Is Space Exploration a Waste of Money? Pros and Cons

Many nations around the world are scaling up their efforts in space exploration. Companies like NASA and SpaceX have invested a lot of money in Space exploration. In 2021, countries around the world spent $92 billion, an 8 percent increase from the previous year on Space exploration. Although all these monies have been spent, there haven’t been significant achievements apart from improvement in technology.

In this article, we are going to answer the question; is space exploration a waste of money and also focus on pros and cons of space exploration.

Reasons Why Space Exploration is Not a Waste of Money

We are going to first focus on why space exploration is a waste of money, pros and cons. We will look at arguments from those that support and those against space exploration. 

1. Scientific Knowledge is Valuable Compared to the Cost

Knowledge is invaluable. Space exploration proponents argue that although Space exploration is very costly, the cost is worth it since the knowledge humans have gained from Space is not comparable to the cost. They argue that humanity can be saved by colonizing other planets like Mars in case of impending danger. Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO is on a mission to colonize Mars. Space exploration will help us understand how the earth came to be. 

2. There Have Been Many Discoveries

Space exploration has also led to numerous findings and discoveries about Space. For instance, man has come to know that some planets like Mars can support human life. Besides, non-stick pans were developed as a result of space exploration. Rocket science and landing on the moon led to the discovery of non-stick pans.

3. It is the Nature of Man to Explore

Since it is the nature of man to explore, space exploration is worth it. Without exploration, some continents would still be inhabited by indigenous people. Some countries like the US have grown due to interaction with people from across the world. Besides, exploration helps alleviate ignorance.

4. Improved Technology

Through Space exploration, technology has significantly improved. For instance, companies like SpaceX have managed to develop rockets that can go beyond the earth to planets like Mars. Other tech improvements include the creation of Space Airbus which is being used to help build and design Solar Orbiter. 

5. Multiple Benefits

To sum up all the benefits of space exploration, there have been multiple discoveries like satellites that provide information about clouds, and weather forecasting. Weather forecasting has saved lives by warning people about impending danger like storms and hurricanes.

Reasons Why Space Exploration is a Waste of Money

The following are arguments from those who feel space exploration is a waste of money.

1. There is No Direct Benefit from Space Exploration

Many opponents of space exploration argue that apart from gaining knowledge about Space, there is no direct benefit to humans. Most of the benefits of Space exploration are indirect like the discovery of Satellites used in weather forecasting. As such, the benefits of space exploration are not worth the cost.

2. Space Exploration is Very Risky

Space Exploration is very risky and has led to the loss of lives. Some of NASA’s spacecraft like Apollo 1 have exploded and astronauts have lost their lives. Spacecraft accidents during space missions and training are fatal and lead to huge losses. For instance, NASA lost control over unmanned spacecraft that had been sent to Mars. 

3. The Earth has Not Been Fully Explored

Instead of colonizing other planets like Mars, humans should first fully utilize the earth. Besides, the world is soon going to face the challenge of underpopulation due to low child birthrate. As such, there is no use to colonize other planets while we haven’t fully utilized earth.

4. Money Can Be Used to Help Impoverished Humans on Earth

Other people who feel that space exploration is a waste of money feel that the money can be used to help humans who are living in dire poverty. Many continents like Africa are still lagging behind and people cannot afford three meals in a day and basic needs like clothing. As such, instead of focusing on studies, we should first help humans live dignified life.

Summary: Space Exploration is a Waste of Money Pros and Cons

The arguments of those in support and against space exploration are all correct to a certain degree. However, space exploration is worth the cost, and governments should collaborate and support it. There have been huge milestones that have been achieved by NASA and private companies like SpaceX in space exploration and cannot be underestimated.

Read More

This article was updated on November 1, 2023

Vincent Nyoike

Vincent Nyoike is an experienced business consultant and financial analyst. He is a CPA and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Finance and Accounting at JKUAT. He holds a B.Sc. in Applied Statistics from the University of Eldoret