Microgravity: living on the International Space Station
Microgravity: living on the International Space Station

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Microgravity: living on the International Space Station

Week 7 Space exploration and science


Do we need space exploration? And have your views on this changed since starting this course?

You are probably already aware that space exploration costs a lot of money. But how much does the ISS cost? And how much does research in space cost? There have to be justifications, with arguments for and against this cost, so that informed decisions can be made.

This week, you will consider the following questions about space exploration.

  • How do the costs compare with national budgets?
  • Can you trust a reliable estimate of how much it costs per person on Earth?
  • What does such research do for you personally?
  • Does space research help or hinder social issues and problems?

You will then consider whether science can be divided into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ science. Can the scientific method be compromised or manipulated for a hidden agenda?

By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • compare the true cost of space research with other expenditure
  • understand why it is important to continue to ask moral questions about scientific research
  • ask questions that can be answered to support or refute a hypothesis and identify ‘good’ and ‘bad’ science.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371