If I’m being honest, I’ve never really liked or been interested in space. I’ve always wondered why that was – considering everyone around me seems to be so intrigued by what’s ‘out there’. Recently though, I’ve discovered that I’m not interested in space because I simply don’t believe in it. I can understand if you think this sounds stupid, but let me explain. I’m not just being incredibly ignorant and refusing to acknowledge all of the years of evidence there is piled up against me here. I know we have proof that outer space is an actual thing and that there are other planets and stars apart form our Earth and Sun. I accept that we have a solar system, with eight other planets in it accept from Earth. What I don’t believe, however, is that there is anything more than just our solar system. I don’t believe that our solar system is just one of hundreds of millions and that there is ‘all that’ out there. To me, stars are just stars, not other suns with other planets orbiting them.
Anyway, before I end up making you all think I’m really dumb, let’s discuss why I think space exploration is a waste.
1. Money – it is no secret that space exploration costs a lot of money – the European Space Agency spent 4.3 billion euros on space exploration in 2014. To me, that just seems ridiculous. Why don’t we just spend our money on Earth where it is needed most at the moment to sort out our own problems of poverty etc. Space exploration seems like a bit of a lottery to me anyway – I mean, only a small proportion of space missions are actually successful and those that aren’t just resort in lots of wasted money which could be put to much better use on Earth. Apparently leaving the EU will give the UK ’16 billion pounds’ but that’s nothing compared to what we’d save if we stopped or at least reduced our funding of space exploration and research. No one really considers how much space actually costs us – everyone complains that the government is spending too much money on such and such but is space the real waste??
2. Why do we have to know the answers to everything? – A Little Daydreamer made an awesome YouTube video about this which you should totally watch because I really related to it and it inspired me to write this post (along with some hardcore physics revision earlier). Seriously though, why can’t we just let our imaginations run wild and all have our own interpretations of what space is? Why do we have to have a scientific explanation for everything? Why do we have to take away the ‘magic’ of everything by finding out how every single thing works and why it happens? Why can’t we just be content with the fact that we are alive on Earth and stop picking everything apart for ‘scientific research? I’m sorry but exploring space isn’t going to find a cure for terminal illnesses – there are much more important medical research programmes that we should be investing our money into.
3. Exploitation – we are already exploiting our Earth of it’s resources. Fossil fuels for one thing are near the end of their lifespan and on top of that we’ve destroyed animals habitats, caused the extinction of many species and just generally not taken care of the environment around us. Surely space is just another thing for us to ruin and exploit? There is already a lot of space debris just floating around in space from previous space missions and old satellites. It seems a shame to spoil such a natural thing as space with our man-made machinery and technology. Also, space debris poses a threat to our satellites that are actually in use now as even the tiniest bits of ‘space junk’ travel at extreme speeds and could cause satellites to blow up on impact. By the sounds of it we’ve succeeded in turning space into a deadly minefield of old space shuttle engines and broken satellites…
4. The ‘Goldilocks’ dilemma – even if all of out extensive space research did pay off an we were able to find another planet with the perfect conditions for human life, have you ever thought about what would happen down on Earth once we are equipped with this knowledge? The human race would be split over whether we should inhabit this planet as we’ve ruined ours anyway (what with global warming and climate change) or whether we should leave it be and pay the price for the damage we’ve done to Earth. Even if we did decide to inhabit this planet, who would go first? Most likely those who were able to pay the millions space travel would cost…and what about those who don’t want to go? Basically, it would just create one huge mess of problems that we really don’t need right now.
So, it’s clear that I believe that space exploration and research is a waste but I respect the fact that I will be in the minority saying this. You are all entitled to your own opinions and I’d love to know what you think about space and whether it is a waste or not. (Also if anyone else is like me and doesn’t believe in the universe/things outside of our solar system, please let me know so I don’t think I’m going mad)!! 🙂