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Arguments for Space Exploration

Introduction

According to the latest statistical data provided by the United Nations Organization, today’s global population has reached 7.6 billion people (para. 1). It is expected that by 2050 it will reach almost 10 billion (para. 2). Such estimates do not give much cause for optimism. The Earth’s resources of food, freshwater, and housing space are dwindling every minute, and the development of sustainable solutions seems to fall behind the enormous fertility of the human race. There could be two possible solutions to the problem that lies on the surface: either humanity chooses to optimize and manage its resources on the Earth, or it finds a new home and becomes interplanetary species. Both solutions could be implemented simultaneously, but the first option does not seem to have much attention, which is the reason it is crucial to answering why the issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

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Arguments for Space Exploration

The question of whether we should or should not travel beyond the Earth has a simple and elegant answer: yes, we should. And what is more – we must do it as it is the only way to survive. It could be argued that an extensive development path is a dead-end but the intensive one also has its limits. The suitable for living drylands are already limited. According to Pianka, 33% of the Earth’s surface is occupied by deserts and 24% – by mountains. That leaves humans only 57% or about two acres of land per person even if the space was divided equally among the people (para. 3). In the present conditions, the land cannot be divided equally. Moreover, we have to build various storage facilities, roads, stores, parking, offices, and other non-housing buildings. In light of this, the chances that overpopulation will impose a significant burden on our living conditions in the nearest future are high.

The fact that high-density housing and limited access to health facilities often result in horrible epidemics can also serve as an argument in favor of space colonization. For instance, the recent Ebola virus killed about ten thousand people. If the virus was spread in a tighter populated environment, the death toll could be multiple times higher. Another danger that overpopulation bears are violence. When a resource becomes scarce, it may provoke fights over it, especially if the resource is vital like food and fresh water.

There is also a problem concerning natural resources that are needed to produce components for electronic devices such as gold, copper, and, most importantly, rare-earth metals. These resources are non-renewable, and eventually, there will come a time to find another source of them. Such a problem could be circumvented by mining those materials on other planets, which further stresses the need to explore outer space. It could be argued that in the future electronic components could be produced from analog materials, but the properties of those materials, such as heat conductivity and electrical conductivity, leave much to be desired.

Conclusion

All things considered, there is an urgent need to solve the problems of overpopulation and the scarcity of natural resources as well as averting disasters that they bring. Considering the possibility of inhabiting other planets and mining them for resources seems like a logical solution. Therefore, humanity needs to concentrate on the problems of making interplanetary flights a reality and an everyday occurrence. Otherwise, we could cease to exist as species, dying from deadly viruses, the lack of food and fresh water, and battling for scraps of livable land.

Works Cited

Pianka, Eric. “Land.” Utexas, n.d. Web.

United Nations. “World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision.” Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 30). Arguments for Space Exploration. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/arguments-for-space-exploration/

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