Friday, September 4, 2009

TOEFL essay

The government should spend less money on space exploration.

The twentieth century witnessed tremendous breakthroughs in space exploration. Never before has humankind been able to explore our planet and other planets of the solar system with such ability. The progress has been made possible by the only institution that can afford to allocate so many billions of dollars: the government. However, nowadays some people question whether we should continue to throw away that much money on space exploration. They point out that the results are far less tangible than those of investments in other areas, and thus argue that spending on space exploration should be reduced. In my view, curtailing our space programs would be both counterproductive and short-sighted; indeed, I believe we should not only continue funding these programs, but also find ways to expand them.

First, space exploration not only satisfies scientific curiosity, but also changes our perception of life. In the middle ages, people believed that the world was flat. They had a very simple understanding of what our universe looked like. This seriously influenced many aspects of their life, such as religious beliefs, scientific inquiry, and daily activities. They could not comprehend that the structure of the universe is much more complex than their conception of it. We humans could still live in such obscurantism if there was no government funding of space exploration.

Secondly, our expensive space programs have given a lot of benefits to ordinary people. There are plenty of inventions that we are used to using on a regular basis and don’t even realize that they were made possible because of space exploration. Satellite dishes, new composite materials widely used in cars and planes, and life-saving medical devices were all either direct or indirect results of space programs. If the government had not subsidized space exploration, we might not have all the conveniences of life we enjoy today.

In conclusion, the belief that the government should limit the funding of space exploration is shortsighted. Space exploration has enriched our understanding of the world we live in and has made life easier as well. The government should not cut its spending on space exploration even though some people do not understand the benefits it brings.

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