As children, some dream of exploring the vast expanse of outer space. To mingle within the billions of pin-pricks of light and admire the massive space around them. The constant longing to explore the cosmos is deep seeded within all of us. But how many truthfully think about the consequences of space exploration, good and bad.
The exploration of space has many positive effects and proves fruitful when accomplished. The potential to find inhabitable planets (or planets that can be made habitable) could give humanity another home than our planet Earth.
If humanity ever colonizes a planet other than Earth, then more living space will be created. As a result, the lingering issue of over-population will be lessened or even eliminated. In addition, humanity would not be destroying any current ecosystems if another planet is colonized, as humans would be the only species of life on said planet. Also, renewable and clean energy would be unlimited in space, as solar panels would have sunlight continuously shining down upon them. Finally, elements would be an abundance in our solar system. There are almost all of the stable elements in our periodic table in one common source: asteroids. Since there would be no gravity in space, it would be an easy task to extract the elements needed from the asteroid.
Unfortunately, there are some negative effects of space colonization. First of all, the cost would be colossal. According to NASA, it would cost 121 billion US dollars for an individual to live on Mars. Furthermore, there would be many challenges of making the possibility of human life on Mars a reality. Some of these setbacks include creating artificial gravity, construction in space, and transporting food and materials to the habitat. Finally, it would take a long time to set up a colony on another planet. First of all, many of the potential planets that could be the location of a colony are many light years away from Earth (the only exception is Mars). Also, setting up a habitat and settlement on another planet would be extremely time-consuming.