For centuries, people have looked up at the night sky, eyed the stars and wondered what lies beyond our planet. About 400 years ago, Galileo Galilei looked through his telescope and discovered – with his feet planted firmly on the Earth – the moons of Jupiter.
And just 49 years ago, the first humans were launched into space and stepped foot on the moon, a mission that sparked not only modern science and technology but a motivation to trek farther into the infinite beyond.
Dave Bloomberg, 69, a member of Crossroads Astronomy Club, said he remembers watching television programs on Disney about space.
“They were making plans to make a trip to the moon, and there was a lot of interest in it then, and there’s a lot of interest now,” he said.
SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transportation service, already has plans to send at least one person on a weeklong trip to circumnavigate the moon in 2023. President Donald Trump has also called for the creation of an additional and separate branch of the military specifically for space. For years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has planned to send astronauts to Mars.
However, critics say investing more in exploring the space frontier is wasteful and can wait. Even Pentagon chief Jim Mattis initially pushed back on the idea of creating an additional military space force. Creating that branch of military is estimated to cost the country billions.
With a push to do more to discover and defend the final frontier, we ask: Should the U.S. government invest more in space exploration?