Does anybody else think that space travel is a huge waste of money? I feel as though the money that we spend constructing spacecrafts and sending them into space is not entirely worth what we get in return. I feel as though that money could REALLY be spent improving conditions here on the Earth. And while I realize that some of what these space crafts are used for can provide us with a certain amount of information that had practical uses for improving conditions on the Earth, I feel as though a lot of it is just done for the sake of discovery. It feels odd to say this, as I have always loved science and find space science very interesting. But here is the real question to me. Is Space travel really beneficial enough for us to spend as much money on it as we do?
It is only beneficial if we end up finding other planets that we could live on that resemble that of Earth. Or if we are able to somehow take Dark Matter and make it useful, I have not heard of a use for it yet, but as long as there is stuff that could advance the Human Race I am all for it.
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Space travel has brought us a bevy of technologies, but the most obvious is GPS and trans-continental satellite transmissions, both of which are indispensable to the modern world.
But let's ignore that, space travel also has the potential to end any and all resource shortages (both by allowing us to import from other planets and by discovering new techniques to allow one to be self-sufficient for years at a time) and do wonders for all sorts of science and engineering.
Your stance is similar to rejecting Columbus' bid to voyage around the globe 'cause that money would be better-spent at home.
Admittedly, Columbus was wrong, and what happened to the natives was horrendous, but I think the point still stands: It makes zero sense to stop exploring because you never know what you'll find, it might just be a world-changer of unimaginable proportions.
'Sides, NASA is the lowest-funded department in the entire US government. Getting rid of it wouldn't solve anything.
For this generation, yes.
I don't think we'll see enough benefits to justify the dollar amount, but I think that the future of the world will eventually see if we exist long enough and it is continued and maintained... People will eventually gain from it. It's such a massive task I don't know it will ever be a financially wise move, but possibly an inevitable one.
Well considering we will all go extinct once the sun expands to a red giant, I'd say that, yes, it is necessary. That might seem like a while but you have that whole terraforming other planets thing to deal with. It will become a real pain in the neck, I assure you.
"I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let's hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load." ~Stephen Hawking to the Big Think organization or whatever.
Now, I personally think it's annoying to see articles putting us millions of years in the future and meeting a crises that needs us to expand into space. That's just bad thinking. We need to start now, start building a space-based economy.
If we want the economy to be effective with space travel, we must slowly start making it so that it is more and more stable.
Plus, I mean, let's face it. Mining asteroids doesn't kill life on Earth. Mining dead worlds doesn't hurt life. The moon could be turned into a huge mining operation and who knows what minerals we'll find deep under its crust?
There's also needing to spread out, and there's also just that it won't hurt.
If I said 100 years ago that we could go to space in a vehicle developed by a private company, you'd call me crazy.
If 50 years ago I said that we'd be able to go to space in the same way we get on planes, I'd be called crazy or hailed as a visionary (because the 50's had people that thought we'd be much further advanced in the 2000s, and then there were people who knew better).
If 20 years ago I said a private company would be getting to space when NASA isn't people would have laughed.
We have Virgin Galactic, next year home-made rockets will be reaching orbit according to Popular Science's what to expect in 2012, we have dozens of companies that already make planes and cars.
In 50 years, the idea of having Boeing making space ships isn't too hard to believe. In a century, a company like Ford or Chevy might exist in the space ship industry, or at least be forming.
By the end of the 2100s, I doubt the government will have to fund a space industry to keep it afloat. By that point, it'll be like how planes, trains, and automobiles are today, to an extent. It'll be privatized.
I expect to see the government funding NASA and such, but for different reasons - for exploration and military mainly. Perhaps colonization and land claims. Weapons testing.
But the majority will be privatized, and by that point, the "it wastes government money" isn't going to matter. You don't complain about Boeing making planes, and that's how I think space travel is going to get to eventually. Just another business.
As another pointed out, NASA is the lowest funded government program in the US.
Also as another pointed out, it would be much better to spend 3 trillion dollars on space travel than to spend 3 trillion dollars on killing innocent civilians in the middle-east. Sorry, I know that stings, but it's true.