Space exploration is expensive, and many claim that money is better spent fixing problems at home. It can also lead to technology that yields weapons. Some have even suggested that space exploration risks drawing the attention of dangerous aliens.
Space exploration is not cheap, and developing first-of-a-kind spacecraft is too expensive for most nations to even consider. During the Apollo program, some questioned whether money spent on sending people to the moon would be better spent on education, fighting poverty and developing new medication. The space shuttle program had a total cost of $209 billion. Proponents of space travel counter that technology developed during these programs makes the costs worth spending.
Others argue that space exploration leads to the development of dangerous weapons. Ronald Reagan received a considerable amount of criticism for his "Star Wars" initiative of weaponizing satellites and other space technology. In recent years, however, no nations have expressed interest in these types of systems.
Steven Hawking famously claimed that humans should consider dangerous alien species before reaching out to extraterrestrial life. In his mind, it is reasonable to imagine an alien species that seeks out alien planets for resources. Space exploration would make the earth more visible and more likely to attract unwanted attention.Learn More
Theoretically, antimatter propulsion would drive a spacecraft using energy from matter and anti-matter annihilation. When anti-matter and matter collide, the resulting explosion annihilates both and discharges pure radiation. Because this annihilation would convert 100 percent of mass into energy, it only requires a fraction of the material necessary for a chemically powered rocket.Full Answer >
The purpose of a space suit is to keep astronauts alive in outer space, as the extreme temperatures and lack of an atmosphere mean instant death for a human. Astronauts also wear suits inside the spacecraft sometimes in case cabin pressure drops suddenly, and they wear them when they are performing work on the exterior of the space ship.Full Answer >
It can take as long as nine and a half years to get to Uranus, according to Cool Cosmos. The Voyager 2, launched on Aug. 20, 1977, arrived at Uranus on Jan. 24, 1986. Astronomy Cafe reports that it can take between 113 days and 7.3 years to reach Uranus.Full Answer >
As of 2014, the U.S. space program has lost two shuttle missions, with a loss of 14 astronauts' lives. The two lost shuttles were the Columbia, in 2003, and the Challenger in 1986. According to Space.com, the Columbia was lost when its heat shield came apart on re-entry.Full Answer >