Is Space Exploration a Wise Investment? DEBATE

Article excerpt

HOW I agree with those who criticise the obscene amount of money spent on space travel and exploration (Letters). Given the terrible state of our poor old Mother Earth -- floods, droughts, earthquakes, typhoons -- it's lunacy to be spending with a view to visiting other planets.

I'm most perplexed about 'looking for water on Mars'. Do the scientists not realise that there are millions of people here who never have a drop of clean water? And if we don't invest money in our own world, it will fall apart under us.

If other life forms come calling here in a few decades' time, they will find a desolate place due to our utter neglect. We're supposed to be 'stewards' of this earth, not masters of the whole universe.

JACKIE FLETCHER, Sheffield, South Yorks.

AS A MEMBER of an astronomical society, I believe it's important that we continue with space exploration. There are many asteroids which can threaten our planet: if we can see them coming, we might be able to do something to stop them destroying the Earth. …