Earth Science - Other

Is Space Exploration too Dangerous – No

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"Is Space Exploration too Dangerous - No"
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One only has to look back at the other exploration efforts of man to understand that the benefits from this type exploration will more than outweigh any of the risks involved.  In fact it would appear that when great risks are required to be overcome we have always developed the technology to overcome those risks and the resultant technology has been of benefit to mankind.  Some of the technology that we enjoy today that comes directly from space exploration includes Velcro and microwave ovens.  But the technological devices are only the tip of the beneficial iceberg.  The forward thrust of man's knowledge, whether the actual effort is a success or failure is beyond measurement.  Though we don’t often hold up our failures to the light a good example of knowledge gained through failure would be the Biosphere experiment? 

The real danger in exploration often comes from not being able to correctly assess and mitigate the risk.  But rarely is even that danger considered great enough to abandon the exploration effort.  Consider when man first split the atom.  Did we know beyond doubt what the results would be?  Some in the scientific community believed that it would start a chain reaction that would destroy the entire planet.  Despite that risk we now enjoy low cost atomic energy that is not harmful to the environment.  The opposite of advancement is stagnation which benefits no one and would likely lead to another “dark age”.  So it is imperative that man continue to explore even in the face of danger.  The development of space exploration to this point has indeed come at the cost of some loss of life.  However, given the choice to lose one's live in an effort to advance mankind versus a meaningless automobile accident or some other similarly risky behavior most people would choose a death of significance and remembrance. 

Genetically, all of mankind can be linked to two original beings from somewhere in Africa.  From there mankind has spread to all of the land suitable for life on our planet.  In the not to distant future, barring a significant reduction of the number of humans on the planet, it will be necessary for us to find other places to live.  Whether that is underwater or on another planet remains to be seen, however many scientists are already focused on finding another planet that would support human life or terraforming another planet in our own solar system.   In either of the two latter cases, we must either learn how to travel faster across space, find solutions for radiation exposure or perhaps both.  

Looking at the entire history of mankind, one can easily see that the preponderance of evidence make the case that it is man's nature to explore.  Danger, whether great or small, has never been a serious inhibitor to our nature.  Logic would dictate, even demand, that if the species of man is to survive that we must explore both in and beyond our solar system.

More about this author: Mark Bogart

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