Advanced Reading Course | Space Race

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Course | Space Race

Advanced Reading Course | Space Race

Selected Text

Source: The Coursebook,

Unit 28: “The space race is the world’s biggest money waster”

Almost everyday we see something in the papers about the latest exciting developments in the space race. Photographs are regularly flashed to the earth from thousands and even millions of miles away. They are printed in our newspapers and shown on our television screens as a of man’s newest achievements. The photographs neatly the results of these to ‘’ and at the same time they expose the absurdity of the undertaking. All we can see is an indistinguishable blob which is supposed to represent a planet seen from several thousand miles away. We are going to end up with a little moon-dust and a few stones which will be put behind glass in some museum. This is hardly value for money when you think that our own earth can provide countless sights which are infinitely more exciting and spectacular.

The space race is not simply the objective search for knowledge it is often made out to be. It is just an extension of the race for power . Only the wealthiest nations can compete and they do so in the name of pure . But in reality, all they are is power and prestige. They want to impress us, their spectators, with a magnificent show of strength. Man has played the he appeared on earth. Now he is playing it as it has never been played before. The space race is just another aspect of the that ‘’.

We are often told that technological , acquired in attempting to get us into orbit, will be utilized to make life better on earth. But what has the space race done to the earth’s starving millions? In what way has it raised the standard of living of anyone of us? As far as the layman is concerned, the practical results of all this expenditure of money and effort are negligible. Thanks to , we can now see television pictures transmitted live half-way and the housewife can use non-stick frying-pans in the kitchen. The whole thing becomes when you think that no matter what problems man overcomes, it is unlikely that he will ever be able to travel even to the nearest star.

Poverty, hunger, disease and war are man’s greatest enemies and the world would be an infinitely better place if the devoted half as much money and effort to these problems as they do to the space race. For the first time in his history, man has the overwhelming technological resources to combat , yet he squanders them on meaningless pursuits.

If a man deprived himself and his family of food in order to buy and run a car, we would consider him mad. Individuals with limited budgets usually get their priorities right: they provide themselves with necessities before trying to obtain luxuries. Why can’t great nations act in the same sensible way? Let us put our house in order first and let space look after itself.

Advanced Reading Course | Space Race

Advanced Reading Course | Space Race

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4 thoughts on “Advanced Reading Course | Space Race”

  1. One example that resembles the situation described in the above text is that in every successful manufacturing company there two separate teams for handling new designs and current projects; 1) Research and Development group who works specifically on the innovative ideas which may come to fruition in the long run. 2) Engineering group who is preoccupied with the present projects which need to be manufactured very soon.
    Practically speaking, both teams are necessary for running an outstanding business. So, I believe we need to invest in not only existing problems but also some far-sighted ideas like space.

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