(The first video prompt is from the VOICE OF AMERICA website. The second is a NASA video of the history of NASA's first fifty years, 1958-2008. )

Watch and listen to the first video by clicking here and the second video by clicking here before writing your essay.

The videos summarize the past and thoughts about the future of manned space exploration. Many issues are discussed, pro and con, i.e., the shortage of funding in these troubled economic times, issues of safety, competition from other nations like China, and many other aspects of space exploration. Using the information from the videos, (Take notes during your viewing.) answer the question posed below in your essay.

Your purpose is to write an essay to be read by a classroom instructor in which you take a position on whether the United States should pursue a vigorous well-funded manned space program whose ultimate goal would be a return to the Moon and manned mission to Mars. As an alternative position, state your case for reducing the funding level for manned space endeavors, eliminating plans for a return to the Moon and subsequent mission to Mars. Use information in the video to support your case. Be sure to defend your position with logical facts and reasons as well as appropriate examples. (Below are scenes from the video prompts.)

Return to Starship home base.