Mars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     How much did it cost to assemble Spirit and Opportunity? I’ll tell you: $800 million. That’s a big hunk of money that could resolve problems like health care, schools, the effects of natural disasters, and tax increases. Not only is there one, but two remote-control cars on an area where humans don’t even exist. Why does $800 million need to be there if humans aren’t? Scientists want to know if life ever existed on Mars. It’s like attempting to dig up a bug that might have been buried years ago. If scientists want to find out simply because of curiosity, then they should use their own money. Even if there were, or are, life forms there, do you think they would help us or repay the millions spent to find them?

Now, this mission would be somewhat understandable if a Mars Rover lasted a lifetime or cruised all over the planet, but the Mars Rovers were expected to “live” only three months and travel just 30 feet a week! That’s approximately 450 feet in three months!

Think of the thousands who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina or the 2004 tsunami. Do you know a child who yearns to receive an education, but can’t afford it? Do you know friends or family with an illness but the cost of health care is too great? Eight hundred million dollars could help these people immensely. This money could repair damage done by recent disasters, supply hundreds of college scholarships, and help pay medical bills for the dangerously ill.

Haven’t we all heard the groans about our failing economy? America wants to be a leader in astronomy and space exploration, but where will that get us? Wouldn’t it be better to be known for helping malnourished people in Third World countries, and the hungry in our own? Wouldn’t it be better to be known for helping those with AIDS in Africa rather than sending hundreds of millions of dollars to a place where money doesn’t matter or exist?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 17 comments. Post your own now!

CMShady00 said...
Oct. 2, 2014 at 11:53 am
I disagree with this. I know your deep concerns are the people in need, but I don't think you realize the need, too, of space exploration. And scientists just don't wanna find out if life's ever possible in Mars simply because of curiosity, they think of its possible benefits too, for the future. If life in Mars had been proven, think of the change it would make not only in Astronomy and science's history but in the whole wide world.  So to conclude this, I think you need ... (more »)
. said...
Apr. 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm
I agree with you! There are people dying all over the world, and kids without families.
TheEarlofZerces said...
Nov. 5, 2011 at 10:49 am
It's interesting to me at how this article appeared in the Spirituality/Religion section, and at how a great deal of its most ardent supporters seem to be very zealous Christians.
bookthief This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 15, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Very interesting indeed... a new space religion?? Could be interesting.
A_Fate_Unknown replied...
Jan. 2, 2012 at 9:28 pm
lol this is spoken like a true christian. Ignor science and the pursuit of knowledge. Just trust that the earth is 6000 years old even though carbon dating has proved otherwise. Also Don't complain about how we dont help the homeless and needy when you just sit back and watch them suffer. You really fit the steryotype of the angst filled adolescent.
The_Earl_of_Zerces replied...
Jan. 3, 2012 at 6:47 am
(Blinks)....Eh? You mean me?
AnInkling replied...
Oct. 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm
Uh, A_Fate_Unknown... "true" Christians don't nessesarily have to abandon science; in fact, the Bible says to test everything, and many of the great scientists were Christians! But I do agree that it is wrong for us to spend so much money when people are in need.
TheEarlofZerces said...
Nov. 5, 2011 at 10:46 am
Actually, American military spending takes up abour $685.1 BILLION every year, so when you look at that, the space program looks pretty scrawny.
Katie1234 said...
Aug. 26, 2011 at 10:30 am
While finding life woud offer a change in perspective, why are we spending so much money when there might not be? All of our money, our parent's money, and our grandparent's money is being used for what may just be a wild goose chase. Where is the logic in spending closed to a billion dollars searching for something you aren't sure of. Unless area 51 really is some giant alien cover-up, which I highly doubt, there is no reason to spend so much money on a mystery. Therefore, I agree with you. Tha... (more »)
savetheplanet said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 10:42 pm
In times of need, then yes that money could be put elsewhere, but the search of knowledge is a cause that should never be abandoned.  They help us understand ourselves and things out there that we're not entirely sure of yet.  If extraterrestrial life was discovered, the implications are enormous.   It would change our perspective on life entirely.
JesusFreak10101 said...
Apr. 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm
TOTALY TRUE!!! HAHAHA I agree with you totally!!! 
AaronLawrence said...
Nov. 10, 2010 at 7:12 pm
That money all filterates back into the economy, space explorations are sometimes used to boost economies.  Pluse, 800 million isn't that much, compare it to war expenditure.  Also, if exterrestrial intelligence were ever discovered, the implications would be the most important human discovery since the domesticatino of animals.  Thats like comparing whether cave men should hunt here as opposed to spending the time to develope the wheel.  Nice persuasive essay however, came a... (more »)
Phantom_Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 3, 2010 at 11:39 am
Interesting perspective. I can't say I completely agree, because I think scientific knowledge is a very noble pursuit. However, I do think that in times like this, we might want to consider not putting so much money into it when goddess knows we could use that money for other things.
logicplz said...
Jun. 28, 2010 at 8:55 pm

And what do people expect to do with those educations? 

The truth is scientific advancement is what propels society forward. True, in times of economic hardships big projects may be put on hold. But research comes together in bits and pieces. You don't see the use right now, but think of the problems that could be solved if we found we can use mars for something? If it has natural resources we can utilize, or if it can support life, to relieve the burden on our overpopulated plane... (more »)

Heidi S. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm
I hate to sound like the enemy here, but I tend to disagree. The president has already cancelled the Constellation program, which will redirect some much-needed money from the NASA program into other problems. However, the observations we are taking in Mars will give us clues as to how this and other planets were formed. Studies of this and other worlds are extremely important, especially in light of the recent natural disasters this planet as experienced. We need to focus on the future as well ... (more »)
QuestionAuthority1128 said...
Nov. 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm
Thumbs up! I totally agree!
Love~the~LORD<3 replied...
Jan. 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm
Oh my goodness ypu are so right I wish our government and nation would stand up and come up from our darkness.
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback