Since the ancient times, it has been the nature of people to explore new limits. In the present time, the exploration frontiers have shifted from earth to the whole universe. Space is infinitely wide, and has got infinite exploration possibilities. We never know, space might be possessing valuable products which might be useful to human life.
The space might be having undiscovered land for mining, farming, colonizing as well as dumping waste. The most attractive prospect in space exploration is the possibility of finding life on other planets that would question the essence of human being.
The Cost of Space Exploration
The cost of space exploration has attracted much debate across the globe. In fact, the cost of space exploration is too high. Having in mind that about half of government finance is drawn from tax payers, the public has the right to question that cost. To send the first man to the moon during the Apollo program cost tax payers over hundred billion pounds which were adjusted from that times inflation.
Truly, this was a huge amount of money every human being should be concerned of. As a matter of fact, most nations collects almost a sixth or less of the amount spent per annum. However, with beneficial and vital endeavors resulting from the program, this amount is relative small annual investment.
Significance of Space Exploration
Apart from space travel success, there are other numerous benefits. Artificial satellites are as a result of space exploration which currently provides people defense reconnaissance, communication through cell phone, reports on weather among other beneficial uses. Actually, by May of the year 1997, there were about two thousand and three hundred artificial satellites going round the earth.
Most of the modern technologies such as water recycling and energy generation are as a result of space exploration. Despite been used during space exploration, these technologies are presently used to produce huge amount of energy used in industries.
The human future in space exploration might be now in the private individuals’ hands. The X-Price Foundation promised to reward ten million pounds to a privately owned organization which would develop a reusable rocket which could carry a person to a height of sixty two miles in the space. The contest attracted much of the public interest and lots of trials. Eventually, this was achieved.
Nevertheless, either it is an agency of government or a private institution that takes people to the space is not the concern. The most significant issue is that, the human desire to explore new frontiers should not be despised.
Hi, I would like it if someone would read through my essay and tell me if my argument has any flow to it. What tweaks do I need to make.
Thesis: Spending more time and money on Ocean exploration is more beneficial than space exploration
Humanities interest in the heavens is universal. It's the unknowns that help drive us to explore, and to discover things that we are not familiar with. But why just keep the focus in space when here in our very own backyard is a vast, deep, blue body of water that covers 2/3 of our world. With more time and money spent on exploring and researching our oceans it can be more beneficial to us than exploring infinite space.
Space exploration is defined as the discovery and exploration of outer space by means of space technology. Space exploration, no matter what the "scientific" reason is, we are looking for life. Guess what, the ocean is full of life, so much life that we don't even have names for all of the unknown life that lies in the ocean, especially in some of the deepest trenches in our oceans. All it would take is more attention and money for us to realize that the ocean can be more than just a fishing ground.
In 2012 the NASA annual budget was $18 billion. Approximately $5-$7 billion of that money is spent on space exploration, and the total worldwide cost is roughly equal to $35 billion according to the federal budget. Other agencies who are involved in spending and helping the program are: The National Reconnaissance Office, the Department of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmosphere Agency, and the US Geologic. Now, let us get into the money specifics of ocean exploration. Newsflash, ocean exploration doesn't have the funding or an independent agency to lead a dedicated mission like that of NASA. The outlook for ocean exploration is getting bleaker. In many cases, funding of marine science and exploration, especially for the deep sea, are at historical lows. In others, funding remains at a standstill, despite the rising cost of equipment and personnel. Recently this year, the Obama administration proposed to eliminate the 32 year old National Undersea Research Program (NURP) which is another branch within the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Agency (NOAA). The NOAA determined that the NURP was a lower-priority function within its portfolio of research activities. Yet, the NURP is one of the main suppliers of funding and equipment for ocean exploration. Cutting the NURP saves the NOAA $4,000,000 or 1/10 of NOAA's budget. In recent years the NURP's budget has been limping along and have drastically reduced funding, going from a high of $18 million nearly a decade ago to its now current $4 million. Think about this for a second. $4 million budget for underwater ocean exploration compared to that of NASA's $5-7 billion spent on space exploration---that is pocket change for them. In order to have time for ocean exploration you need the money to go along with it.
Famed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson in his book "Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier" talks about how NASA has been the sole leaders in innovations since the start of the program in the 1950's. Some of the technology that has been created by space exploration has led to spinoffs that we use in our daily lives, and also through the medical fields. Some of these spinoffs (you can find in NASA's Spinoff Magazine) like the Autonomous Rendezvous and docking technology to assist the Space shuttle in servicing satellites resulted in an eye-tracking device for LASIK surgery. Tiny LED chips that were used to grow plants on the space shuttle and the international space station are now being used to light the way for wound healing and chronic pain alleviation on Earth. Some of these spinoffs have led to fuel efficient automobiles in the way they are designed today making them more aerodynamic. I'm sure, in many ways, the technology in space exploration have also made its way to ocean exploration, to subs, water filtration systems, and the oxygen breathing devices they use. There have been over 500 people that have flown into space. Only 12 have gone on to walk on the moon. Marianas Trench, the deepest part of the ocean at 35,800 feet below sea level, and only 3 people have been able to reach those depths, Jacques Piccard, US Navy captain Don Walsh, and just recently the famed director James Cameron. If the innovations of the space program can get 12 people to walk on the moon, why can't they get more than just 3 men to the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean? Somehow we manage to get millions of miles into space and can't get more than 3 guys 35,000 feet below sea level.
If we can put the same amount of time and money into ocean exploration like that of our space program, we can see bigger returns in the short term, but waiting cannot be an option. In the "Sea Changes: Medicine from the Ocean" a short film that talks about the ocean being the new "drugstore" of the future. Most of the Earth's biodiversity is in our ocean waters. Sponges, ascidians, and marine algae, produce sophisticated molecules with anti-cancer activity, anti-bacteria, and anti-fungal.
Bio-prospecting: The search for plant and animal species from which medicinal drugs and other commercially valuable compounds can be obtained. Bio-prospecting has been going on for centuries. Captain James Cook a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and Captain of the Royal Navy knew of the resources the vast ocean had to offer, initiated a new scientific style of exploration. The tradition brought about an emphasized systematic inventory of natural resources in addition to traditional geographic goals. Cooks persistent offerings was demonstrating that geographic discovery was most powerful when followed up by detailed investigations. Cook had the right idea at the time but the 19th century didn't have the technology we have now to actually bring it into light. With technology being as advanced as it is now it's hard to believe that 90% of our ocean floors haven't been mapped or charted. And this isn't because we don't have the technology it's about needing a reason to do it. In the short film Sea Changes they talk about sediments on the ocean floor of the deepest parts of our oceans and how they are very unique, but they thought nothing of it because researchers thought it had no value. They found microbes called Salinospera that live in marine sediments. They are in evolution about 100 million years old, and are exclusively found in the ocean, nowhere else. These are prolific resources of antibiotics and new anti-cancer drugs. It gives you pause to think that these findings, on our ocean floors can produce these types of medicines and yet, 90% of our ocean floors haven't been explored.
Space exploring has done its part in bringing in the new age of medical cure as well. Dr. Kathie Olsen the Chief Scientist for NASA talks about medical advancements in the short film "Fantastic Voyage: Nanotechnology and Space-aged Medicine" Kathie Olsen believes that Nano medicine is the future. Nanotechnology or Nano medicines are miniature robots that can treat disease in your body by detecting and preventing diseases. That sounds almost fictional, like it was brought up out of a movie. The reason for NASA's direction in Nanotechnology is to prepare them for the manned mission to Mars, which they believe will happen in 2020. Sending humans to Mars isn't as easy as some may think. Space is the most violent atmosphere known to man. Sending robots is much easier because it's cheaper, and it is usually a 1 way trip. NASA has never kept an astronaut in space longer than 12 months, the reason being that over time our bodies adapt to the weight less environment. Without gravity, muscles weaken almost beyond use and bones begin to crumble causing pain and fragility on return to Earth. Another deadly concern is the sun. Astronauts away from the protection of the Earth's atmosphere can develop cancerous cells from long exposure to sun.
We have the medicine here in our waters; some have been patented already like the enzyme produced from shrimp called Alkaline Phosphates, or the sponges like the Avara that produce Avarol. Avarol is being used for treatment of Psoriasis and has also been tested as a HIV inhibitor. Waiting on Nanotechnology or Nano medicine is something that, we have no idea if it will ever come to fruition, but we do know that in the limited time and money that our marine researchers have explored our ocean floors, they have already found known medicine that can help us now.
The oceans play a major role in controlling our climate. But we have not learned yet how to use them to cool us off rather than contribute to our overheating. By 2025, 1.8 billion people are expected to suffer from severe water scarcity, with that number jumping to 3.9 billion by 2050, well over a third of our entire global population. We need to figure out a way desalinate the ocean water efficiently and with less costly methods.
Spending more time and money in exploring our oceans can benefit us long term, but we must act now. Space can wait, space isn't going anywhere. We can keep sending robots to Mars to collect samples from the planet's surface, but don't neglect the new resources or the possible cures we have here in our oceans.