Space exploration is a search for knowledge and potential resources that should be publicly funded to a certain extent based on budgetary considerations. If we cut all expenditures to the bare bones, funding only those items that are "essential," our culture will be lacking in many areas. If we let other countries explore space while we wait for a budget filled with plenty for discretionary spending, we risk being left behind for centuries to come.
Publicly funding space exploration as well as privately funding it would only serve to advance the rate in which we would be able to explore space. Understanding the great unknown is exciting and the knowledge that is to be gained can't be ignored or overlooked. All possible funding sources should be utilized in order to further our understanding of things this great. Simply relying on private funding would slow our ability to explore space significantly.
Funding space exploration can also benefit humanity in several ways. For instance, we can inhabit planets that we have discovered. Space exploration gives an opportunity to one day save mankind. One quote from a user on www.debate.org says this “People are too vulnerable on Earth. Anything can happen - the Sun can threaten us, asteroids, and so many other things. The resources are being widely used and some day people will be left almost without anything for living. In order to preserve humanity and our home world we need to find new homes.” Scientist believe that the Earth will lose orbit and get sucked in by the Sun in about 7.6 billion years from now. Another reason why it can benefit humanity is the scientist can make useful inventions to make our lives easier. A quote that better explains this is from www.blogs.agu.org which says “Space exploration brings together a lot of smart people from many different fields and puts them to work on some very difficult problems. The result is not only fantastic scientific discoveries, but also many useful inventions. From healthier baby food to technology to better diagnose breast cancer, to further flying golf balls, NASA technology is all around you.” This quote shows that it benefits us humans, not only to explore and find new discoveries in space, but to find new inventions and better health care for us humans.