Leader in Space Exploration or Saving the Earth?

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During 1957, the United States of America is locked in the Cold War with Communist Russia and extended itself to a space race between the super powers. The Russian Regime claimed leadership of space that year by sending the first satellite into orbit around the Earth. Again, in April 1961, they claimed another achievement by sending the first man into space.

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The same year, President John F. Kennedy, gave America a vision to seize leadership in space by sending a manned mission to the moon. He laid the necessity for funding before a joint-session in the United States Congress for America to be the leader in space exploration, to steward our national resources in achieving a long-term goal, and guide future generations toward the right path. America’s space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, followed through from then president JFK’s priority directive, and successfully accomplished his vision with Apollo 11 in 1969.

Since JFK, American Presidents have echoed him by setting their priority directive for NASA in similar tone and action. Former President Barak Obama in 2016, set his priority directive to send a manned mission to Mars by 2033. Followed by our current President Donald Trump, he has directed NASA to more solely focus on its deep space exploration. This includes the existing Mars directive with additional costly manned and unmanned lunar missions. What is more, he planned deep cuts to climate centered Earth Science missions (Cite FY-2018?). The envisioned outcome is to resonate the same effect JFK’s directive had on America. Only Americans are not facing nuclear threats from Communist Russia. The greatest threat Americans face now is climate change. International scientific bodies and governments across the globe conclude human actions cause changes to Earth’s atmosphere. The change to Earth’s atmosphere negatively impacts the global economy and food supply (IPCC). For Americans, climate change affects the ability to continue unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for ourselves and future generations. Prioritizing the Earth Science Mission over Planetary space explorations missions would make America the leader against the threats of climate change. This requires going beyond the reasoning of the past.

NASA has been a constant center of the greatest intelligent resources, and Americans understand the labor exerted in its history. It has benefitted the United States economy by creating industries and technologies to support its missions. The current priority directive first requires unmanned, then manned lunar missions before setting out for Mars. The lunar objective is estimated to cost ten billion tax-payer dollars. Abundant reports, including NASA’s annual socio-economic reports, shows NASA returning largely on most investments. Lunar missions then have a potential for positive economic impact. Formally, the first manned Mars mission is projected to be accomplished around the middle of this century and estimated to cost tax payers hundreds of billions of dollars (Funk). There is substantial evidence brought by NASA and supporting industries this mission will have positive impacts to the economy. Although, NASA missions commonly run over budget using more tax-payer funds. The notion NASA benefits the the economy is widely understood. Despite that fact, added lunar missions are leaving many citizens wondering why travel there again? Apollo lunar missions ended in the 1970’s, and unmanned probes have answered most of the questions surrounding the moon. Even more Americans view NASA’s crucial priority as observing the Earth’s atmosphere, as opposed to a lunar mission as their least important. Furthermore, a manned Mars mission sits just above sending a man to the moon (Funk). These Americans want what is best for America and global stability. Instead of funding lunar and mars missions, which still would bring technological and economic benefit, NASA should be focused on American priorities.

Whether you support going back to the moon or further to Mars. Americans believe NASA’s crucial mission is to monitor Earth’s atmosphere (Funk). In 2016, the United States alongside all but a few countries in the world signed the Paris Climate Agreement, which acknowledged the threat changes in Earth’s atmosphere posed to all humanity. America committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to pre-industrial levels, also to report its emission to the United Nations. In June 2017, President Trump withdrew from the agreement for the betterment of businesses and workers. Persistently, President Donald Trump willfully neglects the sound consensus that climate change is real. Often, he is heard saying it is a, Hoax, when asked if he believes in it by reporters (Emery). His actions placed NASA’s Earth Science mission at odds with the president’s view, as they provide the most accurate and direct data to all international scientific bodies. When the planet is healthy, resources America has at its disposal are not in jeopardy from extreme weather events due to climate changes. Except, highlights in the National Climate Assessment, paint a grim picture for many Americans. The NCA is America’s pinnacle climate report. For instance, a map figure showing powerplants along the California’s coast number eighteen and located by cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco. The U.S. Department of Energy Report, stands each plant is at risk from sea-level rise and 10.3 gigawatts is potentially lost from sea-level rise (Jayant). From across the globe economic impact reports show that America stands to face the greatest impacts. Hopefully, the President of the United States will accept the threats our own scientific bodies are reporting, and instead be a strong proponent for action, not one ignoring a logical call to action.

Many Americans that advocate for NASA’s Earth Science missions also argue that it is essential for America to be a leader in space. Their convictions began with success the manned Apollo missions had on America as a whole. The Earth Science missions are an array of satellites and instruments to monitor the Earths vital signs and watch for extraterrestrial threats. Those threats are not little green men, but from solar flares and asteroids. Specific climate centered missions have the same potency as the manned mission to place America as the leader in space. Manned missions focus on solving transportation problems, as opposed to climate missions collecting data used for predictions in every level of life. Although collecting data on global scales is extraordinarily difficult.

Body Paragraph: Counterclaim & rebuttal: Presidents folly legislator’s rebuttal

Conclusion: The choice to prioritize manned missions has generated additional funding for NASA and is a pathway to claim being a leader in space. America’s legislators have made a clear statement that the correct role is to lead the governing bodies and scientific communities in combating climate change by providing crucial data to implement the correct solutions. As a young American who desires my unalienable rights to not be imposed on by the effects climate change, I feel that the negative impacts of leading the wrong space race can still provide improvements to the economy. Regardless of the valid claims, comprehensive research supports the necessity for President Donald Trump to prioritize climate centered Earth Science missions before lunar and Mars missions. This will avert catastrophic damages to the U.S. Economy, establish America’s leading role in combatting climate change, and guide future generations on a path continuing the American dream.

Works Cited

Emery, David. Did Donald Trump Claim Global Warming Is a Hoax? Snopes.com, Snopes Media Group, 31 May 2017, www.snopes.com/fact-check/donald-trump-global-warming-hoax/.

Funk, Cary. Majority of Americans Believe Space Exploration Remains Essential. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, 26 July 2018, www.pewinternet.org/2018/06/06/majority-of-americans-believe-it-is-essential-that-the-u-s-remain-a-global-leader-in-space/.

IPCC, 2018: Summary for Policymakers. In: Global warming of 1.5?°C. An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5?°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty [V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Zhai, H. O. Pertner, D. Roberts, J. Skea, P. R. Shukla, A. Pirani, W. Moufouma-Okia, C. Pean, R. Pidcock, S. Connors, J. B. R. Matthews, Y. Chen, X. Zhou, M. I. Gomis, E. Lonnoy, T. Maycock, M. Tignor, T. Waterfield (eds.)]. World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 32 pp.

Jayant, et al. ESTIMATING RISK TO CALIFORNIA ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE FROM PROJECTED CLIMATE CHANGE. Glenn T. Seaborg – Contributions to Advancing Science, Praeger Publishers,New York, 22 June 2011, www.osti.gov/biblio/1026811.

Jones, Harry. Humans to Mars Will Cost About ‘Half a Trillion Dollars’ and Life Support Roughly Two Billion Dollars. TTU DSpace Home, Chicago, III, 10 July 2016, ttu-ir.tdl.org/handle/2346/67531.

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