The Importance of Ocean Exploration.
As soon as humanity existed, people were tempted to explore and discover everything around them. This invincible desire has led humanity on its way of discovering Earth. And it seems that our planet is totally explored, everything is revealed and there is no place where any man has not gone before (or any robot hasn’t recorded). The next step is outside Earth. After the first space flight humankind concentrated its attention on exploring the galaxy, searching for life existence on other planets and sending people to space. Even though technologies have been developed since 1961, when was the first flight to space. The process to launch a spaceship is still dangerous, complicated and expensive. Two thirds of NASA’s $17 billion annual budget is devoted to manned space exploration (Noreen). It is an enormous amount of money from the budget which could be spent on other purposes. According to a 2010 CNN/ORC poll, 50% of Americans agreed that the money spent for the space shuttle program – which ended last year – should be spent elsewhere (Adamu). Although the main focus of government funds is on space programs, ocean exploration gives more opportunities and has more unrevealed mysteries that can be useful for science in the near future, so the oceans are more important to research than space.
There is an opinion that scarcity of resources is one of the greatest problems which forces space exploration to grow. The Earth is overloaded with greedy waste of water, minerals fossil fuels which can’t be produced as fast as humanity wastes them. By going to another planet, scientists hope to find alternative sources such as energy. And also, the belief that humankind is not alone in the universe gives hope to discover some evidence of extraterrestrial life outside Earth. But there are many places we haven’t explored on our planet; the most important instance is oceans. Humanity has explored less than 5 percent of the oceans that contain 80% of all life on earth (Watson). Most mineral resources, such as coal, oil, gas, lie under the ocean. Also, unexplored life hides somewhere in the deep waters of the oceans. For example, underwater volcanic plumes are so active that while the new cone is building, the population of animals in those places increases. New species of animals have been found near the cone which appeared there because of unusual environmental conditions. (Chadwick) So underneath the ocean depth there are unrevealed resources and discoveries, which can be the keys to human survival. No one says that to study the cosmos will be bad idea, but people should first discover all the places that are on Earth and only then consider going beyond its confines. Proponents of space research believe that exploring space helps to develop space tourism, which will boost the economy in the future. However, people can not travel to space when they want it because it is expensive and not all countries can send humans into space.
In some countries space flight has become a popular activity which attracts attention and investments. However, the popularity of underwater tourism is growing. There are already ongoing projects of underwater hotels, such as Discus in Dubai or Poseidon in Fiji. For example, at Poseidon, a week with multiple nights in each type of suite will cost $15,000 per person, including piloting lessons in a mini-submarine and a personal butler to move from one room to another (O’Mara). It isn’t the cheapest entertainment, but it is far less expensive than the spaceflight. Moreover, spaceflight will be cost a $20,000 deposit is required on each individual $200,000 ticket (Susan Breslow Sardone). In recognition of the booming underwater business, Triton and U.S. Submarines have a subsidiary company developing underwater commercial and residential buildings, primarily in the Middle East. Soon all these activities will become more popular and accessible. Supporters of exploring outer space claim that studying space gives more information about the influence of planets, stars and satellites on Earth’s activity. According to this opinion, understanding of outer space will help to grasp the processes on Earth. But the most important current processes can be predicted from Earth.
Natural factors, such as weather, climate, continental drift and moving of tectonic plates, are crucial for understanding the current processes and future predictions of our planet. For example, volcanic eruptions can be forecasted while researching ocean floor. The edges of the plates, called plate boundaries, are where the majority of the volcanoes on Earth are found. Around 90% of the most active volcanoes are on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where plates are constantly moving (Watson). All those natural elements are connected with oceans, so the exploration of oceans is an opportunity to learn more about Earth. Moreover, instead of studying space for future prospects, it’s more useful and relevant to research current processes on Earth. Before exploring space people should explore all that will help them to survive on Earth.
After learning all secrets of the planet people can look for what is right in space. Space exploration is also very important for humanity, but first humanity should research more about oceans. The universe is full of unrevealed mysteries and secrets. Some of them can explain the existence of life on Earth, some of them – creation of the world. No one knows for sure where all the answers for the questions. It’s possible that the clue is in space, but it could be on Earth. So before going to outer space humanity should explore its own planet and comprehend all the developments and processes that are ongoing right now. Word Count: 934
Adamu, Zaina. “Exploring space: Why’s it so important?.” CNN. 20 Oct 2012. Web. 3 Mar 2013 < http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/20/exploring-space-whys-it-so-important/comment-page-2/>
Chadwick, Bill. “Life thrives at active underwater volcano.” NBC News. 5 May 2009. Web. 3 Mar 2013 < http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30582524/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/life-thrives-active-underwater-volcano/#.UKJxh4YqnDc>
Noreen. “It’s 2011 And We Know More About Space Than Our Own Oceans”. AquaViews. 1 Jan 2011. Web. 3 Mar 2013 < http://aquaviews.net/ocean-news/marine-research-vs-space-research/>
O’Mara, Kelly. “Underwater tourism: There’s nowhere to go but down.” YahooTravel. 23 Jul 2012. Web. 3 Mar 2013 < http://travel.yahoo.com/ideas/underwater-tourism–there-s-nowhere-to-go-but-down.html?page=all >
Susan Breslow Sardone “Space Flights on Virgin Galactic” About.com Guide. Web 5 Mar 2013
Watson, Sybil. “The Top Five Reasons that Ocean Exploration is as Important as Space Exploration.” Squidoo. Web 3 Mar 2013