Today the subject is space and whether or not we should invest more into the exploration of space.Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger,which exploded 96 seconds after takeoff. On board besides the six astronauts was the first civilian astronaut,a school teacher.In four days it will be the 8th anniversary of the breakup of the space shuttle Columbia in the skies over Texas as it reentered earths atmosphere to land in Florida.And sometime this year the space shuttle program will be ended .The final flight will be the space shuttle Atlantis,after that flight if the United States will have to rely on the Soviet Union to put men in space.The reason being that we do not have a replacement vehicle for the shuttle.
The funding for the space program has been cut by the past two administrations,and severely cut by the the present one. Now there has been a lively debate about the mission of the space program. There are those that say we can no longer afford to explore space that it is a waste of money. There are others who say we do not need to put men in space,thatunmanned probes can do everything that is needed.And finally there are those who want the manned mission to continue,arguing that to do otherwise will be denying our very nature. Mankind they say must continue moving forward,to do otherwise well mean our death as a spieces. It is what drives men to cross oceans,climb mountains,to explore the depths of the ocean.They futher argue that if man is to ensure his survial he must colonize other world,.After all in the history of this planet there have been six extinction events, and as sure as the sun rises in the east it will happen again.So man must leave this world and spread first of all across this solar system, and maybe across the universe.
Now there is another school of thought that holds that we can explore the solar system sufficently using unmanned probes. They futher argue that the money we would spend on space exploration would be better spent here on earth. Unfortunately, that seems to be the school of thought that is gaining traction. The budget for NASA is being slashed drastically ,forcing the nation that put man on the moon in ten short years to rely on other to put their astronauts into space.However there is one thing they are overlooking, that is for every dollar spent on space exploration, we get $27 dollars in return, not to mention the advancement of technology.Computers,composite materials,medical advances,cell phones even the internet. After all the internet was create so scientists coulde share research with one another. Yes also with the pentagon,I know. In fact just about every modern device that we relie on to make our lives easier, can trace its roots to the space program.So the question before us, do we spend the money on space exploration and our future or do we spend it on more immediate concerns.An arguement can be made for either side. I know were my vote would go, but the question is what do you believe?Space the final frontier,or here an now?