“Space exploration is a force of nature unto itself that no other force in society can rival.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Scientist

Advantages & Disadvantages of Space Exploration

advantages and disadvantages of space exploration

Space exploration is a rather controversial topic. While the majority of people think it is a good idea to explore space, there are also opponents of space travel who claim that space exploration may potentially wipe out humanity in the long run.

In this article, the pros and cons of space exploration are discussed in detail.

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Advantages of Space Exploration

  1. Space exploration can provide humanity with additional resources
  2. Space travel may help us to find extraterrestrial life
  3. We may find other planets to colonize
  4. Humans are curious creatures and need to explore
  5. Space exploration can offer almost endless opportunities
  6. Many countries already noticed the importance of space exploration
  7. Technological progress will facilitate space travel
  8. It has been the dream of many people to explore space
  9. Also private corporations can help with space exploration
  10. We as humans recognize the relativity of life
  11. We can learn humility
  12. Colonizing other plants may help to mitigate the overpopulation problem
  13. Scientists from all over the world can work together
  14. Can help us to install satellites
  15. Helpful to create maps and pictures
  16. We can collect important research data
  17. May help us to detect serious threats to our earth
  18. Space travel may become available also to private persons
  19. Space exploration may speed up technological progress
  20. Space travel industry provides many job opportunities
  21. May help humanity not to go extinct in the far future

Space exploration can provide humanity with additional resources

One important advantage of space exploration is that it gives humanity the opportunity to exploit additional resources in outer space. As many of us know, our fossil resources will become depleted sooner or later and when we run out of natural resources, chances are that our technological progress will suffer significantly.

Hence, if we want to continue to progress as a species and want to develop our technologies forward, the additional resources that can be extracted from asteroids are crucial in this regard.

Space travel may help us to find extraterrestrial life

Space exploration can also help us to find extraterrestrial life, at least if it really exists. The idea of extraterrestrial life is fascinating for many people around and in order to improve the chances to get contacted by those life forms, it is crucial that we leave as many traces as possible in space.

Always remember that space is huge and that it will be not easy to find each other. However, through space travel, we could at least increase the chances to get in touch with other extraterrestrial life forms a little bit.

We may find other planets to colonize

Another benefit of space travel is that we may also find planets that we could colonize in the near future. Yes, there are already plans to colonize Mars. However, colonizing Mars implies many important problems and scientists are not sure yet whether Mars is really a promising option when it comes to populating other planets.

Therefore, we may have to search for other planets that are better suitable for colonization and space exploration is crucial in this regard since only if we explore space, we will find these additional colonization opportunities.

Humans are curious creatures and need to explore

In general, we as humans are curious creatures and want to learn and explore. In fact, when we take a look back at human history and see where we are now, we realize the enormous technological progress we made over the past centuries.

This indicates how big the human drive to invent new things really is and we as humans can only be happy and satisfied if we are the best versions of ourselves.

Consequently, space exploration can give us the opportunity to really move forward as a species and to satisfy the need to always progress and extent our knowledge.

Space exploration can offer almost endless opportunities

Space travel also gives us the opportunity to always experience and explore new things. In fact, space is so big that we as humans will never be able to explore all of it. In fact, the size of our universe is enormous and gives us almost endless opportunities to always make new findings.

Indeed, scientists believe that we as humanity only scratched the surface of what is still to explore out there and we may know little to nothing up to this point in time about how the universe really works.

Many countries already noticed the importance of space exploration

Space exploration is not only important for humanity as a whole, it is also crucial on a country level. In fact, many countries around the world have already noticed how important space travel really is and try their best to conquer space and to claim territories up there.

Many people might not know it yet, but space provides us with pretty high amounts of resources and the country that conquers those resources will likely have quite a lot of power over the next decades and centuries.

Technological progress will facilitate space travel

While it was quite hard to explore space just a few decades ago, it has become much easier thanks to our technological progress. We now know much more about the dynamics of rockets and space stations and the risk related to space exploration is much smaller compared to the significant risk that had been present in the past.

Since our technological progress advances at rapid speed, chances are that space travel will become even easier and more cost-efficient in the future.

It has been the dream of many people to explore space

Many people who have seen science fiction movies are also quite keen on exploring space. In fact, many people think that it is our human duty to do our best we can in order to explore space and to learn about the dynamics of our whole universe. Hence, space travel can also make this collective dream of many people come true.

Also private corporations can help with space exploration

At our current state of the world, not only countries, but also private corporations engage in the space travel market. In fact, the United States currently rely on private space missions since they abandoned their own space programs in the past. However, if private space corporations can help us to achieve our space missions, this can be a great way to improve our overall chances for success of space missions in the future.

In fact, the space travel market is huge and many other companies may enter this market sooner or later. In turn, chances are that the resulting competition will benefit humanity as a whole since space companies will be more eager to invent new technologies and to make processes much more efficient.

We as humans recognize the relativity of life

Another upside of space exploration is that we as humans can realize our place in the universe. In fact, we often think that we are the center of everything and that we are the superior species in our universe.

However, through space travel, we soon realize how big the universe really is and that we are indeed just a tiny grain of sand on a big beach. In turn, many of us will realize how relative life is and that we are not superior in any kind of way.

We can learn humility

In turn, we will also be able to learn a great level of humanity. In fact, it is astonishing how small our earth really is compared to other planets, stars, galaxies or even the whole universe.

By realizing this fact, many people who currently have a rather arrogant attitude will be more likely to change their minds since they will realize that we are actually apes that don’t really know what’s happening around us.

Colonizing other plants may help to mitigate the overpopulation problem

Space travel can also help us to reduce our overpopulation problem. In fact, until the end of the 21st century, the number of people on our planet will likely exceed the 10 billion mark. However, it is yet rather unclear how we are able to feed all those people. Hence, it is crucial to look out for proper alternatives.

If our planet will no longer be suitable to provide for us, we may have to colonize other planets. Sure, this will be a long-term goal and will not be feasible in the near future. Yet, it can make sense that we look out for suitable alternatives to our earth in order to feed as many people as possible in the long run.

Scientists from all over the world can work together

Space exploration also provides a unique opportunity for scientists all over the world to work together for a bigger goal. In fact, in order to make space travel missions successful, we need the smartest people from all over the world.

Those people have to exchange their ideas to invent new technologies and to make space travel more efficient and also safer.

Can help us to install satellites

Space exploration is also quite helpful for rather basic things. For instance, space exploration can help us to install satellites in space so that we can access different TV channels. Hence, space exploration can also be helpful to make our daily lives easier and more fun.

Helpful to create maps and pictures

Space exploration can also be helpful to provide us with nice pictures of our planet and of the universe. Moreover, it can also be quite helpful to create 3-D maps that can be accessed via the internet. By creating those maps, we get a better impression of the structure of our earth and of its location in our universe.

We can collect important research data

Space exploration is also crucial to provide important research data to leading scientists from all over the world. In fact, the more data we get, the better we will be able to understand how the universe works and what is still missing for a comprehensive understanding of how the cosmos actually works.

May help us to detect serious threats to our earth

Another important advantage of space travel is that it allows us to detect serious threats that could potentially wipe out humanity. For instance, through space exploration, we may be able to detect a meteorite that is on collision course with our earth. In turn, we could take measures to prevent this collision.

However, this will only be possible if we detect the meteorite in time and therefore, space exploration can be crucial to prevent catastrophic disasters in the future.

Space travel may become available also to private persons

Space travel is not only accessible for astronauts on official missions, it will also become possible for private persons in the near future. In fact, there are companies out there who will offer space travel for private people.

This also implies that not only astronauts, but also private people will be able to see the true beauty of space, at least if they have the money to do so.

Space exploration may speed up technological progress

Space travel is not easy and needs plenty of technology in order to be successful. In fact, over the past decades, numerous important inventions have been made.

Those inventions have not only been beneficial for space exploration, these technologies had also been important to facilitating our daily lives.

Thus, inventions from space travel can also indirectly benefit the general public.

Space travel industry provides many job opportunities

The space travel industry has become increasingly important over the past decades. In fact, in our current state of the world, numerous jobs depend on this industry and chances are that many additional jobs will be created in the field of space exploration in the near future.

May help humanity not to go extinct in the far future

Space exploration also has the big goal to protect the human species from going extinct in the future. In fact, our Earth will likely not provide us with a suitable living space forever and due to global warming and other environmental problems, we may have to leave our Earth behind sooner or later.

In turn, this also implies that we have to explore space and to find new planets that we may be able to colonize in order to secure the survival of the human species.

Disadvantages of Space Travel

  1. Space travel implies significant air pollution
  2. Particle pollution can be a problem
  3. Space exploration implies high levels of waste
  4. Space exploration is quite costly
  5. Many missions may not yield any results
  6. Space travel can be dangerous
  7. Space exploration is time-consuming
  8. Mental problems for astronauts
  9. Problems with radiation
  10. Space exploration may lead to a decisive advantage for few countries
  11. May not be in line with religious values
  12. Extraterrestrial life forms may wipe out humanity

Space travel implies significant air pollution

Apart from the many important advantages of space exploration, there are still some issues with space travel. For instance, one important problem with space exploration is that it implies significant air pollution. In fact, in order to launch a rocket, it takes large amounts of fossil fuels.

Moreover, also in the production process of rockets, significant amounts of fossil fuels have to be used. In turn, space travel implies significant air pollution and especially people who live close to those facilities may suffer quite a lot from fumes in the air.

Particle pollution can be a problem

Particle pollution is closely related to the air pollution problem. In fact, if large amounts of fossil fuels are burned, also large amounts of fine particles are emitted into our atmosphere.

In turn, people who live in those areas with significant particle pollution may suffer from several pulmonary issues like asthma or lung cancer.

Space exploration implies high levels of waste

Another downside of space exploration is that it also implies significant levels of waste. In fact, in the testing process of new rockets, plenty of waste is produced. Moreover, also on space missions, large amounts of waste are produced.

In fact, plenty of waste is circling around the earth in outer space and we have to be careful not to make space a gigantic garbage dump.

Space exploration is quite costly

Space missions also imply significant costs. In fact, it is quite expensive to explore space and depending on the lengths and the goal of the respective mission, many millions or even billions of dollars have to be used.

Opponents of space missions often claim that this money could be far better used for projects that would facilitate the energy transition process from fossil to renewable energy sources on our earth instead of wasting it for space travel.

Many missions may not yield any results

Another disadvantage of space travel is that those space missions also often do not deliver any results. In fact, all attempts to find extraterrestrial life have failed up to this point in time and there is little reason to believe that this might change in the near future.

Space travel can be dangerous

While space travel has become much safer over the past decades, it is still a rather risky project and the chances for accidents are still present. Hence, astronauts still have to enter a rocket with the knowledge that there will be the risk that they will never come back home from their missions.

Space exploration is time-consuming

Another issue with space exploration is that those missions are often quite time-consuming. Especially for longer missions, it can take several months or even years to complete those missions and therefore, space travel con be considered as a long-term project that will not deliver too many immediate results.

Mental problems for astronauts

Due to the overall high level of insecurity of space missions, astronauts also often suffer from mental problems. This is not only due to the fact that there will be a significant risk for those astronauts to never come back home, it is also due to the fact that astronauts often feel quite lonely in space.

Yes, there are other astronauts on space stations. Yet, this is not the same as being together with your family.

Problems with radiation

There is also still plenty of controversy when it comes to the true long-term health effects of space travel for astronauts. While some scientists claim that space travel does not lead to too many severe long-term health issues, other scientists claim that radiation is a serious problem in space travel and that the chances to suffer from cancer will be much higher for astronauts compared to the average person in our society.

Hence, there might also be a significant health risk for astronauts from those space missions.

Space exploration may lead to a decisive advantage for few countries

While space exploration can be extremely helpful for a few big countries, other countries may be greatly harmed by it. For instance, if a few big countries control space and extract resources, other countries will likely lose their competitiveness in the global market. In turn, this can also lead to higher wealth and income inequality across the planet.

May not be in line with religious values

Space missions may also conflict with religious values. In fact, many people who believe in god do not advocate space exploration at all since they feel that humans should stay on earth and should not explore outer space. Consequently, space missions may also be problematic from a religious point of view.

Extraterrestrial life forms may wipe out humanity

There is also no guarantee that extraterrestrial life forms will be peaceful. In fact, those life forms may have the potential power to wipe out humanity and therefore, exploring space may also not be a good idea in this regard.

Top 10 Space Exploration Pros & Cons – Summary List

Space Exploration ProsSpace Exploration Cons
Space exploration can provide us with resourcesSpace exploration is expensive
Space travel can teach us about spaceSpace exploration is time-consuming
Humans are curious creaturesSpace travel can be dangerous
Space travel provides endless opportunitiesImplies significant air pollution
Humans can learn humility from space travelSpace travel implies waste production
May speed up technological progressRadiation may be a problem
Space travel provides job opportunitiesMental pressure on astronauts can be high
We may find other planets to colonizeExtraterrestrial life can become a danger
Can foster global cooperationMay hurt religious values
May preserve humanity from extinctionMany space missions do not deliver results

Should We Explore Space?

We can conclude from the previous discussion that space travel has many important advantages and disadvantages. In my opinion, it can make sense to explore space in order to secure the survival of the human species.

However, we should also make sure that we reduce the pollution levels related to space missions as best as possible in order to protect our environment in the long run.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_exploration

https://www.britannica.com/science/space-exploration

https://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/space-travel/index.html

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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