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Space Exploration

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The 1960’s brought new advancements for all of Earth. Machines and men were sent into space, and this sparked a new government agency, called NASA. Space was a new frontier, and virtually everyone was interested in exploring it. Over the years, the interest in space exploration has weakened, and NASA was almost terminated from existence, although there have been many advancements in it over that time. Space exploration should continue because it could help solve many problems on Earth, such as overpopulation and lack of resources. Exploration of the final frontier must continue in order for human life to continue.

There are many reasons that space exploration should continue. If Earth ever becomes too overpopulated or over polluted, then perhaps people can move to Mars. The world population in 1970 was approximately 4 billion people, and is currently nearly 6 billion people. The world population in 2015 is estimated to be 7 billion people. There is a possibility that there are useful resources on Mars. Scientists have found ice and some other clues, such as craters, volcanoes, and valleys, that have led them to believe that there was once life on Mars, and they believe that sometime in the future, should planet Earth need to be evacuated, humans will be able to live there (Jakosky 142). Many of the rocks on Mars appear to have been formed by gasses, breathable by humans and other creatures. A process called terraforming will allow astronauts to make use of the resources that are on the planet and create an atmosphere that will support life. One method for terraforming is that scientists would convert the gaseous rocks back into gasses, and use gas-eating organisms to eat the gas, which results in the formation of other gasses. If these organisms continue the cycle, then Mars would have a stable atmosphere for humans to live in (Getz 39).

Robert Zubrin, an engineer that is working for Lockheed Martin, suggests that NASA should send humans to Mars, instead of machines. Machines are too limited in what they can accomplish, and humans need to be there to make up for what machines are incapable of doing (Easton 170). He brings up the point that Lewis and Clark did not spend the time or the resources to even try to take enough food and supplies to last them the entire time that they were exploring new lands. Zubrin suggests astronauts “live off the land,” instead of spending more money than necessary in surviving on Mars (Easton 170).

Space exploration has indirectly helped bring about technological advancements, such as microchips and more efficient computers were developed to get rockets and people into space. The technology that helped create fuel cells for the Apollo missions is being used to help find a more efficient power source for cars. Space has allowed us to communicate with other people across the world and to find exact locations on the Earth through satellites. Satellites have also helped meteorologists to predict hazardous weather conditions and to help people prepare for storms (Webster). These are amazing advancements that mankind has made and there are many more advancements to come.

Health is a big concern for the people at NASA, and even though astronauts do get sick and suffer from problems while readjusting back to gravity on Earth, NASA can use this to their advantage in finding ways to minimize these problems (Salleh). The effects of weightlessness on astronauts have added to our knowledge of human anatomy and the process of aging (Webster). The presence of gravity gives our bones their structure. In space, the skeleton is free to loosen somewhat, which can cause bone problems if astronauts are subject to weightlessness for long periods of time. Astronauts experience weak immune systems, weak bones, and in some cases, can get cancer from the lack of protection against cosmic radiation. Scientists at NASA are attempting to create a device that can make measurements about bone and tissue (Salleh). Astronauts are under great amounts of stresses while they are in space, especially for long periods of time, and this can cause weakened immune system. This, in turn, allows cosmic rays to cause more damage when coming into contacting with human skin (Salleh).

Some people think that there are too many problems with space exploration. Some of these include the fact that people already have too many problems on Earth, as it is, and have no time or interest in trying in solving problems about space. The problems people have on Earth include, but are not limited to poverty, war, and simply trying to get through everyday life. One belief held by these people is that the government could solve these problems on Earth by saving the money that is spent on the Mars missions (Kurtz). They think that, even though scientists have found a fossilized microbe on Mars’ surface, it means nothing at all (Kurtz).

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