The Main Reasons for Space Exploration Essay

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Space travel began in the 1940s when Germany launched a satellite into space (Morris 46). Afterwards, the soviet and the U.S. started space exploration. Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard were the first and second people to travel to space respectively (Gifford 35). Pros of going to space include advancement of scientific knowledge, economic benefit, and technological advancement. Cons of going to space include high costs, high risk, and possible cause of conflicts between nations (Gifford 35).

History and reasons of going into space

Space exploration began in Germany in the year 1942. During the World War II, German scientists launched the V-2 rocket into space (Gifford 36). The main scientific space exploration was conducted by the Unites states in 1946 with the help of German scientists (Morris 48). At the time, exploration did not involve humans but cosmic radiation.

In 1957, the Soviet successfully launched the first satellite into space that marked the beginning of space exploration. Yuri Gagarin was the first person to go into space on board a human spaceflight known as Vostoc 1. After the success of the Soviet’s satellite, the U.S. invested more into space exploration. The first human flight to space by the U.S. occurred in 1961. The first American to travel into space was Alan Shepard who did not orbit but only enter space. Shepard travelled to space through the Project Mercury flight program. The feat was achieved through the Mercury-Redstone 3 spaceflight (Morris 48). The first flight excluded orbiting.

Therefore, another astronaut went into space in 1962 (Gifford 38). John Glenn executed the first orbital flight around the earth in 1962. The main reason for going to space was to explore the possibilities of existence of life in other destinations apart from earth. The objective of Shepard’s flight was to orbit the earth and collect data that would be used for further exploration (Scott 60). The main reasons for space exploration include scientific discovery and enhancement of national security. In contemporary America, another reason for space exploration is for economic benefit.

Pros of going into space

Three pros of space travel include advancement of scientific knowledge, economic benefit, and technological advancement (Morris 51). Going to space is an opportunity for scientists to discover new resources that could improve the quality of life on earth. In addition, it aids in the understanding of the universe and prediction of weather patterns (Morris 53).

Three main areas of scientific study include evolution of life, astronomy, and advancement of technology for space exploration. Studies regarding the evolution of the universe can furnish information about the origin of the earth (Scott 66). Satellites are used to study weather patterns and predict natural catastrophes that have caused massive destruction in the past (Morris 52).

Space exploration has many economic benefits that include creation of employment and income generation. In the U.S., the space exploration programs employ more than 500,000 people (Scott 28). Research has shown that research exploration generates income that is vital in the growth of the economy. For instance, space tourism, satellite radios, and navigation systems are sources of income. The country will benefit economically when space tourism commences. Finally, going to space is important because it promotes technological advancement and innovation.

Travel to space promotes technological advancement and innovation because of the need to develop spaceships and advanced technologies (Scott 28). Technological advancements that have resulted from space exploration studies are used in several areas. For instance, they are used to manufacture water filtration systems and wireless electric switches. In order to travel to space, there is need for development of advanced technologies. On the other hand, the need for advanced means of communication has led to development of communication technologies that have increased global communication.

Cons of going into space

Three cons of space travel include high costs, high risk, and possible source of conflicts among nations. The cost of exploration, technology advancement, innovation, and scientific research is very high (Scott 68). The money used to fund the aforementioned undertakings could be used to develop other sectors of the economy. Opponents of space exploration argue that the money used in such programs could be used to improve the lives of Americans. The funds could be channeled towards improvement of health care and education.

In addition, space exploration programs are funded using taxpayers’ money. Therefore, it exerts financial pressure on taxpayers. Travelling to space is very risky because of uncertainties and mechanical errors. For instance, the Space Shuttle Challenger killed seven crewmembers after some of its components failed to work (Scott 76 Finally, travelling to space is a potential source of conflicts between nations. Possible causes of such conflicts include ownership of space resources and the illegal use of advanced technologies to spy on other countries.


Space exploration began in the 1942 launch of a rocket into space. In 1957, the Soviet successfully launched the first satellite into space. Yuri Gagarin was the first person to go into space on board a human spaceflight known as Vostoc 1. After the success of the soviet’s satellite, the U.S. invested more into space exploration. America sent an astronaut to space in order to explore the universe and advance scientific knowledge.

The pros of space travel include advancement of scientific knowledge, economic benefit, and technological advancement. On the other hand, the cons of space travel include high costs, high risk, and conflicts between nations. Money used in research and technological advancement could be used to improve certain sectors of the economy such as health care and education.

Works Cited

Gifford, Clive. Space Exploration: Technology all Around Us. Philadelphia: Black Rabbit Book, 2005. Print.

Morris, Neil. What Does Space Do for Us? New York: Raintree Publishers, 2011. Print. Scott, Carole. Space Exploration. London: Dorling Kindersley, 2010. Print.

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