These days, information is easily accessible through the tap of a finger, but we still do not know everything. There has been debate on whether or not NASA should be funded to make it able to further explore space, some saying that we have too many problems here on Earth to worry about. NASA must be fully funded and allowed to continue exploring space because it is our duty to obtain knowledge and it directly benefits life on Earth.
NASA put the first man on the moon in 1969, and from that, the space program was rallied behind. That led to an incredible amount of information, inventions, and newborn curiosity. The world owes the space program a thanks for the little things, like our cell phone cameras (Specter, Dina). Recently though, the public has turned a cold shoulder to NASA, believing that spending $2.5 billion on a Mars rover could go to better causes, along with other pricey expenditures (Specter).
Those people have possibly lost sight of mankind's ever-advancing tendencies. NASA exists to explore space, discover new planets, and eventually find a new place for humanity. Humanity is an entity that most don't want to see an end to. This generation is likely to witness the continuation of humanity, but what about 10 or 100 generations from now? Will we still be contained to this small, rocky planet that we call Earth? According to Stephen Hawking, it isn't our choice; "I don't think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet." He said this in April of 2015 in a speech urging people to become interested in space and its exploration (ABC News). If you want to continue humanities survival, you must support NASA.
At one point in history, Ming China reached its' peak around the early 15th century. After that, they stopped exploring the world and began focusing on domestic problems, sealing their fate as a descending power in the world (Dunbar, Brian). One way for the U.S to maintain its' power in the world is to continue exploring our last frontier; space. If we do that, we will continue to bring new information to the world, along with technologies.
Without the space program, our society would look drastically different. Highways would be more dangerous without small grooves that were cut in them to prevent hydroplaning. This was originally developed for NASA to land spacecraft safely on wet runways (NASA). Building and airplane fires would burn more rapidly if it weren't for the world's first intumescent epoxy material. For airplane fires, it is used as a retardant. When applied to heat, it expands, thus suffocating a fire and allowing more time for survivors to escape. For buildings, it can be coated on crucial supports. When a fire does break out, the supports will resist the flame for a much longer amount of time, delaying building failure and collapse (NASA). This also allows for more time for survivors to escape.
Ron Garan is a fighter pilot, test pilot, astronaut, aquanaut, and a social entrepreneur. Garan also uses the technological advances stated previously as reasons to continue the exploration of space. He calls it a two-way technology transfer. NASA researches new technology to use in space, and scientists and engineers researches NASA's new space technology for use on Earth. A solar-powered refrigerator is an example of this. NASA found a way to convert solar power into thermal energy, which can be used to refrigerate anything. Then, it was converted for use on Earth. It is a relatively affordable fridge with no batteries and no plug-in. It can be used anywhere and that means that even in the most impoverished areas of the Earth, we can bring a refrigerator. These can be used for free clinics and medical facilities where medicine needs to remain at a certain temperature, allowing many more vaccines to reach many more people for a fraction of the cost (Garan, Ron).
Yes, we have a numerous amount of problems here on our planet. Equality, starvation, poverty, the list is endless. But the two-way technology transfer idea mentioned earlier solves some of these problems. They've found more efficient ways to purify water and to grow crops (Garan). Some might ask what more we can do in space, but the answer is never ending. NASA releases a list every year of what technologies they have helped or produced, many of them directly impact life on Earth (Garan).
Our knowledge has been greatly expanded because of our endeavors in space, and life on Earth has been improved as a direct result. Regarding the debate on whether or not to cut funding from NASA, the answer is clear. Do not cut funding for NASA. We must continue to explore and learn in order to improve life here on Earth and to continue our existence as a species.
Dunbar, Brian. "The Importance of Exploration." NASA. NASA, 29 Sept. 2004. Web. 4 Nov. 2015.
Garan, Ron. "Why Spend Money on Space Exploration When We Have So Many Problems Here on Earth?" Unreasonable.is. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2015. Klein,
*Ellen. "Space Exploration: Humanity's Single Most Important Moral Imperative." Space Exploration: Humanity's Single Most Important Moral Imperative. 2007. Web. 4 Nov. 2015.
"Humanity Won't Survive Unless It Escapes Earth: Hawking." ABC News. ABC, 27 Apr. 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
*Macilwain, Colin. "Thrill of Space Exploration Is a Universal Constant." Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, 20 Jan. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2015.
"NASA Technologies Benefit Our Lives." NASA Technologies Benefit Our Lives. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.
Spector, Dina. "20 Everyday Things We Have Because Of NASA." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 7 Aug. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2015.