Should Governments Increase Spending on Space Exploration?
Aliens did not always descend from the glints of the endless night sky. They once crossed unknown continents surrounded in a measureless blue to reach people and cultures that had never seen them before. Though we do not worry much for seafaring now, the olden journeys through boundless currents were once expensive, lengthy, and incredibly uncertain, but their rewards were great. With the same dedication and financing from our governments, the same will be true for our odyssey through the cosmos.
The age of discovery began in the 15th century and with it, a time of enlightenment and dauntless European sailors (Briney). They learned of African salt, the Chinese printing press, Hindu-Arabic numerals, and many other nation-flourishing discoveries. The printing press decreased book prices from around 20,000 USD to just 70 USD (Addis). Paper money also developed, which in turn introduced lending, then venture capitalism, corporations, our modern economy, and society as we know it. We owe our economic expansion to sailing the tides, and we will soon owe even more of it to sailing the stars.
Some argue wandering the great beyond far exceeds the arduousness of navigating the planet. A seat in the International Space Station (ISS) alone costs 58 million USD (Davis), travel times extend beyond the human lifespan, and there are no proven Martian civilizations to gain knowledge from. However, extraterrestrial travel only began in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik 1 (Aerospace). For perspective, sailing traced back to 5500 BC (Carter 53) and only began its golden age after 1453 AD. Additionally, the US government only provides 47% of its gross domestic product (GDP) to fund the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), but feudal lords of the past willingly surrendered independence, formed governments, and increased taxes to support navies. The renaissance budget, efforts, and dedication for exploration far exceeds what humanity provides today.
The doubts for space are the same doubts our ancestors once had with waters. However, when the Europeans deposed those doubts, they advanced from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment, and if humankind does the same again, we can then leave this contemporary age for a boundless era of space. Medicines, minerals, knowledge, and other worldly beings we have yet to identify lie beyond our solar system, beyond our galaxy, or even in a parallel universe that will ensure our continued existence.
The word astronaut comes from the Greek words ástron (star) and naútēs (sailor). It is then only fitting the tribulations our traditional sailors withstood will be the same our star sailors will experience and learn from. Because leaving our Earth will demand many nations, millennia, and our last drops of trust and hope, but its sweetness will transcend the salt of our ocean. With faithful dedication and funding from our leaders, an epic would again be born as it once did when we first braved the deeps.
Addis, Cameron. “Age of Exploration.” 11 December 2015, History Hub, http://sites.austincc.edu/caddis/age-of-exploration/.
Aerospace. “A Brief History of Space Exploration.” 1 June 2018, https://aerospace.org/article/brief-history-space-exploration.
Briney, Amanda. “A Brief History of the Age of Exploration.” ThoughtCo., 4 January 2019, https://www.thoughtco.com/age-of-exploration-1435006.
Carter, Robert. “Boat Remains and Maritime Trade in the Persian Gulf during the Sixth and Fifth Millennia BC.” Antiquity, March 2006: 53. 5 September 2019, https://www.academia.edu/173149/Boat_remains_and_maritime_trade_in_the _Persian_Gulf_during_the_sixth_and_fifth_millennia_BC.
Davis, Jason. “How Much Does Space Travel Cost?” NBC News. 15 October 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/how-much-does-space-travel-cost-ncna919011.
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The exploration of space is not something unbelievable in our times. This process becomes necessary for our people and future generations. Scientists worldwide are trying to implement great inventions that will benefit all of humanity.
Why should the government spend money on space exploration? The answer is simple. If the government stops giving the money for it, many astrological works that scientists developed in the past will go to waste.
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