Is Space Exploration a Waste of Time?

February 15, 2022

Briefs, News, World News

Governments, scientists, and corporations believe space research is our future, however, as they pump more money and resources into space exploration this gets questioned more and more. Many don’t see it helping current problems, such as technology, healthcare, and the economy. Will space exploration help us in the future or is it a distraction from important issues?

Space exploration officially started in 1955, during the heart of the cold war the US and USSR began a space race, the USSR responded to the US announcement that they intend to launch the first artificial satellite into space with a satellite of their own.  The Space Race goes on until 1975 when commanders Tom Stafford and Alexei Leonov exchanged the first international handshake. This act can be seen to symbolically end the Space Race. In the process, the space race had a great effect on space exploration which continues to increase worldwide every year.

Each year government spending on space programs increases, the US being the biggest contributor of all, they even have the world’s only independent space force, the US Space Force. The money they have put into these programs has more than doubled in the span of 6 years.

This graph shows each country’s spending on space programs over the last 4 years. Spending has gone up for all countries except for Russia and has gone up significantly for the US.

As space programs become more of a priority to governments, people have begun to question if their taxpayer money has gone to important programs or not. The big question is, is space exploration a waste of time? No, it isn’t.

The benefits of space exploration are unmatched and are helping us build a brighter future in many areas. Space exploration has created hundreds of thousands of scientific and technical jobs, positive impact on GDP (gross domestic product, the market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders), revenue gains, produced findings that helped people suffering from cardiovascular disorders, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, balance problems and had an impact on scientific and technological discoveries. Artificial limbs have been drastically improved using advanced space program shock-absorbing materials and robotics. Space technology-enabled accurate weather prediction and led to the creation of the pacemaker, a surgical device used to control the heartbeat. 

To sum up, everything that has been stated, space exploration is crucial to the continued medical, technological, and economic development of our future. With people being divided by opinion in many different areas this is one subject that shouldn’t be debated on.

“It’s going to encourage other countries and companies to raise their sites and say ‘we can do bigger and better’ which is great” -Elon Musk

By Ben Spradlin, writer for the ASK Catalyst,


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