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Space Exploration And Travel: Necessary Or Waste?

951 words - 4 pages

Sam Leung
3-12-12
Space Travel Synthesis Essay
In America, space travel is a controversial issue that many discuss. Although exciting, some people find it unnecessary and a waste of money. There are also many risks associated with space travel and many issues are more important than space travel that should be focused on. There are ethical, diplomatic, and economic issues that need to be considered before making decisions about space exploration.
Before making decisions on space travel, the most vital thing to consider would be ethical issues that need to be dealt with. In world history, there has always been a moral dilemma on stepping onto and taking over other people’s land and property. One problem would be what “a fair process for commercializing or claiming property in space” (Source I) would be. During English colonialism, there was “the moral permissibility of settling on lands already occupied by the indigenous people of America or Amerindians.” (Source I) When traveling to space, people are stepping into a foreign land which they do not own. Although some may say that space and planets, as far as humans know, have no inhabitants that own it, there are no problems with people taking it over. Just because space and other planets are not inhabited, does not mean that humans deserve it or own it. Humans already “do not have a very good track record in protecting [their] planet home. [People] have expanded human presence into pristine forests resulting in the disruption of migratory routes, soil erosion, and species extinction.” (Source E) Who is to say, that what humans are causing on planet Earth will not affect “the outer reaches of the solar system?” (Source E) Diseases are brought back and forth between countries all the time, one such virus was the SARS virus that almost became an epidemic. The same thing could occur between Earth and other planets called, “back contamination”, and “forward contamination.” The destruction of another planet could be possible, with “the infection of alien ecosystems by terrestrial organisms hitchhiking on a spacecraft.” (Source F)
The claim of land on other planets, instead of having environmental issues could also cause diplomatic issues with others nation on Earth. Since nobody had original ownership of the space and planets outside of earth, many nations would fight over the newly discovered land if things of interest are found, or if they are goldilocks planets. “India, Russia, China, Japan, and the European Space Agency, for starters, all want a manned mission to the moon and it won’t stop there.” (Source A) Many nations all want a piece of the pie for they “know that manned space exploration builds wealth for their nation… (Source A) One treaty that has been written to prevent such travesty is the “Outer Space Treaty”. It “limits the activities of governments in space. Most significantly, it prohibits them from claiming sovereignty over outer space including the moon and other celestial...

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