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

NASA should focus more on unmanned space exploration than manned space exploration

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/16/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 11,376 times Debate No: 18369
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
Votes (3)




I thank DH debate aka Bang-Bang Cocont aka Hello Orange aka Boom Boom banana (just kidding) for agreeing to debate this topic with me.

NASA should focus more on unmanned space exploration than manned space exploration


Unmanned space exploration: No humans go into space.

Manned space exploration: Humans go into space.

Focus: Spend more money, time, and resources on, at the expense of the other.

Time Frame: Currently and in the near future roughly the next 20 years. I agree that in the far future, it might be desirable to send humans to Mars and beyond.

Round Structure:

Round 1: Acceptance only.

Round 2: Opening arguments/Rebuttals

Round 3: Rebuttals/Defence

Round 4: Closing, no new arguments



= Greetings / Acceptance =
Yes, yes. It is I, the man of many names; BangBang-Coconut, Hello-Orange, DHDebate, Blueberry, Strawberry Dakota...; accept this debate with eagerness.

It's good to get a new start, and even better to have my first round on this account against an opponent whom I know is competent to have a good round with.

I won't make any statements about the eventual debate in this round (that would be trashy), but I will take a moment to make a few statements about the topic in general. For the most part, Policy debaters do an agonizing amount of research; as such whatever we say in this debate, and whatever arguments we make will more likely than not be something that every policy debater (whom didn't start policy yesterday) already has tucked away in one of their myriad of evidence tubs (this is the 2011-2012 Policy debate resolution guys). All the same, it is my hope that some-one, some-where, anywhere will benefit from this debate. Be they a policy debater or not, I really hope the debate between F-16 and I which is about to ensue is a substantiation and meaningful one.

Also it seems important for me to note that this debate will not be done in a Policy debate style, but in a general/traditional debate style. So I also welcome any-one and every-one who wishes to vote on this debate.

All in all I'm excited about this round, and can't wait to get into the real meat of it.
So without further ado, Back to my gracious opponent.
Debate Round No. 1


I will point out why NASA should focus more on unmanned space exploration whereas my opponent will point out why it should focus on manned space exploration more than unmanned.

I will use this round primarily to establish the achievements of unmanned space exploration and cost efficiency. I will later refute my opponent's arguments.

C1) Astronaut safety
Less lives are put at risk in an unmanned mission. As it is primarily operated by robots, there is less risk to humans. It is worth holding off on manned space exploration until more research has been performed and space travel technology is more advanced.

C2) Higher level of Scientific Research
One of the main reasons for Space Exploration is a better understanding of Space and the Universe. The two major ways to do this is to send people to Space Stations, to the moon, and possibly to Mars and beyond. The second option is to send unmanned probes to different planets to learn more about them, launching unmanned satellites and telescopes and using those probes, satellites and telescopes to observe space and planets before taking the next step by sending humans.

It can be seen that NASA's greatest achievements have always been done with unmanned exploration.

(A) Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble discovered the age of the Universe [19], that every galaxy has black holes in its center [20], how planets form [21], confirmed the existence of dark energy [22], and discovered three moons around Pluto [23].

(B) Magellann (Venus)
The Magellan mission studied land forms and tectonics, impact processes, erosion, deposition, chemical processes, and model the interior of Venus [8].

(C) Spirit and Opportunity (Mars)
The Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity successfully landed on Mars and sent over 124,000 highly detailed images of Mars [9][10]. The rovers also discovered that This was a big step to further the exploration of Mars for eventual human missions. It showed that there were once hot springs or steam vents on Mars, which could have provided favorable conditions for microbial life [11]. The reason for these discoveries is the length of time the rovers spent on Mars because there was no need to support astronaut lives. These long time-spans give rise to unexpected discoveries.

(D) Galileo (Jupiter)
Galileo changed the way we look at Jupiter as well as the Solar system. It discovered that Jupiters great red spots were storms, that Io has volcanoes and the Europa has a frozen ocean underneath the ice. It also shows that there is evidence that even Callisto might have an ocean [12].

(E) Cassini-Huygens (Saturn)
It made many major discoveries including proving Einstein's theory of General Relativity, that space-time is curved, and that light bends around gravity [13]. It also discovered three new moons of Saturn. The Huygens probe landed on Titan and sent back pictures to Earth [14].

C3) Cost Effectiveness
The cost of manned missions has always been more expensive than unmanned missions. The International Space Station and the Space Shuttle cost too much for what they achieved.

(A) Space Shuttle
In 2005, NASA's then administrator Michael Griffith said that manned space eploration in the form of the Space Shuttle and the ISS was "not the right path" [1][2]. The total cost of the Space Shuttle was over a $150 billion by 2005 [1][2] and nearly $200 billion by 2011 [4].

(B) International Space Station (ISS)
Overall, the ISS has cost NASA more than $100 billion.

(C) Apollo missions
Apollo cost $170 billion [24] and served its purpose well. The mechanics of human spaceflight was understood. There is no need for humans to go back to the moon at this moment. Once more research has been done, then they can plan longer term bases on the moon.

(D) Constellation program
The Constellation program which would have been the next manned mission has been cancelled. Its primary purpose was to extend the range of human habitation [25] which is not feasible with current technology.

By comparison, the Hubble Space Telescope cost $10 billion [18], the Cassini-Huygens mission cost $3.26 million [3], the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and opportunity cost a little less than $1 billion [11], Magellan cost $0.45 billion [15], Galileo cost $1.6 billion at the most [17]. Unmanned space exploration is orders of magnitude cheaper.

Before sending humans back to the moon, or to Mars, NASA must first spend more time and resources exploring Space and the Solar System through unmanned probes. The knowledge gained through this will help further space exploration and is a far better investment than focussing on manned exploration right away.



I thank my opponent for this debate! Again, it's always a pleasure to be able to debate a new subject I've never debated before.

As a brief road-map I will first be offering a bit of frame-work for clarity, then refuting my opponent's arguments, and finally present my own counter-arguments as time allows.
( It is also important to note that it will not be necessary for me to offer to many sources in this round, as my opponent has already provided plenty for me to use in his prior speech)

Obs 1: If there can be no substantive warrant from Pro to focus more on unmanned space exploration, the vote must go Con.
Obs 2: Since should indicates an ideal situation, the side that proves their stance to be more ideal should get the vote.

C1) Astronaut Safety
+ These astronauts choose to put their lives in danger to fulfill their dreams.
+ We cannot enhance space-travel without sending individuals into space.

C2) Higher level of Scientific Research
+ It is important to point out that my opponent acknowledges that the end goal ought to be to send humans into space. This is a huge Con impact, as it shows that having humans in space is the most ideal situation.

a. Hubble Space Telescope-
+ Obviously I cannot deny the claim my opponent makes here, the Hubble telescope has indeed discovered many incredible things. However my opponent misses a crucial point here, that not only do we already have the Hubble Telescope, [1]but we've had it since 1990. There is absolutely no reason to attempt to focus any more on something we already have.
+ Furthermore, it is an undeniable truth that with human aid the Hubble Telescope would be able to function much better. I will expand upon this point further in a later argument.

b. Magellann (Venus)-
+ There is no unique to this argument exclusive to unmanned space vessels.
+ Extend prior argument of increasing efficiency.

c. Spirit and Opportunity (Mars)
+ Again it would be foolish for me to attempt to cast doubt on the points my opponent is making, however there are several issues I would like to examine.
+ Spirit and Opportunity already exist in the status quo, there is no reason to spend any more effort on an already established technology.
+ My opponent once again makes an argument that supports manned space exploration
+ There is on so much a machine can do without human assistance.

d. Galileo (Jupiter)
+ Extend argument on already existing in the status quo.
+ Extend across my arguments on efficiency.
+ While cool, these discoveries have no practical value; thus they aren't very beneficial.

e. Cassini-Huygens (Saturn)
+ Again while cool, these discoveries have essentially no practical value.

C3) Cost Effectiveness
+ as the old proverb goes "I once had a child who cost me a lot of money. It costed me to feed him, clothe him, and send him to school. He died last week, and ever since that child hasn't cost me a penny". I will aim to show that while human space-travel is indeed incredibly expensive; it is necessary and worthwhile.

a. Space Shuttle
+ Again, it was indeed expensive; but not without it's benefits which I will speak about in a later argument.
+ When we consider how astronomically our nation has been spending money in last 50-60 years, 150-200 billion dollars is nothing. [2]For goodness sake, the department of Justice has spent $121 million dollars on confrences alone in the past 24 months, all without achieving the things that the space shuttle has. Not to mention spending $16 dollars on muffins, and that's $16 per every muffin.
There are multiple other examples of utterly ridiculous wasteful spending in the video link provided, the point is if we attempt to save money on the space front it wont matter anyway as the government will find some other innovative way to waste tax-payer dollars.

b. International Space Station (ISS)
+ Extend my prior argument. especially on the $16 muffins.

c. Apollo Missions
+ Extend prior argument
+ I would also like to point out my the amount of bias in my opponent's contention. with C2, he only points out the benefits without speaking about the costs; and on C3 he does just the opposite, he points out how expensive everything is without speaking about the benefits.
+ Again, even if we saved money on this avenue, the government would find some other way to waste money. Who knows maybe this time they'll spend $25 on chocolate bars.

d. Constellation Program
+ This argument has nothing to do with cost
+ Nothing is unfeasible, NASA simply doesn't want to spend the money.


C1. Human Efficiency.
The impact I want to drive home to every one is this; Humans are far more precise than any machine. Machines can only do what they're programmed to do, and once we send them into space there's no getting them back to alter a function they've been programmed to do.
Whereas were we to to send a human into space (possibly even in conjunction with a machine) efficiency would surely go up. Cost is ultimately irrelevant as previously noted.

C2. Benefits to Human Space travel
In my opponent's C2 they speak about various successes of unmanned space travel, with a consistent vein of commonality running throughout; all these discoveries are useless. None of these discoveries have any real benefit to mankind; whereas the [3]study of zero gravity on the human body (one of many benefits) has multiple benefits. Such as the discovery of humans needing gravity to main bone structure, that the eyes become a primary motion senor, and much much more.

C3. For the dreamers
I'll keep this short but with this argument, I aim to prove that without any kind of real motivation, without the dream of man flying through the stars; we lose all motivation of studying the galaxy, except for a pay check. My opponent's profile picture proves this argument inherently true.

= Conlusion =
I'm almost out of characters, so I'll save this for later.
Vote Con!

= Sources =
Debate Round No. 2


I used my opening round to establish NASA's unmanned achivements. I will now show why it is important for NASA to spend more effort in unmanned space exploration.

There is nothing in my arguments that my opponent denies, so I will assume them all to be true as I provide my argument.

C1) Astronaut Safety
- My oppponent says that Astronauts put their life at risk to fulfill their dreams. I agree with that. However, these astronauts work for NASA and NASA has a responsibility to ensure the safety of these astronauts as much as it possibly can.

- What really are the benefits of putting the lives of Astronauts at risk at this time in 2011? People have already gone to space and landed on the moon, effects of space travel on humans is now known. Before taking the next step and creating long term bases on the moon or travelling to Mars, it is far more important for NASA to pursue a policy of gaining more knowledge about space and the solar system in a manner that is hundreds of times cheaper than sending astronauts into space and risking their lives. Manned missions should be kept at a minimum with time and resources put into unmanned missions at the expense of manned.

C2) Scientific Research

SPA) Mission of NASA
First, consider the purpose of NASA. NASA's mission is:

To understand and protect our home planet,
to explore the Universe and search for life,
and to inspire the next generation of explorers... as only NASA can.

SPB) End goal
The end goal is not to put humans into space as my opponent claims I said. I only said that manned exploration is a possible next step. Knowledge and understanding of the Universe is far more important. Unmanned exploration is the first step. Manned exploration comes later. True, NASA successfully landed on the moon, but there is not much more to do with manned exploration at this point before better technology is built and a better understanding of the Solar System is gained. It currently takes 18 months to go to Mars [2] and a NASA study has shown that a trip to Mars would cause irreversible blurry vision to astronauts [3][4]. Manned exploration at this point isn't safe.

The second line of NASA's mission is "To explore the Universe and search for life"

Con says "While cool, these discoveries (Great Red Spot, Volcanoes on Io, Frozen ocean under Europa)have no practical value; thus they aren't very beneficial."

These discoveries are what NASA is made for. To discover these things. To help us understand the Solar system and the Universe, to search for possible life. What else does Con want NASA to do?

Since these discoveries are to fulfill the purpose of NASA, extend every one of my arguments since my opponent does not refute them (that would be impossible) but merely questions their purpose.

SPC) Unmanned Achievements
(i) We have had the Hubble Space Telescope for over 20 years. Telescope technology has improved since the time Hubble was launched. NASA should focus on launching bigger and better telescopes into orbit. It is undisputable that Hubble has discovered incredible things and new telescopes will be able to take it further giving us better understanding of distant galaxies, black holes and supernovas.

(ii) Con says "There is no unique to this argument exclusive to unmanned space vessels."
If there is nothing unique, then we should go the unmanned route as opposed to manned. Does Con really think humans landing on Venus and discovering the same things would be equally desirable in terms of cost efficiency? The nothing unique argument strengthens my case more than Con's. In effect, he says it is the same whether the mission is manned or unmanned.

(iii) Status quo
There is a lot more that can be done with unmanned missions. The Mars rover Spirit continued to send useful information to Earth for 7 years until it finally lost contact. More advanced vehicles will give us even more valuable information about Mars. Humans are not needed for this.

C3) Cost Effectiveness
I have shown that NASA has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the Space Shuttle and the ISS and that NASA even admitted them to be mistakes. Con's take on this is that money saved from them will be used by the government to buy muffins! (or wasted anyways). Should we not find ways to save money? Should we just assume that all money given to the government will be wasted?

Con says that I am biased by showing the benefits of unmanned and the downfalls of manned exploration. That's becase I'm aguing Pro for unmanned. It is Con's responsibility, not mine to argue the Con position and show that manned exploration is beneficial in the short term and so far Con hasn't shown any benefits at all of manned exploration.

The constellation program was unfeasible and NASA decided that it didn't want to waste money on a manned mission. Good decision! Con is free to argue against it.


R1) Human Efficiency
Cost efficiency must be taken into consideration when evaluating efficiency. My opponent says that humans are precise. However, if it costs 100 times more to send humans into space than robotic probes as well as more time due to safety requirements, that efficiency is entirely negated.

R2) Practical Benefits
1) GPS and weather forecast
2) Minerals buried deep under the Earth's surface can be located using satellites.
3) Medical benefits

I will expand later due to lack of character space. Con however mentioned no benefits for manned exploration.

R3) For the dreamers
Con says that manned exploration is a motivation. Even if this were true, it should be in the future when enough technology has been developed to "fly through the stars".

Putting more time and money could yield benfits far more than manned space exploration. Instead of spending $100 billion on a manned mission, $1 billion could be spent on 100 unmanned missions gaining a vast understanding of space. This will fulfill the mission of NASA far more effectively.



= Debate =
C1. Astronaut Safety

+ As my opponent states, "...NASA has a responsibility to ensure the safety of these astronauts as much as it possibly can." Astronauts go into space knowing there's a chance they may not come back. And so while NASA has a responsibility to do all they can, the decision to go into space is ultimately one the astronauts make themselves.

+ To say such a thing, is to say that no scientific experiment should ever be repeated more than once; it is a fallacy. Furthermore, my opponent seems to ignore my prior made arguments on human efficiency, money and usefulness.
++ I would also like to point out the incredible margin of error that a machine is capable of. Factor this in with how little we truly understand about the human body, and we get the blazing revelation that we cannot improve human space exploration without sending humans into space.

C2 Scientific Research

SPA) Mission of NASA
+ " inspire the next generation of explorers... as only NASA can." Extend my own C3; my opponent's prior refutation is unviable as I will show later.

SPA) End Goal
+ Several arguments need to be made here, first extend across my own observation 2. Next extend across my arguments that unmanned space exploration has already been established. This said, let's look at the resolution "NASA should focus more on unmanned space exploration than manned space exploration".
The point is that by focusing more on manned space exploration than unmanned, we do no get rid of unmanned space exploration; When we do opposite, manned space exploration becomes nonexistent. As my opponent says time and time again, unmanned space exploration is already established and doing well; we need to focus on manned space exploration.

+ "To understand and protect our home planet," My opponent claims that it doesn't matter that the discoveries unmanned space exploration finds are useless. While this is true, it is also undeniable that any information that can be garnered from space travel which is beneficial to mankind is infinitely more valuable. To this I extend across my own C2 and we see clearly that we need to focus more on manned space exploration.
Furthermore, and I cannot stress this enough, unmanned space exploration has already been established. We do not need to spend too much focus on it; whereas my opponent has acknowledged time and time again that unmanned space exploration needs work.

+ I have indeed refuted my opponent's prior arguments. The purpose of this debate is whether NASA should focus on manned or unmanned space exploration; not the ends these two different types of exploration. As I've stated time and time again, unmanned space exploration is already established. There is no need to focus on something that has already been established more so than something that desperately needs more research.

SPC) Unmanned Achievements
+ Extend my prior arguments; we already have a knowledge and understanding in telescopes. All we would have to do is build and launch it, no effort in the realm of focus is necessary in great amounts. Whereas with Human Space exploration, there is.

+ What my opponent says here is an utter fallacy. While there is no unique benefit to unmanned space exploration, there is certainly a massive benefit to manned space exploration.

+ Extend my first argument on this point.

C3 Cost Effectiveness

+ My point is that it doesn't matter if something is expensive if there is a benefit to it. If we spend money on enhancing human space exploration, then we get a substantial benefit; if not, the money will go to buy 16 dollar muffins for government employees. Or $900,000 buying sightly different road signs [4], or $60 million exploring shoe's harm to the environment [4], or even $1/2 million on rarely used offices for government employees.

+ My opponent claims that is alright for them to be biased, as it is my job to disprove their side. While this is true to a degree, it doesn't mean they have no responsibility to cover very avenue of the debate. You wouldn't expect a doctor to try to persuade his clients to use a certain drug without warning them of the potential negative side-effects; and you make an argument without acknowledging that your stance has a few short-comings.


C1 Human Efficiency

+ Extend my arguments on my opponent's C3; the money is going to be used somehow, better that we spend on something useful than on $16 muffins.

+ Extend my Observation 2; the word "should" in the resolution indicates this to be a debate of ideal situations. We must always use the most efficient option regardless of cost.

C2 Practical Benefits
+ These are all new arguments first off. Secondly all of these benefits have to do with convenience here on earth, not benefits of unmanned space exploration. This refutation is completely irrelevant.

+ Medical benefits?

C3 for the dreamers
+ My opponent offered no real refutation here, he simply says it's expensive to let's forget about it. To that extend my refutations on his C3 and my C1.

+ We already have the technology to fly through the stars; the issue comes in improving it. Something we absolutely cannot do unless we focus more effort into maned space exploration.

= Conclusion =
There is far too much ground in this debate to offer a single concise conclusion; so I'll use the next round for that in the form of voters. However I would like to point out that my opponent dropped the majority of his own C2 in favor of new arguments.

= Sources =
Debate Round No. 3


C1) Safety
- Manned trips to Mars are not viable and may cause irreversible vision problems and exposure to radiation. We need to send robots to go out there and check what the problems are, how much radiation there is, and from what sources. Do we send Astronauts and let them get exposed, and have vision problems citing the fact that they took a risk when they signed up? Astronauts do not choose their mission, NASA does, and it has a responsibilty to send them on safe missions.

- We had 6 moon landings. Why another similar landing? If we go again, we must go with different goals like permanent bases. Before that, we need robots to see if the conditions are viable, what mineral resources are available, radiation, and other dangers.

- Experiments involving great expense and risk to human life must be done judiciously. It is not a fallacy.

C2) Research

A) Mission
What NASA means by "inspire .." is [3]:

- Motivate students to pursue math & science careers - unmanned discoveries do this
- Improve scientific literacy - same
- Engage public in shaping the experience of exploration and discovery - Lot more exploration of planets and scientific discoveries by unmanned.

B) End Goal
Extend that NASA explores the universe and searches for life by studying ocean under Europa etc.

Con says "by focusing more on manned than unmanned, we do no get rid of unmanned " The resolution asks where should NASA put more time and resources?

Extend C(iii) below.

C) Achievements
Con gave the same rebuttals to many points in C2. I found it more efficient to address those rebuttals. C2 wasn't dropped.

(i) Con concedes that newer telescopes need to be sent to space. Building and launching a 25,000lb+ telescope into space is not easy. NASA needs to spend time on it.

(ii) Cost is a unique benefit for unmanned. Efficiency addressed in R1.

(iii) "no need to focus on something that has already been established more than something that needs more research."

We already landed on the moon, ISS and the Shuttle are draining the bank and NASA admits them to be mistakes. The only way to go with manned is Mars, or permanent moon bases. But that is not feasible due to technological and safety constraints. Yes, unmanned has been a tremendous success but it didn't directly study what dangers await on a trip to Mars or permanent bases. We should send robots to do that as we know that they will have a resounding success as always, and are cheap.

C3) Cost
- NASA admitted the Shuttle and the ISS were expensive and unproductive. NASA jumped the gun. We need to improve technology before we send humans into space again.

- The budget for NASA is separate from the budget of the USFG. The resolution asks to divert money from manned exploration to unmanned. Muffins are irrelevant as is other wastage. Other government expenditure should not figure into this.

- Con concedes that the constellation program was unfeasible and NASA decided that it didn't want to waste money on a manned mission. NASA finally saw sense.


R1) Human Efficiency
Firstly, extend that cost efficiency must be taken into consideration when evaluating efficiency.

Con says humans are precise. Unmanned missions are actually more efficient than manned when presicion and cost are both considered together. As automation improves, unmanned missions can do more complex tasks [2]. Another reason why more research must be put into unmanned exploration. They are always successful and the precision is getting better.

Extend that the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) discovered a lot more things than humans could have done because they were there for much longer. Manned missions cannot match the quantity of discoveries in the short time that they are there. Having a manned mission for a multiple year span would be too expensive and impossible with current technology. Manned missions cannot be extended beyond the specified time frame as life support would run out. MERs by contrast, ran longer than planned.

R2) Benefits
"These are all new arguments"
They was a direct rebuttal. When Con said manned has practical benefits, I showed that unmanned also has them.

The benefits I showed are due to unmanned exploration. Zero gravity was the only one Con mentioned for manned. But it could be performed under simulated conditions on Earth, in pools, and on aircraft. No experiments were performed on the Shuttle or ISS that can't be simulated on Earth.

I have shown that not only did unmanned exploration result in more practical benefits like GPS, but it also advances scientific knowledge and discovery at a rate that leaves manned exploration in the dust.

R3) Dreamers
I didn't say "it's expensive, forget about it". I said that we don't have the technology or knowledge to send humans to "fly through the stars." Con confuses it with my refutation for a different point about cost.

Con says technology to "fly through the stars" is already there. There isn't. We don't know the conditions that exist beyond the Solar system. We don't know if a manned Spacecraft will be able to withstand radiation, comets, asteroids, and extreme temperatures. We don't know the optimum time it will take for a trip to outer space and back. We need robots to test it out first and voyager wasn't enough.

Voyager never came back. It required assistance from planets to push it forward [1]. It wasn't even meant to return. Manned spacecraft absolutely need to return. They need to return at the right time when planet positioning can thrust it forward using gravity. More research and unmanned exploration needs to be done before this can happen.

We are at a stage where we did everything we could with manned, moon landing etc, nothing more can be done with current technology. NASA needs to reign in manned missions and increase research on unmanned for at least for the next 20 years to develop a new generation of technology which can make the next stage in manned exploration viable such as moon bases, trips to Mars and beyond.



As this is the last round, and most if not all of the debaters are already thinking tl;dr, I will be brief here. Instead of reviewing the entire round as my opponent has done, I want to highlight one key issue as to why the vote must go Con.

Simply put, I want to extend across one of my prior arguments as voting issues. At the end of it all you must vote for the Con, as if we do not put effort into manned space exploration, we will not get better at it. My opponent never effectively covers this argument, and furthermore he never denies that we would continue to improve our unmanned space exploration technology if we put less focus on it than on manned space exploration.

I urge a Con vote.
Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Lickdafoot 7 years ago
this is a great topic! hubble and cassini are two of my fav telescopes- they generate such beautiful pictures! just started reading so i will be voting at some point
Posted by BlackVoid 7 years ago
Astronaut safety:

Con doesn't refute the argument about the risk of blindness from space travel. But the biggest W here for Pro is that not only is unmanned inherently safer, it will make it safe for humans n the future because of the knowledge about space we'll gain from bots. While astronauts to consent to the threat of danger, Pro correctly points out that NASA still has an obligation to protect their safety.

Unmanned acheivements:

Con drops that we can improve our current tech on telescopes and satellites and thus improve our overall space program by funding unmanned. Pro shows that empirically, we've found out a lot of practically useful information such as medical advancements and underground minerals as well. This is all in addition to the age of the universe, black hole knowledge, etc, and Con concedes that we should work to improve these technologies even more.


Con's argument here is pretty weird. He agrees that unmanned is infinitely cheaper than manned but stipulates that the government will just waste the money saved. I've got to agree with Falcon's rebuttal here, this logic would say that we shouldn't try and save money on anything.

This answers Con's Efficiency argument, and his C2 responds to Con's Benefits argument. The Dreamer argument is nullified because we aren't abandoning manned exploration forever.

I think Pro missed out on a key argument that we can keep unmanned satellites in space for years, wheras manned trips lass a couple weeks at most. You touched on this a tad bit in R4, but nowhere near enough as you could have. But still, he proves that unmanned technologies have a good track record and are infinitely cheaper and safer than manned missions.

Grammar to Pro because Con had a few punctuation errors, and he just did a better job formatting and spacing his arguments.

A lot of good information to be learned here.
Posted by DHDebate 7 years ago
Awesome round :-)
You rely kept me on my toes here, I've had a ton of fun with this.
I'm not quite sure how I want to finish this off just yet, so I'll probably be cutting this one close (like always)

But anyways, thanks for such a great debate! We'll definitely need to have more in the future.
Posted by sadolite 7 years ago
I thought NASA was converted to an ambassador program to the world. Aren't they out of the space business?
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 7 years ago
Whew, that was a tough debate. I had over 12,000 characters that I had to cut down. I really regret setting the character limit to 6000. So I'll say here what I couldn't fit in. DHDebate/Dakota/Bang Bang, this was an awesome debate. Needed a lot of research. You kept me on my feet and it was really great debating with you. Good luck on your last round.
Posted by DHDebate 7 years ago
I'm sorry, but keep all of that in the round.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 7 years ago
I was wondering why are you against me arguing about the practical benefits of unmanned space exploration? Firstly, how is it a new point when it is a direct rebuttal to your point about the practical benefits of manned exploration. I was showing that practical benefits aren't unique to manned exploration as a rebuttal. Secondly, for the sake of argument, assume that they are new arguments, then you have not one but two opportunities to rebut it since you are Con.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 7 years ago
No problem. I have another debate to post an argument to so take your tume.
Posted by DHDebate 7 years ago
I'm probably going o be cutting it really close like last time.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 7 years ago
Yeah, same here. Can't wait for your round 3.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Lickdafoot 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Great informative debate. I think Pro did a great job of showing the benifits of unmanned space through effeciency and information gained, while Con relied on the resolution being true without giving enough evidence on why manned exploration is superior.
Vote Placed by dappleshade 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This was really, really close and very well argued. Ultimately Con's point about the motivation of society really should have been expanded in the last round (i.e. human exploration = astronaut to root for = celebrity = public interest = tax money). Really good debate to read, thank you both :)
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments