5 Space research and its impact on social issues and problems
Does space research help or hinder social issues and problems? Table 1 shows the advantages and disadvantages.
|Scientific discoveries||Research and development costs|
|Positive life changes to humankind||Not reducing poverty in underdeveloped countries|
|Finding essential minerals in space||Space travelling costs|
|Finding other living species in space||Risk to astronauts|
|Challenge of adventure|
What does space research do for you back on Earth? Recall Week 3 where you looked at the quantum devices in your household and the importance of atomic clocks and internet security (encryption). Can you imagine a life without your smartphone, Smart TV, Blu-ray player, CDs and DVDs, GPS (SatNav) in your car, and secure banking transactions? These are all as a result of space research, And all for the cost of a few dollars per person on Earth! The cost of space exploration could therefore be considered as reasonable in comparison.
You will now look at whether science can be separated into ‘good science’ and ‘bad science’.