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Is money spent on space travel a waste when there are people starving?

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Is money spent on space travel a waste when there are so many people starving?

#Space travel
#Waste money
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I really don't know the answer to this one!

In a way, I cannot see the point of space travel, but even if they stopped it, the money would not go to starving people - it would go on something else.

But really, what is the difference if we go to the moon or not? I suppose you could say e.g. Australia would not have been discovered with this attitude, but I really have no definitive answer for this question, which was kindly supplied to the editor by Rice!

Thank you Rice!
by Finy
Depends on who you ask?
The rich american or the starving african child #excusethesterotypes

I find science and the world fascinating - so I think it is important to learn as much as we can about everything. Something out there could solve our problems - without research.. who would know ?

BritishStorm, I doubt anything out there will "solve our problems". The problems lie within us: greed, hubris, entitlement, self-deception.
by Vee
I asked this very question in 1969 !!!

I have a real love for astronuts, risking their lives...and going into space.

But you bring up a VERY good question...At my age now, I think really '' how many lives'' could have been saved, with the Billions that have been spent?

A good conscience will say People before Space. (I'm not meaning science) on Earth, just the money to get off the ground.

So yes....it should have always been people 1st on this Planet.

Should we continue? Me thinks not, we are in so much more trouble than ever before, spending more money up there, is waste.
Typical human nature, keep looking ahead as its too much to fix what is right in front of you.

Oh! and we will give it a great title....so it looks like we are doing it for human kind.
I don't know enough about space travel to make an informed answer on this one.
Belinda, I don't mean to sound like a bitch, but do you know much about the crisis in East Africa?
by Vee
I'm with you Vee~
by jonaja
I understand millions of people are starving to death. This is clearly a bad thing.

I also know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The US alone has over 308 million women of which stats say that 38.5 million will develop breast cancer (this is the US alone) Since NASA technology is being used to diagnose and find cures for breast cancer I can only see this as a good thing.
This technology is being used in many different fields and is potentially saving millions of lives. This is clearly a good thing.

To be fair, women (in the West) with breast cancer have access to food and clean water.
by Vee
but they're still dying
So you would rather money go to these women (http://wny-obgyn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Dollarphotoclub_70009903.jpg) than these children (https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6214/6297575351_68f9265f38.jpg)?
by Vee
Vee - I innocently replied that I didn't know enough about space travel to make an informed decision. I never said that I'd prefer money to go to either option - you are the one who has put words in my mouth and seemingly made me a killer of millions.
I merely pointed out that a benefit of space travel is that it could potentially save millions of lives through cancer research alone and probably many more through other activities and research.
You have made your point clear. You put 23 million on the brink of starvation ahead of everyone else in the world, but, I've pointed out that science can potentially save the lives of over 38 million cancer victims and maybe many more. It may even help the 23 million starving (however we both know that this figure is about one crisis and does not take into consideration the millions dying of starvation globally) - but I repeat my original answer - I DO NOT KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT SPACE TRAVEL TO MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION. I was not the only person who had this opinion.

Have you seen what a cancer victim goes through? Just because they have access to food and water doesn't make their deaths any less important. All lives are important and all lives matter. I will not put someone else's life over someone else's just because one has a full belly and one doesn't. Death doesn't discriminate. All lives matter.

Vee, Belinda's opinion is just as valid as yours, and she didn't even say anything definite.
I know. >.< Belinda, I'm sorry. While I would put the lives of starving people ahead of others, I understand where you're coming from. And you are entitled to your viewpoint. #justfrustrated
by Vee
I was 11 when the first Moon Landing was the huge news of the day.We all crammed tighter than sardines into the school library and watched the event on a very small Black and White TV set! Even way back then ,while in grade 6 I had questions about the money which had been spent on this mission,and others like it.I have so many other ideas of how such massive amounts of money Could and Should(though it never Would)be spent here on the planet where we all live .My ideas have only become stronger over the past 48 years since that day in the library! Of course, the money spent on space missions began many long years prior to the Apollo landing!
I have ALWAYS loved star gazing and imagining what or who may be out there, but I cannot see the point in spending so much money on such pursuits! I have always enjoys science and fantasy fiction as well. But I have no desire to do the things I read about or watch enamoured on the big screen! If a guarantee could be given that the funds would help the issue of starvation, I would be all for stopping the space journeys! Meanwhile I shall just continue enjoying my stargazing and what I am able to imagine is out there!!
Yes, it's a colossal waste of money. I cannot fathom the fact that millions upon millions of dollars are spent on space travel when there are something like 23 million people on the brink of starvation in East Africa alone. That's a lot of babies and children dying needlessly. The despair their parents must feel is beyond me. I suppose those of us who are privileged enough to have food in our bellies and enough food to feed our children can say that space travel is worthwhile. I am often ashamed to be human.
by Vee
Not Millions but Billions $
The Space Shuttle cost 209 Billion Dollars! you can't tell me that would not have made a huge hole in starvation in the world.
by jonaja
and do you really believe that if there was NO space travel, there would be no starvation in Africa??
by Finy
No, but that wasn't the question.
by Vee
It may be but its theirs to waste. Once a person earns money legitimately, it is for them to do as they please. Whether it be buying a dozen cars they'll never drive, space travel or donating it all to charity.
If we are taking about government money then that's a different situation.

Isn't it pretty much all government money?
It may be, but it is not as simplistic as that. Whilst food is important, science, research, development, and engineering are also important. They have contributed to our lives incredibly. I'm sure that Stephen Hawking would be happy to debate the relevance of his chosen field of study to anyone who thinks otherwise. Mankind would be nothing if it weren't able to progress, explore and, create with new ideas. We would be nothing if we just stagnate and never have new ideas. Whilst working on physics and engineering, other new invention that will help mankind have been developed. The concept of weightlessness in space has helped in the treatment of some illnesses. Many medicines have been developed whilst studying life of astronauts in outer space. So space travel is not useless or unnecessary. There will always be a percentage of the world's population who will be without food, or without enough food. Always. We can't go on giving to a cause that will never end. Never end. We can give a certain percentage but we need to look at the cause of the problem which is often disease, climate and the biggest culprit of overpopulation. No one can help these problems which were caused by many things which should not have been allowed to happen in the first place. Sometimes, wealthy governments do have the money to help their own people, but are greedy and won't. It is like feeding a bottomless pit. We need science to help us progress and solve or help many of the other issues facing this world.
Going into Space was not about science-medicine , it was simply a 'Space Race'...the Russians won.
by jonaja
Space exploration and research certainly didn't stop back in the '60s though. It's very much about science and medicine now.
https://www.nasa.gov/hrp/elements/issmp Link to Nasa's medical research on the ISS.

Wiki entry on other research on the ISS (meteorology, astronomy, life sciences etc.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_research_on_the_International_Space_Station
Yes but we can try to fix up our own mess?...and help starving children.
You can tell me 209 Billion Dollars would not make a difference, esp birth control in Africa? drinking wells, and crops-with wells to help them grow.
by jonaja
It angers me when governments who are very wealthy are happy to let their own people die in the name of their own greed. Remember the Marcos? Also a LOT of African governments. Alot of poverty and starvation is political and very very preventable.
by Lluxi
It could, but conversely it could have been spent on weapons, or other destructive things. We can't know for sure how many lives could be saved by things that are discovered up there. Advances in medical technology and things like more efficient ways to grow food happen every day.
I'm sort of in two minds about this. Feeding people is definitely important, but there are other things governments spend money on that might be a better choice to cut back than science and exploration. You never know where scientific discoveries might lead, and what other exciting technologies research like they do on the International Space Station might bring in the long term. That's space research though, not space travel. Did you mean the Mars mission? I also think it's worth while seeing if and how we can live on another planet. That could well be the future of humanity if we stuff this planet up badly enough.
I can't believe you said that last line?
by jonaja
Well, I did. Space colonisation could well be a reality in the next generation. Climate change is happening, and some of the things we've set in motion already are too late to stop. Yet we may still survive as a species on other planets, or through new technological means on this one. Some of the things that have been discovered in space exploration might help us survive in extreme conditions on earth, eg. in undersea colonies.
It's with this
by jonaja
Sorry my computer gliched! (as I was saying):

It's with this I have to say, we need to use those Billions to help this Earth.
No other Planet is as wonderful, and it needs the help...the looking afar, to me is just 'folly'.
by jonaja
It's not a matter of choosing one or the other. Space research often leads to things that are useful here on earth (as I mentioned before, things like ways to grow crops more sustainably, or potentially to breed plants to survive in more extreme environments). I'm not sure how much we can do as far as "fixing" a lot of it, since some of the damage is apparently irreversible. Folly? Do you believe colonisation of other planets to be impossible? I suppose we will know soon, since preparations for a Mars colony have been underway for a while.

Also, Jonaj I seem to recall you saying on another post that you believed Neil Armstrong encountered aliens. If you believe aliens exist, would you not want to see humans meet them and perhaps learn from them?
I missed something- "No other planet is as wonderful". Earth is certainly wonderful, but we have no idea what else is out there. There may be other planets which are absolutely wonderful. Not in this solar system perhaps, but so far we have explored such a tiny part of the universe. It's kind of like saying no other country can be as beautiful or interesting as yours when you have never travelled abroad.
I have such conflict with this issue of money literally going up in smoke. I have such a love of astronomy and such a fascination for the forays we make into space . . . . and then I think about what else that money could have been used for. As others have said, it is not our money to choose and even if it was, would we feed the masses, cure cancer, cure aids, save the whales, or fight about it? We have had the space race, it seems, like it or not. We have so much more knowledge of the universe thanks to Hubble. We are discovering more about our closest planets and we are supposedly working out how to protect the earth from being smooshed by an asteroid. I have no answer, I just look up in awe and then feel bad about world poverty and starvation.
by Rice
As much as starving people need help, we will never be able to eradicate this problem. Yes, we do need to explore what's out there. One day (when we've been been long gone from this earth) these missions will pay off. Even now there is excitement that it could be possible to survive on other planets.
I hope we never get to the point where we find another planet to live on. We, people, don't know how to appreciate the Earth; IMHO, there should be no reward or way out of the pickle we've created for ourselves. And, while I dread it, a day will come when we will be forced to face the consequences of our actions and inaction.
by Vee
Vee I think you really have given us all such insight, and I hope others will take heed of our world now.Human nature makes me cringe, at times...never addressing what is happening right now!
by jonaja
I think you might want to examine your privilege there. People are facing the consequences of what we have done to this planet already- people killed in extreme weather events like tsunamis and major droughts that are more common than ever before, things that disproportionately affect the poor and those in developing nations. They don't deserve to die like that because some rich people didn't think about the consequences of our actions. Nor do the many, many other species that go instinct due to us destroying their habitats. I believe that we as a species have done plenty of incredible things amongst the bad (art, music, science, acts of compassion) and I hope some of us get off this rock and go on to do amazing things for many more generations.
Jennifer, you would have been the last person in my opinion to say ''get off this rock''.!
I always thought our Planet is far more than just a rock...Why? do human beings think we should abandon-ship!
Our Earth needs us to help with the damage that we have done, not just take off into space, and say...''NeXt''. All we should need is here, not on Mars or Venus, people watch too much science fiction on t.v.
This is not Star-Wars, good grief!!!
by jonaja
That was just an expression. Don't make too much of it. I very much value our planet for its beauty and because it's where I and my loved ones and billions of humans and other animals live. The Earth itself doesn't need help, it's a planet. It's indifferent to what we do to it. It's humans, animals and plants who suffer when we damage our environment. But there's a matter of what we can, realistically, do about that at this point. All we need will not be here if we have poisoned the air too much, or done so much damage to the Ozone layer that we die from solar radiation, or altered the climate so much that islands and lowlands and coastal cities sink into the ocean etc.

I wasn't suggesting we give up, I continue to try and 'do my bit' for sustainability (try to reuse things, grow my own food when I can or eat local produce when I can, use public transport, have solar panels on my home...) but it may be that the actions of individuals like us are too little, too late at this point if the will isn't there for governments and large corporations to stop vandalising the environment we all share. Space colonisation might be a way to survive when we finally can't do anything more. Having a fire exit in a theatre doesn't mean you plan on burning the building down, it's just a sensible safety measure. And as I said before, it may be that space research will lead to discoveries that may help us here on Earth. It has certainly happened before.

Lol no, obviously this isn't Star Wars, nor would I want it to be. I wouldn't mind being able to use the Force, but battling an evil Galactic empire doesn't seem like fun, and there are no books in the Star Wars universe. Nor tea or chocolate. However, since you mention it, a lot of science fiction does have an actual basis in science, hence the name. Some of it is based on technology we already have, or things that are currently in development, and sometimes technology imagined by science fiction writers eventually comes to be invented. Jules Verne wrote about the moon landing in a fair bit of detail, correctly predicting that astronauts would be weightless in space. Mark Twain predicted the internet in 1904. He also wrote about electric fences before they existed. Philip K. Dick predicted social media. HG Wells predicted the atomic bomb. There are many more examples I could list but I'm sure you get the gist. Sometimes the people who read science fiction (yes read it, not just watch it on TV) are inspired by it to take their research in particular directions, and this can bear fruit. So I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of space colonisation because it appears in fiction. Quite the opposite in fact- scientists who grew up reading about and watching stories about life in space may make it possible.

Also since you mentioned Star Wars, an electronic artificial arm developed for people who have lost theirs that came out last year is called the LUKE arm in a joking nod to the franchise.


LOVE your last entry Jennifer....I have missed them quite a lot...Thanks :)
by jonaja
I don't know the answer to this question.

I don't think there is an easy answer. If there was a clear choice - astronauts and space discovery v's feeding the most vulnerable - then starving people would always win. I just don't think in reality that this is the choice governments are making when they put money into space centres.
by AJ
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