Many people are excited about space exploration. However, others feel it is a massive waste of money. So, does space exploration benefit mankind?
As I see it, I agree with the former view without any hesitation. One of the best things about space research is space satellites. They give us GPRS, satellite TV and weather forecast. GPS navigation systems help parents to know where their children are; drivers can escape from traffic jams; lost people can identify their location on the map. Secondly, exploring space we create important new technologies and useful spin-offs. Take for example new airplane fuel which is now safer and cleaner or new kinds of plastic and steel that are lightweight and remarkably strong. And last but not least, I think that every human being is infected with "the need to know" since throughout history humans have been risking their lives and their fortunes to explore the unknown. Today outer space may be the last unknown place to mankind to explore, our “Last Frontier”. Who knows, we might find new worlds to visit or live on in the future!
However, many people feel money invested in space programs is not well-spent. They mean we should better lay it out into solving problems here on the earth, such as poverty, starvation, ecology and what not. I see the point but cannot accept it. According to the NASA statistics, for every dollar we spend on the space program, we receive about $8 of economic benefit. Moreover, observing Earth from the orbit predicts natural disasters, and provides monitoring of the environment, which can solve a lot of global problems.
Critics also believe space travels are very dangerous since radiation and zero gravity could seriously damage astronauts’ health. There must be some truth in that but I cannot agree with the idea completely. To begin with, nowadays we can do the research without risking human lives launching unmanned orbit stations and probes operated by...