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Do we need manned space flights?
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Actually "being there" has an important psychological impact on society

Even if a drone mission can accomplish the same goals, the impact of having real astronauts on a space flight is important because it inspires and brings people together. Unmanned space flights don't have the same psychological impact.

The Argument

Manned space flights are important because they bring human beings of all different backgrounds and cultures together. Manned space flights are inspirational and lift people's spirits because of the idea that the average human being has the capability to leave Earth and travel to outer space. In 1968, when the astronauts of Apollo 8 became the first humans to leave low Earth orbit and reach the Moon, people around the world were inspired and fascinated. It encouraged excitement and anticipation for space travel.[1] Some of NASA's most famous missions are the ones that have been carried out by human beings simply because they lift people's spirits and are more memorable. President Bush once said, "The cause of exploration and discovery is not an option we choose; it is a desire written in the human heart."[1] Manned space exploration is important and necessary because it is at the very heart of human desire. For scientists, space exploration is a chance to explore new knowledge in fields such as theoretical physics, astronomy, and more. The average citizen doesn't care about the detailed facets of these fields; instead, manned space exploration serves as a way to connect the average citizen to something they do care about: Pursuit of the unknown. The true challenge in space exploration lies in gaining the capability of sending humans to space in the hopes of a future where humans will be able to live in space. As former President Eisenhower's National Security Council declared in 1958, "manned exploration will represent the true conquest of outer space."[2] By having manned space flights, human presence in space is assured, which boosts morale and confidence in the people on Earth.

Counter arguments

The benefits of human spaceflight is questionable. An assessment carried out by the National Academies of Science and Engineering stated that “no defensible calculation of tangible, quantifiable benefits — spinoff technologies, attraction of talent to scientific careers, scientific knowledge, and so on — is likely ever to demonstrate a positive return on the massive investment required by human spaceflight."[2] Manned space flights are unnecessary because machines can do all the work astronauts can at a lower cost. Such costly investments have only negligible "intangible benefits" such as inspiration and togetherness, and they have only continued because of humans' hubris and unwillingness to let space exploration be dominated by machines. Additionally, space exploration already connects people from all different backgrounds and cultures. At the 24th Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum, countries including Japan, Indian, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, France and Russia began discussing a collaborate plan to develop CubeSats. CubeSats are lightweight satellites designed to conduct scientific research and observations of Earth from space.[3] This is only the beginning of many collaborations between countries. By working together on cutting edge technology and space exploration, unmanned space exploration does just fine a job of bringing people together.



[P1] Manned space exploration's importance lies in connecting people from all backgrounds and cultures to a central goal. [P2] Manned space explorations are much more inspirational than their machine counterparts.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Space exploration is already universal as numerous countries often collaborate on space projects. There is no need for manned space exploration to further connect people from different backgrounds and cultures. [Rejecting P2] The disadvantages of manned space flights far outweigh the intangible benefits they can provide.


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 8 Jul 2020 at 16:10 UTC

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