The exploration of space began in the late 1950's and early 1960's with the launches of satellite Sputnik I and cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin into Earth's orbit (Launius xviii-xix), yet the desire to explore and discover the unknown has been human nature for centuries. The space exploration program was began for three reasons. First, it was an offspring of the Cold War rivalries between the United States and the Soviet Union as a way to compare technological superiorities of the two countries governmental systems, a democracy and a communist dictatorship. Second was the human need to explore the unknown, and third was the adventure involved in discovering that unknown (Launius 6).
Now, is it worth the astronomical sums of money required to send humans into space, or should we just rely on robots that can perform most of the tasks? "The Russians and Americans may have ended their rivalry beyond Earth, but another contest for dominance in space remains, one that pits biology and brains against circuits and chips" (Stenger 1). Why should NASA continue with manned space exploration as opposed to going with strictly unmanned exploration?.
May 25, 1961 in a speech to Congress about "Urgent National Needs," President John F. Kennedy unveiled project Apollo, in which the United States would land a man on the moon before the end of the decade (Launius 8). Kennedy justified this expedition in 1962 in his speech in which he said, "We choose to go to the moon.and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." (qtd. in Brownback 15). July 20, 1989, President George H. W. Bush Gave the nations space program a new challenge, one to go to Mars and to "go where no one has gone before" (John F. Kennedy qtd. in Beason 156). .
Manned exploration has always been a part of the space program. The space program presents an avenue of discovery for our children (McCord 2). As Ken Bowersox said, "The reason I come up here to space is because I believe.