Manned Mission To Mars Pros And Cons

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During the 1960 Democratic Nomination Convention, candidate John F. Kennedy referred to space as the “New Frontier,” and ever since astronomers have ardently pushed the boundaries of space exploration . Nowadays, many look to push the boundaries of this frontier by focusing on Earth’s nearest planet, Mars, and in particular astronomers have researched the possibility of a manned missions to Mars. This proposal seriously began with Wernher von Braun, the first person to conduct a detailed technical study of a Mars mission in 1952 . The quest for Mars soon heated up during the Space Race between the United States and Soviet Union, as both countries explored the possibility of such a program, although with very limited progress. The Mars initiative …show more content…
NASA estimates that a Mars mission would cost over $100 billion, although estimates vary greatly and reach as high as $500 billion . This NASA estimate would consume 38 percent of the United States annual budget, and would contribute to the United States’ unsustainable level of debt. Investing this money in other worthy causes like education, climate change, social welfare programs, and fighting the national debt would likely have more direct benefits to humanity than an expedition to Mars. Along with this financial infeasibility, NASA and other organizations currently do not have adequate technology. The technology to lift supplies into space is not yet fully developed, and furthermore, when Mars is on the far side of the sun, astronauts would face an extended period of time when astronauts without communication to Earth . Until the technology fully develops it is impractical to consider a mission to Mars, and furthermore the large sum of money needed for such an expedition could be allotted to more worthy …show more content…
For example, robotic missions typically cost around $2.5 billion, a mere fraction of the cost of a manned exploration . Along with the financial practicality, robots obviously eliminate the potential loss of human life, which is invaluable and a prodigious factor. Furthermore, while humans hold a few advantages to robots in terms of responding to situations and mobility, by-and-large robots can perform all the necessary functions for such an expedition. Robots are fully capable of performing primary functions like scooping up samples to analyze and determine whether life or valuable natural resources exist on Mars. As one astronomer quoted: “Most astronomers will tell you that virtually anything a human can do on another planet, a robot can do, only cheaper and without the risk of losing a life. ” Robots are a more efficient and equally productive alternative to a manned mission to Mars, and astronomers should focus on their exploration of Mars instead of

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