Human Exploration : The Cost Of Human Space Exploration

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In the realm of space, there are two means of exploration. Human space exploration, and robotic space exploration. Although Human exploration may seem like the most grandiose and influential of the two, is it really the best for scientific discovery? When you compare the price, accomplishments, and capabilities of the two, the result is actually quite the contrary.
The single biggest obstacle of human space exploration is the incredible amount of money required to execute them. For the price of sending one man to space, hundreds of unmanned probes could be dispatched (James Randi Educational Foundation. 2011). People inherently consume a lot of space, and weigh a great deal, causing the cost of a mission to rise. In addition to this, humans require food and water to survive. This is why projects such as the International Space Station are such an expense. Humans must routinely be brought back and forth from the station, costing hundreds of millions per flight. It cost the United States nearly $1.2b to send a resupply mission to the International Space Station on the Space Shuttle (Hsu, Jeremy. 2011). In contrast, it costs around $13.5m to send a satellite bearing craft into space, and each craft can carry multiple satellites (Gary Brown & William Harris. 2000). Moreover, these satellites do not require any resupply missions, and do not require return flights. The most detrimental factor in the cost of manned missions is what is gained through this type of expensive
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