The International Space Station: $150 billion dollars well spent?

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During this week’s Burnet News Club session, we began to talk about space exploration and it’s contributions to society. We brought up the International Space Station, which we had been learning about during our science lessons last year, and were shocked to find out that it cost over $150 billion dollars (not to mention that £3-4 billion dollar yearly cost on top of that simply to maintain it). This cost makes the ISS the most expensive object ever made, which got us thinking: is it worth the cost?

The main drawback in our minds was the sheer cost of the thing. A quick Google of the question: ’is the ISS worth the cost?’ brought up a multitude of webpages that showed us that we were definitely not the first people to ask this question… A guardian article from 2006 even went as far as to call the ISS ‘a costly mistake’, ‘an embarrassment’ and something that is ‘yet to produce any science worthy of its colossal price tag’.

Another article on a website named ‘Death By Cosmos’ gave us an even more detailed cost analysis of the ISS. NASA currently contributes an on going $3 billion dollars per year out of its $19 billion dollar budget to maintain and operate the ISS. Compare this with the $2.9 billion dollars used to design, launch and maintain the Curiosity rover that is currently exploring the surface of Mars. We are learning a lot more from the Curiosity rover than we are from the ISS, at only a fraction of the cost! If the ISS were to be scrapped, NASA alone would save enough money to fund the construction of 10 similar rovers that could be sent to Mars or even to explore other planets in the solar system. From a scientific perspective, is this a better use of NASA’s money?

Perhaps, in fact, you might be thinking that we don’t need more rovers. In that case, stopping funding on the ISS for just a year would give NASA enough additional money to build a giant space telescope that might allow us to explore even deeper into space than ever before.

We decided, however, that there must have been a reason that the ISS was constructed in the first place, and that that reason must have been pretty good for so many countries to invest such a large sum of money in its development! We then looked at what the ISS was designed to do. It was primarily constructed as a space environment research laboratory in which scientists would be able to conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields. Because of its location, the station is also suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to the Moon and Mars, which sounds fantastic in terms of future space exploration!

In addition to serving as a science laboratory, the ISS is important for the future of space tourism and long-range space exploration (e.g. humans exploring Mars etc) because the ISS itself is an experiment. It is an exercise in hands on learning and how to live and work (and play!) in space for months or even years. It has allowed scientists to observe changes to people’s bodies and health and to plan and try out adaptations to make life easier, which will massively beneficial if we ever want travel into space to be more accessible for the masses!

In fact, NASA themselves have continued to reiterate that the ISS is an essential component of its journey to Mars. It has said time and again that the information gained about human health in the closed ecosystem and microgravity environment of the ISS is crucial for sending humans to Mars. A human mission to Mars may end up being a three-year ordeal, so figuring out how to live and work in space for long periods of time is essential. Importantly, the ISS is sitting in low Earth orbit, where a return to Earth is only a matter of hours away if there were to be any issues. In comparison, if astronauts were to travel to Mars, they would be orbiting many months away from Earth! Surely it is better to find out and fix any problems closer to home before we even consider sending people deeper into space…

In our minds, we kept coming back to the cost. $150 billion dollars is, after all, a lot of money. However, a trawl through the NASA website helped us understand why they continue to put money into the ISS and why they are planning to continue this funding until 2024. NASA are, essentially, using the ISS to keep a large chunk of their allocated budget safe- almost like banking it or investing it for future use. The current plan is that, in 2024, the money will all be shifted towards developing a deep-space habitat- a habitat for the Martian surface- and a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) with which to launch samples (and eventually humans) from the surface of Mars back to Earth.

If this plan works, astronaut videos and Q&As that are currently happening from the ISS in low Earth orbit will soon be happening from deep space, for example orbiting the moon, as soon as 2025! Spacewalks won’t just be happening in orbit around the earth but beyond the Earth’s orbit! That’s certainly an exciting thought!

In conclusion, although the International Space Station may seem to be an unjustified burden on finances at the present moment, we believe that the it holds the key to a brighter future culminating in humans being able to travel to Mars. Sure, it’s an expensive stepping stone but, in our opinion, it is a stepping stone that we are lucky to have in place.

What do you think? Is the ISS worth it or would NASA be better off investing elsewhere?

References

https://deathbycosmos.com/international-space-station-not-worthwhile/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2006/jan/26/spaceexploration.guardianweeklytechnologysection

https://www.nasa.gov/

Comments (77)

  • Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
    29 Oct 2019

    This is a fantastic and insightful post. You have clearly researched the topic thoroughly and it means readers will learn a lot. Well done! I have given you a star for your reasoning skill. I wonder if you could be more open-minded. What other perspectives might we want to see this issue from? For example, would children the same age as you, in different parts of the world, feel similarly? Or would someone who is very interested in a different area of space discovery be able to give a good argument against the cost?

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    1. Ravenscroft-logo-250x250.jpg inventive_robin | Ravenscroft Primary School
      Olivia @ the BNC's comment 13 Nov 2019

      Hi I really I really want a star on this app so pls can you give me some advice on how to get one

      Reply to this comment
      1. tom Tom @ the BNC
        inventive_robin's comment 13 Nov 2019

        Hi inventive_robin - go here to find out how to win stars!
        https://burnetnewsclub.com/issues/hong-kong-crisis/the-discussion/how-win-stars-hub/

        Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg easygoing_eel | Noel Park Primary School
    29 Oct 2019

    I think the ISS did not spend their 150 billon dollars well because instead of spending the money on the ISS they could be spending it on the people around the world that do not have clean water so they are putting people life at risk ,they could also spend their money on malaria which is a sickness that is spread by mosquitoes it is actually one of the most deadliest sicknesses, but on the other hand the ISS is a very smart idea that makes billions of dollars also it can help us now more about space that we do not already know about so that is helping our knowledge in science which is a very important topic . In my opinion, I think that the 150 billion dollars was not spent very well because people's lives are more important than the ISS and their lives are worth saving.

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  • Braiswick Primary School succinct_leaves | Braiswick Primary School
    30 Oct 2019

    Definitely, the ISS is worth it and NASA should carry on giving them money. This is because the ISS is being funded by a lot of countries (including America, because NASA is American) and they need a lot of money to send humans to Mars. NASA is doing a good job because the ISS is lots of countries combined which is much better than just America. In short, yes, NASA should carry on. By the way, really good post.

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    1. Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg impartial_panda_bear | Boutcher C of E Primary School A
      succinct_leaves's comment 01 Nov 2019

      I also think that NASA should carry on their vital work, exploring what is above us. While space discovery is expensive, we have already spent a lot of money, not only as a country, but as many United countries all exploring what is above us. There is no turning back - some people may think that spending $150 billion dollars on the International Space station is a waste of money, but not using it? That is like throwing $150 billion dollars down the toilet!!! We have learnt so many amazing things from space... Why stop now? The international space station was expensive and hard work building by it... Now all we have to do is enjoy using it!!!!

      Reply to this comment
      1. tom Tom @ the BNC
        impartial_panda_bear's comment 02 Nov 2019

        You've spoken up strongly here. What do you mean by enjoy using it?

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        1. Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg impartial_panda_bear | Boutcher C of E Primary School A
          Tom @ the BNC's comment 04 Nov 2019

          Everyone involved in the project has certainly worked hard making and preparing the I.S.S, now all the work is done, we (the astronauts) can enjoy learning and even having fun in our creation. A simpler example might be...
          A man works hard building a house out of hard stone. Everything is a bit frantic for months, as he needs to store all his possessions somewhere else before moving them into his half ready house. Finally, he and the builders finish work, and he and his family move back in with more space than ever before.
          this is a bit like the ISS and NASA. They have worked so hard making it, now they want to, can and will enjoy using it.

          Reply to this comment
          1. tom Tom @ the BNC
            impartial_panda_bear's comment 04 Nov 2019

            Thank you for this analogy, impartial_panda_bear. Do we think the use out of the ISS will make the investment worth it?

            Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg adaptable_insect | Boutcher C of E Primary School B
    30 Oct 2019

    i think thy spended there money well because the have used there saving the money to build a rocket and helmelts to keep the people who are going to space

    Reply to this comment
  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg jubilant_chocolate | Graveney School
    30 Oct 2019

    I think the NASA did not spend their money well on making the ISS, but I still think was partly worth it as it is supporting research in science.

    Reply to this comment
  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg inspiring_penguin | Graveney School
    30 Oct 2019

    I definitely think NASA should continue ,as in the past the ISS have made many scientific break-throughs that greatly helped our planet. But the question is, is it really worth $21 billion from American citizens' taxes when many are fighting overwhelming poverty? Is it really worth this cost when, in this day and age, our carbon footprint is vital to the continuation of our planet's existence? So, with space travel being such a luxury, can we really justify this against all it faces? For these reasons, I am sceptical on what to believe.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      inspiring_penguin's comment 30 Oct 2019

      A good show of scepticism here, inspiring_penguin. Do you think it is worth the cost, or would you need to find out more before forming an opinion?

      Reply to this comment
  • Braiswick Primary School spirited_insect | Braiswick Primary School
    31 Oct 2019

    The Guardian article you talked about in the second paragraph I strongly disagree with. If it is a costly mistake, how have all of the astronauts given us a deeper understanding of Space, by actually using the the opportunity to set foot in Space of course! I think the ISS and the astronauts venturing are using their time and money well because the fact that they are giving us a deeper understanding of our surroundings is good, and I'm not saying venturing into space should be daily or often, but NASA should keep on doing what they are doing while we can sort out problems like Global Warming, although now I'm not really sure what is the point of learning about Space, after all it is not something we need to sort out unlike Global warming.

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      spirited_insect's comment 31 Oct 2019

      Great reasoning - well done!

      Reply to this comment
    2. Braiswick Primary School succinct_leaves | Braiswick Primary School
      spirited_insect's comment 23 Nov 2019

      I agree with you: I don't agree with The Guardian article. This is because if it is a "costly mistake" or "an embarassment" why is it used by so many astronauts? What I mean by this is if The Guardian thinks it is bad why do so many people rely on it and use it as a research lab. It also cost so much so with that money wouldn't we be able to make it near perfect or at least really good. People trust the ISS just like you would trust a person: with your life, literally. If it crashes or stops working you would die. But yes spirited_insect I do agree with you.

      succinct_leaves

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  • St Marys Whitstable logo cheerful_significance | St Mary's Catholic Primary School A
    02 Nov 2019

    It does seem wrong spending that much money on the ISS because of all the other bad things in the world which we need to solve . There is huge poverty in some countries , or we could use it to plant trees.there is a charity which every pound you give equals one tree so that would mean 150billion trees-which is a lot of trees! Yes it is fascinating and important knowing about space but I think there are more important things to focus on on earth.

    Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg brave_grape | Noel Park Primary School
    04 Nov 2019

    In my opinion it seems wrong because l doen some research and l found out that with $15 billion dollarseveryone in world would get fresh water (including people on the streets. So what do you think $15 billion dollars for the ISS or $15 billiin dollars for every one to get clean water?

    Reply to this comment
  • tom Tom @ the BNC
    04 Nov 2019

    This is an excellent page to read about how the International Space Station has encouraged countries to work together: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/cooperation/index.html - how valuable do we think this spirit of co-operation is to the human race?

    Reply to this comment
  • Phoenix-logo-250x250.jpg crafty_ocean | Phoenix Primary School
    04 Nov 2019

    This comment is very factual and people will love to know more about this and also people will love to know if 135million dollars is the exact amount

    Reply to this comment
  • Chestnut Park logo splendid_badger | Chestnut Park Primary School
    04 Nov 2019

    I think there is a bad side and good side. The good side is that we will be able to learn more about space and study the planets and regain more information. The bad side is that we are spending a lot of money and we can use the money for different things like people who don’t have food or water. People who are poor , the animals that are endangered. There are lots of things we could do with the money.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      splendid_badger's comment 04 Nov 2019

      A very open-minded response, splendid_badger.

      Reply to this comment
  • Evelyn-Street-logo-250x250.jpg loyal_peach | Evelyn Street Primary School C
    05 Nov 2019

    how did you know it was that much money

    Reply to this comment
  • New-Horizons-logo-250x250.jpg brave_lynx | New Horizons Children's Academy
    06 Nov 2019

    It is totally not worth it they could of spent it on something else more useful

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  • St Marys Whitstable logo incredible_snow | St Mary's Catholic Primary School B
    07 Nov 2019

    I think that it's not worth it because at 150 billion dollars you could do something else with it like give a shelter to the homeless or give food to the people living in poverty and with all that fuel it takes up just to get there and back is not helping the environment. Plus you would only be up there for a few months before coming back down again and it's just a waste of money whereas you could do something permanently good to the planet

    Reply to this comment
  • The Sherwood School logical_drum | The Sherwood School
    07 Nov 2019

    it think it is way lower than 150 billion because it is not very comfortable, and you can get way better equipment, resources, and more room for other people.Also think of a country like india , they spent over 1.8 billion look at their tax that they charge ,also if a country buys it what will people do with they with it ,spy on other country , we could possibly have a war.

    Reply to this comment
  • Phoenix-logo-250x250.jpg confident_guineapig | Phoenix Primary School
    07 Nov 2019

    I think it is worth it because if we didn’t have space crafts we wouldn’t be able to know anything about the solar system because we need to know if there is anything wrong like if a rock destroyed and hit our planet or if the sun was about to cover up the terrestrial planets and then explode we will not know but I understand why people disagree because we could be spending the money on making more things to help people

    Reply to this comment
    1. motivated_message | Whyteleafe School B
      confident_guineapig's comment 08 Nov 2019

      I agree because we need to know whats out there

      Reply to this comment
  • Allerton-logo-250x250.jpg resilient_moment | Allerton High School
    07 Nov 2019

    𝕀 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕜 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕙𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕤 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕔𝕠𝕟𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕤 𝕠𝕟 𝕨𝕙𝕪 ℕ𝔸𝕊𝔸 𝕤𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕘𝕚𝕧𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕞𝕠𝕟𝕖𝕪 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕨𝕖 𝕤𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕤𝕡𝕖𝕟𝕥 𝕓𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕠𝕟𝕤 𝕠𝕗 𝕕𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕒𝕣𝕤 𝕠𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕚𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕡𝕖𝕠𝕡𝕝𝕖 𝕒𝕣𝕖𝕟'𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕜𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕒𝕓𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕘𝕝𝕠𝕓𝕒𝕝 𝕘𝕝𝕠𝕞𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕨𝕙𝕚𝕔𝕙 𝕞𝕖𝕒𝕟𝕤 𝕨𝕙𝕖𝕟 𝕨𝕖 𝕕𝕠 𝕚𝕥 𝕞𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕓𝕖 𝕥𝕠𝕠 𝕝𝕒𝕥𝕖 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕚𝕗 𝕨𝕖 𝕘𝕠 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕀𝕊𝕊 𝕚𝕥 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕙𝕖𝕝𝕡 𝕚𝕗 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕖𝕒𝕣𝕥𝕙 𝕚𝕤 𝕒𝕓𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕕𝕚𝕖 𝕓𝕖𝕔𝕒𝕦𝕤𝕖 𝕨𝕖 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕓𝕖 𝕒𝕓𝕝𝕖 𝕥𝕠 𝕘𝕠 𝕥𝕠 𝕞𝕒𝕣𝕤. 𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝕗𝕚𝕣𝕤𝕥 𝕔𝕠𝕟 𝕚𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕚𝕗 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕨𝕙𝕠𝕝𝕖 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕛𝕖𝕔𝕥 𝕓𝕒𝕔𝕜𝕗𝕚𝕣𝕖𝕤 𝕚𝕥 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕡𝕦𝕥 𝕦𝕤 𝕚𝕟 𝕤𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕠𝕦𝕤 𝕕𝕒𝕟𝕘𝕖𝕣 𝕨𝕙𝕚𝕝𝕖 ℕ𝔸𝕊𝔸 𝕔𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕙𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕤𝕡𝕖𝕟𝕥 𝕚𝕥𝕤 𝕞𝕠𝕟𝕖𝕪 𝕠𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕥𝕖𝕝𝕖𝕤𝕔𝕠𝕡𝕖 𝕨𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕨𝕖 𝕔𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕠𝕗 𝕗𝕠𝕦𝕟𝕕 𝕒 𝕨𝕙𝕠𝕝𝕖 𝕟𝕖𝕨 𝕡𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕖𝕥 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕥𝕣𝕒𝕚𝕥𝕤 𝕠𝕗 𝔼𝕒𝕣𝕥𝕙 𝕓𝕦𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕥𝕣𝕒𝕧𝕖𝕝 𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕤𝕟𝕕 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕤𝕡𝕖𝕟𝕕 𝕒 𝕝𝕠𝕥 𝕠𝕗 𝕥𝕚𝕞𝕖. 𝕋𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕜𝕤 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕝𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕖𝕟𝕚𝕟𝕘 .

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      resilient_moment's comment 08 Nov 2019

      Thank you for this comment, resilient_moment. Could you please write in the normal font in future, thanks!

      Reply to this comment
  • champion_accordion | Whyteleafe School B
    08 Nov 2019

    i think it was for a good reason

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  • St Marys Whitstable logo joyful_knowledge | St Mary's Catholic Primary School A
    08 Nov 2019

    I don’t think this was worth the cost because all the money that goes into that can stop climate change

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  • Richmond-Hill-logo-250x250.jpg amazing_memory | Richmond Hill Academy
    09 Nov 2019

    The International Space Station is a space station in low Earth orbit. The ISS programme is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. In conclusion yes

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      amazing_memory's comment 11 Nov 2019

      Could you tell us how your information links to your conclusion, amazing_memory?

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  • St Marys Whitstable logo dedicated_strawberry | St Mary's Catholic Primary School B
    09 Nov 2019

    I think this is worth the money because scientists can research new information about space. Also Astronauts and cosmonauts can have the opportunity to discover new things in space and experience it.

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    1. Hammond School logo versatile_molecule | Hammond Junior School B
      dedicated_strawberry's comment 12 Nov 2019

      I agree with your first point because astronauts research could potentially benefit us, however people are starving in this world, they could have spent the money on helping those people. Yes some people would find it amazing to be experiencing life in space but we're facing a climate emergency and if we keep polluting by launching rockets future generations will not be here to experience anything. In my opinion amicable moon is right, as she/he says "there are issues that are more pressing", climate change is one of them.

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      1. tom Tom @ the BNC
        versatile_molecule's comment 12 Nov 2019

        A good example of speaking up, versatile_molecule! Well done for linking your point to amicable_moon's, too.

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      2. Hammond School logo genuine_cat | Hammond Junior School A
        versatile_molecule's comment 04 Dec 2019

        I agree with you Mr Molecule, there are more pressing matters we could spend the money which goes into needs on the ISS. I also agree with intuitive power when he says that the cost of repairing the ISS every year is bonkers! Productive eel says that the our International Space Station was worth the cost, as much as yes the research which takes place their by astronauts is very important, but what is the point in it when climate change is one the world's biggest problems. UKSA has just said that they are putting more money into Europe's space agency, and part of that money will go to the ISS; what a waste of money which could be spent on other more fixing more important problems like poverty!

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      3. Hammond School logo genuine_cat | Hammond Junior School A
        versatile_molecule's comment 04 Dec 2019

        sorry typo in my comment it should be, which could be spent on fixing other, more important problems.

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  • St Marys Whitstable logo amicable_cello | St Mary's Catholic Primary School B
    09 Nov 2019

    I think that is is worth it because it helps research, if we didn't have the ISS then project constellation would definitely be impossible. Also it is a great opportunity for astronauts and cosmonauts to meet and work together in research. I agree that the money they spend on running and making it could be spent on something more urgent like climate change of reducing plastic.

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  • Hammond School logo practical_message | Hammond Junior School E
    10 Nov 2019

    It kind of is worth it because if our planet gets destroyed then we could go to mars if we investigate a way to live on mars using the ISS

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  • Acland Burghley School amicable_moon | Acland Burghley School
    12 Nov 2019

    i don't think its worth it. it will be eventually but not while there are issues that are more pressing

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  • St Marys Whitstable logo outspoken_meteor | St Mary's Catholic Primary School B
    13 Nov 2019

    I think that it was worth all that money because they are doing incredible research and it will help scientists to find out more about space. On the other hand, we could have used that money to stop climate change and help people who are less fortunate then us.

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  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg compassionate_seal | Upton Cross Primary School A
    13 Nov 2019

    How are you so smart? That is loads and loads of information.

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  • Portobello-logo-250x250.jpg alert_fish | Portobello High School
    14 Nov 2019

    I think it is completely worth it because we need to explore space to look for a planet that we can live on 👍

    Reply to this comment
    1. Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg inspiring_penguin | Graveney School
      alert_fish's comment 15 Nov 2019

      I can see where you are coming from alert_fish as our own planet is in critical condition and we should be striving to save it before it's too late. However, if there is any evidence of life in space then other planets could be an option if our planet dies. Also, resources found in space could potentially help our life on earth. It is a very good comment but I think you need to do a bit more research on the other sides of the story. : )

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  • Hillyfield School logo triumphant_performance | Hillyfield Primary Academy
    14 Nov 2019

    I do not think that they should spent that much money for the space station because you could spend money on something else in space

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  • Portobello-logo-250x250.jpg talented_clementine | Portobello High School
    15 Nov 2019

    Although there are many other things to be worrying about down on earth, the international space station can definitely be used as a very helpful base for further space exploration. It would have been better if it didn’t cost as much but I suppose there really wasn’t that much to be done about it back then

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      talented_clementine's comment 15 Nov 2019

      Why can it be such a helpful base for future space exploration, talented_clementine?

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  • Richmond-Hill-logo-250x250.jpg amazing_memory | Richmond Hill Academy
    15 Nov 2019

    The International Space Station is a space station in low Earth orbit. The ISS programme is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreementsOrbit height: 408 km

    Speed on orbit: 7.66 km/s

    Did you know: The living and work space on the ISS is the same size as the passenger space on two 747 aircraft.

    The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station (habitable artificial satellite) in low Earth orbit. The ISS programme is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States ...

    Orbital speed: 7.66 km/s; (27,600 km/h; 17,100 mph)

    Orbital period: 92.68 minutes

    Orbits per day: 15.54

    Orbital inclination: 51.64°

    NASA astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) are under threat should they expose themselves to conditions outside the Earth's atmosphere for more than six months

    Humans have been living on the International Space Station for 19 years. The 360-ton space station is larger than a five-bedroom house, and it has enough room for six sleeping quarters and a gym

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      amazing_memory's comment 15 Nov 2019

      Could you give us an opinion on the ISS using this information as supporting evidence, amazing_memory?

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        1. tom Tom @ the BNC
          amazing_memory's comment 15 Nov 2019

          Can you tell us why?

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  • knowledgeable_opinion | Whyteleafe School A
    15 Nov 2019

    it is not well spent because you can help so many people less fortunate than us and homeless need way more money than the ISS maybe you cant give it 50 billion pounds but keep 100 billion for other things i have mentioned.
    thank you for reading this.

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  • splendid_world | Whyteleafe School A
    15 Nov 2019

    yes because if we stop giving iss money we cant get internet

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  • Preston Manor School valuable_personality | Preston Manor School
    15 Nov 2019

    i believe that spending 150 billion dollars on the international space station has its advantages and disadvantages.if you spend 150 billion dollars on a space station that might not even benefit the human race it will be a waste of money and you can use your money for others things like hospitals and schools.although if there is a chance of finding a new element or medicence that may save lives it is worth the money.

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      valuable_personality's comment 15 Nov 2019

      Can you tell us what the benefits are of the ISS? Maybe research it on the internet!

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      1. Preston Manor School valuable_personality | Preston Manor School
        Tom @ the BNC's comment 22 Nov 2019

        Many experiments on the iss are very helpful in contributing to the discoveries of new cells for example.Also different things that help improve your health as well

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  • Hammond School logo chatty_leopard | Hammond Junior School B
    18 Nov 2019

    Firstly, it is great how we can explore other planets but, I think that it was to much money to build an international space station. If it works that we can build it with inflatables it can save lots of money.

    This can help because rather than spending $150,000,000,000 you can use the money to save our planet from all sorts, but not just for the land, but for the ocean as well. This could mean that we could have a variety of planets to live on if we can save our planet.

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg composed_pomegranate | The Ruth Gorse Academy
    18 Nov 2019

    I think that the ISS spending billions of pounds on space exploration isn't entirely a bad thing because our home,Earth, is in space but those billions of pounds could have been spent on helping our planet and the people who live in it since the things that happen on Earth affect us more than the things in space.

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg stupendous_alligator | The Ruth Gorse Academy
    18 Nov 2019

    We should not have used the money, at least not all of it because this could have been used to sanitate others and now that we have found out about many different planets like exoplanets, what else could we explore aside being sucked into a vacuum into another dimension or into a completely new galaxy.

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  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg sensible_melon | Upton Cross Primary School A
    18 Nov 2019

    Great work appreciative_turtle and spirited_bat! Can you think about what NASA could have made with all that money instead of making the Intenational Space Station?
    Also give your opinion on what could help NASA find out more about space.

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  • Evelyn-Street-logo-250x250.jpg tranquil_robin | Evelyn Street Primary School B
    19 Nov 2019

    this is a very good post although i do have on question? how did he/she spend all that money and not do something else with it? its just amazing.
    how can they help the Intenational Space Station?

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  • Hammond School logo happy_politics | Hammond Junior School A
    19 Nov 2019

    I found this question tricky to answer. There are strong points for both sides of the argument. Some reasons why it is NOT good are:
    The money used could have helped save lives and provide homes for those in poverty
    There are multiple problems on earth that too need to be solved; it is not a necessity
    Gaining information on space does not help Earth as much as other knowledge would
    However, there are good things too such as:
    Gaining information could help us solve problems on Earth by adapting to the eco-systems that are used on other planets
    It could help us find replacements for plastic that would be more friendly to the environment
    It could help us to make scientific discoveries that would boost our economy
    Therefore, I struggled to decide on a final opinion. However, I believe that the money was well spent.

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  • The Sherwood School productive_eel | The Sherwood School
    20 Nov 2019

    I think that the 150 billion dollars was well spent because if people from different countries work together with their product it would perfect an idea or it might be research that helps us go to mars and other planets.If every countries space force weren't working together space exploration would be that big subject anymore. If the 150 billion dollars wasn't spent on the space force there would not be a place for worldwide space experiments.

    On the other hand, it might not be ideal if different countries have grudges against each other .Due to this they might attack the other scientist.This could to another world war this time it might not be like the cold war. A few weeks at a Burnet news club session i learned some countries put satellites up to monitor other countries. If other countries might get superstitions.

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      productive_eel's comment 20 Nov 2019

      Remember the $150bn was spent on the International Space Station, which is different from the Space Force!

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  • Hammond School logo versatile_molecule | Hammond Junior School B
    22 Nov 2019

    I do not think the 150 billion dollars was well spent because we have so many pressing issues in this world like climate change, the cause of a lot of rocket launches was because of the ISS because most of the space missions have been to the ISS. On the other hand many experiments aboard the ISS have benefited us in different ways.

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  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg intuitive_power | Graveney School
    04 Dec 2019

    I do think personally that it was worth it but 150 billion dollars is a LOT, and also the extra $3 billion needed every YEAR to replace certain parts does make it seem like a massive waste.
    When that period of time is up, it will need completely replacing ( https://www.sciencefocus.com/space/how-long-will-the-international-space-station-be-habitable/) and that will probably cost another $150 billion. Let's break this down.
    Let's say the ISS lasts for another 20 years. Then, we need to replace it as it no longer works. It was built in 1998 and is completely rebuilt in 2049. That's already $300 billion. Plus the $3 billion each year for repairs until from 1998 to 2049 ($153 billion) totals it (and please feel free to correct me if my calculations are wrong) to $443 BILLION spent in a span of 51 years for just one thing is mind-bogglingly expensive. That's almost half a TRILLION dollars.. in 50 years.
    But just think, even a few billion dollars of that could be spent on and even beat climate change or plastic pollution! That's why I believe it was a good spent for just the space station but all the money needed to maintain and repair it does not make it worth it.

    Thank you for reading, and again please correct me if I am incorrect in any of my statements or calculations.
    Hope to see a few of your opinions! -intuitive_power

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      intuitive_power's comment 04 Dec 2019

      Do we need to also think about the amount of money governments spend overall - to work how big half a trillion dollars actually is over 50 years?

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School intrepid_hurricane | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    07 Dec 2019

    On the one hand , I think that the ISS was worth the cost because, if you think about it, without it, we might not be able to find any new materials that might stop climate change! ( I researched this at school during a BNC lesson). I also think that this $150 billion masterpiece was worth the cost because in space, there could be an AMAZING type of 'space junk' that could make medicine to treat many bad illnesses and help make them! You'll never know until you try!

    On the other hand, I think that the ISS was not worth the cost because in a BNC lesson my class did recently, we found out that only $61 per person was spent on SPACE and $3,939 per person spent on HEALTH CARE! So after I found that out , I was completely shocked because most of the class ( including me) thought that space was more expensive than any other one of our options!

    In conclusion, using open mindedness and scepticism, I belive that the ISS is an amazing piece of work and it is very useful, but not for the price of $150. So I think that is was not worth the cost for the reasons I mentioned above.

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  • Hammond School logo versatile_molecule | Hammond Junior School B
    13 Dec 2019

    I think the one hundred and fifty billion dollars was not well spent because that money could be spent on health care and reducing poverty.

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School romantic_forest | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    16 Dec 2019

    nation Space station worth $150,000,000
    .
    .
    .

    On one side the nation space stain is not worth $150,000,000 because that could have gon to something like doctors of hospitals and it could have saved somebody's life or it could of gon to something like climate change which could have saved the planet.

    On the over side the nation space station was worth 150,000,000 because it can scan the earth and show if there is a hurricane, the weather and it is used for really important experiments and descoverments and it holds many people in space at once.

    In conclusion, after researching the nation space station I think it is worth $150,000,000 because it can save many lives with the experiments and it can help us in a way we need it. I think it is the best thing the hole would have ever invented.

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