For those who believe the costs of space exploration are greater than the benefits, George Delucas, an astronaut who flew on the 1992 Columbia mission, says, “There will always be people who would like to put an end to space travel, but I don’t think that is what our population wants or needs. Our county has always been about exploration and the pursuit of knowledge” (Delucas qtd. in Malick 3). This quote generalizes the attitude many Americans have toward the space program.
When the Apollo 11 crew successfully landed on the moon, the crew and millions of Americans were filled with pride and a sense of accomplishment. What most citizens do not realize is how much knowledge and new technology the United States gained through Apollo 11 and the other space missions. Some of these citizens do not believe a vital need for the space program exists. To them, the space program is just a waste of money and human lives. The recent Columbia disaster that resulted in the loss of seven American lives only supports their argument.
However, it is not possible way to measure the loss of life and money over the advances in knowledge, technology, and medicine. The only known fact is that the exploration of space has. Space exploration is a big part of American history and has been shrouded with controversy for years and years. Space exploration is defined as the investigation of physical conditions in space and on stars, planets, and their moons through the use of artificial satellites, space probes, and spacecraft with human crews (Whitehouse).
From the space race with Russia to unmanned lunar probes, space exploration inspires and enlightens every person that comes in contact with it. One example of an inspiring event in space exploration was the Apollo project. The Apollo missions were quite possibly the most popular and publicized events in American history. The Apollo missions were often disastrous, successful, triumphant, and also neutral and routine. Throughout all the publicity and controversy space exploration will remain in American and world history forever and will continue to live in the heart of Man.
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