nations.[2] If we are referring to the general American populace then we need to keep in mind how this effects people, government elects, and eventually policy. Perhaps a rekindling of public interest could be brought about from a new space related goal, or discovery? Many scientists at the start of the 1900s felt that we knew all we needed to know about the physical laws that govern the Universe, we all now know how wrong they were.

3. Technology and Advancement

Moore's Law is concerned with technology only to the extent by which it effects it so. What's to occur when we can no longer improve silicon based chips/boards? Quantum computers[3] may very well take over from that point, however Moore's Law would become a memory. Space research would likely warrant advancements in quantum computing(QC), the rate other technologies evolved with it presents the likelihood that QC would develop at a quicker rate as well. Scientific discovery is the proponent of technological advancement, and I would rather America stick with that as a catalyst than War.

4. Cost and payoff

I addressed some of this in my counter to my opponents case 2. I ask that all who are reading this debate to consider what has been happening to America the past 10 years. What has been happening unique to this decade? I'm referring to recent policies, bailouts, natural disasters, aiding other nations, and military presence in foreign nations. I'm not trying to blame or suggest we turn a blind eye to other issues in the world, however I ask that we consider the cause of debt, and what will alleviate it. The space program throughout the decades has given us the tools necessary to aid those foreign nations It has also given us the technologies re purposed to defend out country. Also, the technologies we use and have become dependent upon such as GPS, satellites, cell phones, and the Internet.

Lastly, it's given us the knowledge that my opponent has been trying to use to suggest that somehow we don't need it any longer. I believe that it has paid us back in full, and we should allow it to continue to do so.

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Debate Round No. 4


I will first attack my opponents case, then defend my own, and then my final remarks.

To attack my opponents case.

1. Inspiration

Today's youth are, lets say under qualified to be astronauts, scientists, or engineers to work at NASA. "Overall, the federal figures report 57 percent of white students finish their degree, compared with 44 percent of Hispanics and 39 percent of blacks."[1] this is concerning college dropouts. Becoming a scientist, engineer, or an astronaut requires a lot of education and a lot of training that the current youth isn't achieving. With a lot of people dropping out of school, they are not able to work for NASA. The reason is because all the youth don't care about anything. The reason why everyone was so impressed by the first moon walking is because it was a much simpler time then it is now. Today there is a lot of things that would WOW! any one who never saw them. So if someone of today's youth were to see that, they would be like "meh, I don't care". Therefore increasing the space program won't inspire any youth, or kid to work for NASA because they won't care too much.

2. Knowledge

The reason why America is behind in both mathematics and scientific literacy is explained in my first attack. Increasing the space program wont change America's math or science status compared to the world. America will get knowledge as other nations make discoveries, so there won't need to be a need to increase the space program. America will know more over time, as the need for new things on earth will be needed, such as advanced warfare, preventing natural disasters, and/or creating new cures, the point I am getting is that Knowledge will be obtained over time, such as Albert Einstein, with his many theories.

3. Technology and Advancement

Alright so Moore's law would become obsolete over a matter of time, but in my second attack, technology comes over time. Let's take a look at the time line of technology, in certain points of history when there was great hardships like the "dark ages" or the great depression, have brought forth great technological advancements. Like I said in my second attack, America can get new technology with out increasing the space program. America has already got the best of technology from the space program in the past.

4. Cost and payoff

To increase the space program would leave America a greater cost then what ever the payoff will be. I agree with my opponent that in the past 10 years there has been many, lets say "bad things" that left a "pretty bill" on America's debt. To even think about increasing America's program, America would need to take care of the "bill from their expensive dinner". Sure America has spent a lot of money in the past, but how could we drop the debt and work on the space program, I think that America should try to fix the major debt problem first. If America were to spend more money to the space program it would have to break some bones on some other important things like education, and my opponent's second point cares about knowledge. Therefore if my opponents fourth point is true then my opponent's second point wont work, so my opponents fourth point contradicts my opponents second point.

Now to defend my case.

1. World peace

I still believe that the world needs to be in a sense of world peace to increase the space program. My opponent brought up robots or satellites going in for now, but there could be hackers to hack these robots or satellites and then turn them to go against America. There are many different ways a "space terrorist" could strike the U.S. such as attack America in space, attacking America from space, or attacking America through the Internet world. As soon as America increases it's space program, they would broadcast to the world about it, so they seem stronger then everyone else, but then the people behind wiki-leaks, could hack America's government and get the technology and then sell it and then other countries could use it to attack America. If America doesn't increase it's space program then it would prevent this new way to attack America. Other countries are behind in space technology so there is no need to increase America's space program.

2. Debt and Money

Just like I said in my fourth attack, America would need to make certain cuts to increase the space program. Before America could increase the space program, it would need to take of the debt crisis. Try to picture America's debt as a stack of pancakes, each pancake is something to pay off, and America's plate is full and can't have any more on it, so there isn't that much room to increase the space program, so America would have to start to clean off it's plate.

3. Various Dangers

A. I do agree that a lot of people in the past have done many great things that would danger their lives, but the fact that they are on Earth and they could get help if their life was in danger is a different thing. But unlike space, there is no luxury of gets any thing you need right there, to increase the space program would increase the risk of people losing their lives in space. Before America increases its space program, there would need to be a discovery to do things safer in space, which won't need an increase in the space program.

B. There are many signs pointing to the potential of other life forms in the universe, the universe is big and "A new discovery of bacterial life in a Martian-like environment on Earth suggests our neighboring red planet could also be hospitable to some form of microbial life."[2]. There is ice on mars, so it has a very high chance of life, and certain bacteria or some kind of virus could live in the ice which could harm the human race if brought back to earth. Increasing the space program would lead to the possibility of exterminating the human race.

C. I will say, America needs to develop a safer way to send people in space, and at the rate America's space program it will find it with out the need to increase the space program. If America increases its space program it would put people in danger in space.

Now for my final remarks.

There is no need for America to increase its space program, because America is fine where it is and it would also cause more problem then benefits if America increases the space program. I am not saying that America should throw away the space program, but not to increase it. Everyone has to realize there are more important things then the space program that should be taken care of first. Going back to my pancake stack metaphor, America's plate is too full to increase the space program, so lets let America start to clean off its plate before it tries to get seconds. If America were to increase its space program, it would have to make certain cuts, and the lowest priority is education. In the end, America will make the right decisions to help everybody. So I ask you, to vote Con, because America is fine where it is, and there is no need to increase the space program.

Vote Con!

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On my opponents case:

1. World Peace

One can say the same thing about anything being stolen or hijacked, and used for terrorism. I doubt terrorists would make much progress[or be very successful] in hacking satellites, let alone hijacking a space vessel which requires the extensive training, inspection, and the "okay" from many people to launch. I'm not saying that it couldn't happen, yet procedures and precautions would develop over time to ensure this would not happen. Again though, America will be the target of terrorism regardless of whether we do space or not. We shouldn't cease it[space] because of such, it wouldn't make sense if we abandoned air flight because people could use airplanes against us. I refer to the quote my opponent used in round 4, other nations are developing their space programs, so simply because America ceases space development doesn't mean other nations will stop, or that it would somehow protect America from space related terrorists attacks.

2. Debt and Money

The recovery from debt doesn't lie in cutting what programs that don't appear to produce immediate benefits, it relies on undoing the problems that put America in debt. The amount of money NASA receives is so modest that increasing it slightly would open the door for bigger projects and still take a near meaningless amount of the budget. [See my point 4 in argument 2] There are many aspects of our budget we could look at and clip to begin pushing our debt amount in a positive direction before having to cut up the space program.

3. Various Dangers

A. The point I was making was that regardless if help was available or not, they put their lives on the line, they were all in great danger at some point or another. The space endeavor is no different in that respect. I must repeat, we should not shy away from the forefront of discovery, especially when we have people willing to risk their lives to aid the advancement of the human endeavor. The safer methods would be developed in the process. We can't develop these methods if we are not engaging space exploration.

B. It think it's a bit of a leap in logic to say that increasing the space program will potentially exterminate the human race based on the hunch that life could be on Mars because it has ice. The fact remains that we haven't found life on Mars. There's definitely no risk to us [at the very least] to send rovers there to find out.

C. As I said in A, advancement in our methods will come from partaking in space flight research and development. Decreased funding has America sending non-manned vehicles into space, in the future we will be relying on other countries such as Russia to get people to and from the Space Station.

On defense of my case:

1. Inspiration

The debate as to what is the cause of America's lack of zeal for education and knowledge is a completely different topic. My original statement was about the influence the program had on people who became scientists or engineers, regardless if they eventually worked at NASA or not. I don't believe that simply because people or times were "simple" back then was the reason the moon landing "wowed" them. It was because it had never been done before, and it proved to the world what America was capable of beyond War[Or in a sense, capable of with War]. One thing that wasn't around at the time of Apollo was an unhealthy amount of "pop-culture" which seems to have a very dominating effect on youth at the present, which seems to take precedence over scientific and educational interests.

2. Knowledge

I would have to disagree with you said in your first attack, "The reason is because all the youth don't care about anything." Youth cares a lot about musical artists, pop-culture media, fads, ect. Yet this happens because from a young age the priority has shifted over the decades. In the late 60's the children had basic toys, chores, schooling, and the events of the Apollo era. Now, with that minus Apollo, they have access to Miley Cyrus, smart-phones, and the Internet. These new aspects of the modern-era are distorting priorities and, in essence, training youth not to care about scientific undertakings of many kinds. These aspects are unavoidable of course, however we can control how children obtain access to them. I believe the means and methods by which children are accessing those aspects these days are having detrimental effects on our society.

3. Technology and Advancement

There's no way one can say that we have received the best we will get from the space program. The economical/technological benefits are unforeseeable, as are many that come with new scientific discovery. New technology, and technological refinement are what the space program has proven to provide over the past several decades. [I re-invite readers to visit my [3] source in round 3, point 3] Why "burn" this bridge? The space program has a strong influence on any technology that's involved with it.

4. Cost and Payoff

If we pretend for a moment that we upped our space program funding while continuing to make the same economical decisions, then it's easy to see how America would continue to go into debt. However that's not what I'm saying. What I was saying is that it is in fact possible to maintain or increase the amount of funding for space research and development while reworking the other aspects of the budget that are causing America to go into debt. I'm not saying that we forget about our debt, but that our debt is manageable while keeping and advancing our space program. This doesn't mean that educational programs would be subjected to cutting. There are many other aspects to the budget that can be reworked, and reconsidered without singling the space program out.

My initial fourth point was that space research doesn't receive as much funding as many people think, and I believe that I have demonstrated just that. When one considers how much money NASA receives relative to the national budget it's hard to make the case that space research is the cause, or the potential cause for the debt of the nation given the benefits I have mentioned throughout the course of this debate. I don't think I have contradicted my points by stating that other aspects of the budget could be targeted. Yes, education is one of them, yet that doesn't mean I'm referring to that aspect specifically.

Closing Remarks:

I've based my arguments on solid facts, credible evidence, and critical thinking. However my opponent seems to have based much of his arguments on speculation, generalization, and exclusion of the "big picture" so to speak.

The figurative and literal prices we pay undertaking such ventures are not small. However, as I've discussed, we have many technologies, knowledge, and advancements thanks to the space program. It's easy at face value to see amount of money we spend on such ventures as intimidating numbers. However one needs only to look at the amount relative to the total national budget to see that we don't necessarily spend very much on space as it is. Knowing what the space program has given to us in the past, there's plenty of reason to see that it will provide many exciting discoveries and technologies into our future. If we should decide that discovery is no longer important, then we lose not just what makes us American, but human. Space exploration provides a motivational boost to many people, and the few that it touches the deepest become very productive scientists and engineers who help discover the technology that benefits mankind. The knowledge we obtain from space research helps us understand our place in the Universe, and make scientific discoveries that motivate more questions and technologies that make life for humans easier. This is indeed an avenue worth expanding upon.

I thank my opponent and everyone who took their time to read this debate.

I shall ask only once, please vote pro!
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Raisor 5 years ago
General comments: There were way too many issues at play in this debate. It would have been better to develop a few issues in depth. A lot of the arguments are kind of muddled. For instance the space terrorism: How exactly does increasing space development result in space aggression? You talk about Pakistan and terrorists attacking "if they saw America doing well in something." I just dont understand what the mechanism is in this argument.
Con's case:
Space terrorism: You probably guessed I gave this issue to Pro. It was way underdeveloped.
Too dangerous: I think this is just a generally bad argument. Pro gives the right responses, easy choice on this topic.
Too expensive: This one was closer, but Con failed to explain what about the space program threatens the budget so much. Pro essentially won non-uniqueness. Again, Con needs to do more work to explain the mechanism of the argument; literally all that is offered in round 4 on this topic is "America still needs to focus on trying to lower the debt than to spend more money on the space program"
Pro's case:
The only point I really found convincing was technology.

Both sides did a decent job overall. I vote Pro, but this match definitely wasn't a blow out.
Posted by Raisor 5 years ago
By the way, The Andromeda Strain was first a book by Michael Crichton.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
By the way, the movie is called The Andromeda Strain.
Posted by petersaysstuff 5 years ago
Up coming policy topic!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Raisor 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:34 
Reasons for voting decision: "there could be in a sense "space bandits" or "space terrorists" - nice arguments from both, but some of con's responses to Pro's contentions were weak and others were a bit silly like osama in space. 4:3 Pro