Since the invention of the telescope by Galileo in 1607, mankind has been fascinated by the vast expanses of space- the great unknown. Long before this time ancient civilizations used the stars to navigate and predict future events. Archaic astronomy marked the rise of the curiosity of other existing worlds. The launching of Sputnik I by the Soviet Union in 1957 marked a pinnacle in human innovation as well as ignited a war that would change the course of mankind forever. The great space race would propel the world into a new age, an age that would prove to bear some of the most important technological advancements ever made- the space shuttle, the satellite etc. The truth is that space exploration is as effervescent now as it was 1000 years ago.
Space exploration has reached an all-time high and with that also comes and increase in demand. The nation has placed its burden for funding on the citizens of the United States. Through the government round-up of money through taxes, it pays for programs and development for such space exploration projects. The government should take into consideration the effect that these new space projects will affect our society. Keeping in mind the amount of money these projects need to take in before becoming realty as well as the possible extra burden placed upon our young world and the burden the human race can place on other worlds.
These daring endeavors do take up an enormous amount of money; in turn causing major budget cuts from schools funding. This has been increasingly evident as the years have shown a decrease in quality of public school facilities. Perhaps those who pay the biggest price are those that attend universities. The tuition prices have experienced a steady increase over the course of the last ten years. Students have found themselves paying about $35,000 worth of tuition per year thus, graduating with an immensely overwhelming amount student debt that will most be paid off after years of work. According to Pennies of Each Federal Dollar Spent On Various Programs (2006 Estimates) by Andrew Chamberlain, the education system obtains less of the dollar than the portion that is used for space and technology. To be exact, education only manages to get $0.04 while space and technology gets about $0.06. As a nation we should be weary at the fact that our space exploration programs receive more funding than our children’s education. Educating the nations youth should be top priority. Our children are our future; if we continue to neglect the fact that the education system is the among least funded program our nation will be surpassed by other apex nations. Nations like China and Germany are outdoing the United States of American in education. Many of our top scientists are from foreign nations and this is a major problem. American dependence on foreign knowledge may very be its ultimate demise. Therefore, the U.S should place limits on its spending on space exploration and place more emphasis on the education system.
As a society, we have not been generous or appreciative of our beloved earth. Humans are creatures that will seize the first chance we have at exploiting nature. The constant abuse of the land has created the increasingly desolate landscape we have come to know today. Ever since we discovered that trees can make be used to make homes and paper and fire and gum we have never hesitated at the chance to cut them and put them through the factory and into our homes. This has resulted in the deforestation of the landscape and in turn the extinction of several species. As well as an increase in Co2 and other greenhouse gases contributing to global climate change. Our earth is becoming a hostile environment and will soon be unsuitable for the maintainment of human life. Who’s to say we will not do this to other foreign worlds as we discover them. For this exact reason we must practice extreme caution when it comes to the prospect of space exploration.