'Enough challenges on Earth': should engineers work on space exploration?

Professional Engineering

(Credit: Shutterstock)
(Credit: Shutterstock)

We asked readers of the magazine if space exploration is still a worthy endeavour for engineers to support, or if they should focus on more earthly concerns. Here's a selection of what they had to say...

"Right now there are many projects on Earth that need a dedicated engineering input. Other than near-space work, for example security and navigation, the rest should be left alone for the present."

Malcolm Tilley

"As with most explorations into advanced engineering, such as Formula One, the benefits often migrate across to everyday life. So it is with space exploration, a simple example of which is the microwave oven."

J R S Uttley

"It is certainly worthy. From an earthly perspective, solving the engineering problems of space exploration has created technologies and solutions that have generated more wealth than the programmes have cost. The discoveries made by the programmes have put human concerns in perspective, increased our understanding of the universe, and brought a greater sense of wonder to millions of people."

Michael Reid

"The final frontier represents the cutting edge of research, engineering and technology. To abandon this is to abstain from the advancement of mankind."

Andrew Deacon

"There are enough engineering challenges on Earth. Engineering should focus more on the well-being of people and provide enough water and food."

Paul Schmitz

"I don’t think space tourism is a worthy endeavour – the amount of pollution created for a few minutes’ joyride in space is unjustifiable. Far better to concentrate on energy efficiency and renewables on this planet."

John Green

Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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