Space Travel

Topics: International Space Station, Space exploration, Spaceflight Pages: 6 (1904 words) Published: March 15, 2006
Alex Gagosian

Composition II

Instructor Bieniek


Funding by the government allows selected human beings to experience a world beyond the atmosphere of earth. Some of mans greatest accomplishments have occurred in space, such as the moon landing. Space travel not only provides the delightful experience, but it also helps us to better our technology as the year's progress. Although these are positive aspects of space travel, there are negative aspects that strongly linger, making space travel not so promising.

As you may know, funding for space travel has cost the people in our society a great deal of money. The government has managed to put the U.S. in debt causing an economic domino effect on other sectors of the economy, such as taxes. Not only is space travel costly from the expenses, lives have been taken as well. Tests have gone wrong resulting in the death of astronauts. Before an astronaut can walk on the moon, they have to go through various tests, which help them prepare for their conquest. During these tests, they are still in great danger for three men died in a fire while conducting what they call a preflight test. Many other astronauts have died through the years before actually stepping foot on the moon, and have also died in space as well during an expedition. These negative aspects of space travel are the main reasons why space travel is not worth its many costs.

Space Travel: Should NASA be held responsible for the Apollo disasters, such as the preflight mission that Jim Loy, a scientist and astronomer, alludes to? On January 27, 1967, on launch pad 34, Edward White, Virgil (Gus) Grissom, and Roger Chaffee died in a fire, during a preflight test. Their mission had been designated Apollo 204. After the accident, it was named Apollo 1…Numerous problems developed with oxygen and communications, and the test dragged on and on. Various communications went awry. Then five and a half hours after they had entered the command module, Chafee said, "Fire, I smell fire." Two seconds later, White shouted, "Fire in the cockpit." A few seconds later they were dead from smoke inhalation. (p. 1). The Apollo 1 event is one of the many tragic events that have come about because of preflight testing for astronauts. Is space travel worth the extravagant expenses in past and present times? The costs of death, debt, and society out weigh the positive effects of Space Travel. Past events and the impact of space travel have branded space travel not being worth its many expenses.

The actual costs of space travel in recent years have soared well beyond the billions, which in return have added to the national debt (over three trillion dollars today). Just last year another problem occurred involving a material break up of a panel on the side of a spacecraft, causing a life-staking event in returning through the atmosphere. Are the tests that NASA run actually ready for real life exploration in space or are they just proposals they hope to achieve; are the tests worth the millions and even billions of dollars being spent by the public and Federal Government. Space tourism has also become an issue especially when accounting for the costs that are involved with the trips. Mike Kelley from the North Jersey Media Group reveals that a wealthy man "Olsen, who grew up in Ridgefield Park and earned a fortune in science research, paid $20 million for a nine-day trip on a Russian rocket ship to the International Space Station. He claims his priority is to conduct experiments. Critics have another name for his star trek: space tourism." (p.1). People such as Greg Olsen are spending millions of dollars on space travel just to catch a glimpse of the earth from outer space. This certainly cannot be a logical way to use money. If you had twenty million dollars would you spend it on yourself or others in need?

All the money being spent on space travel does not come "directly" out of U.S....

References: Kelly, M. (2005). Priorities are lost in space. Retrieved November 9, 2005, from
San Gabriel Valley Tribune (2005). Vital exploration. Retrieved November 9, 2005, from
Dignan, L. (2005). Should NASA Open Low-Orbit Space to Business? Retrieved
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Moseley, B. D. (2005). Space waste. Retrieved November 5, 2005, from
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