Space exploration requires vast sums of money. Is the amount of money spent on space research justifiable? Could the money be better spent?
There has always been considerable discussion about whether governments should spend tax payers’ money on space research. In my view it is impossible to justify the amount of money spent on such projects. Generally speaking, the main reason for this position is that there are several areas in which the money could be invested better.
The first point to make is that politicians have a responsibility to spend public money on projects that bring a benefit to the general public. This has not been the case with space research as most developments have been limited to helping astronauts in space or have been very specialised. For example, it is not of great value to the general public that we now have pens and biros that can write upside down. This does not merit the huge amount of money spent.
The second point to make is that there are many much more urgent projects on Earth that require investment. If governments spent less money on space research, then they would be able to help solve some of these problems such as population control, elimination of diseases like cholera, global warming and food shortages. It seems to me that all of these issues are more important because they affect the lives of millions of ordinary people. An illustration of this is that the US government could provide food for all the starving people in the world if they did not spend so much on NASA.
My conclusion is that politicians should not fund space research. The grounds for saying this are that it is very costly and provides few real benefits. Furthermore, there are several more urgent issues that need to be funded.