Deep Sea-Frontier vs. The Cosmos

Due to exploration being a part of human nature, it’s not a surprise that people would want to explore space. But before the thought of space came into mind, all humans could explore was the world laid out right before them. They began to explore the Earth; its vast lands and oceans. Before the thought of exploring what was out there, beyond our world, the only exploration sites humans had were land. Since the past, humans utilized the seas to travel to and from land. The exploration of land has been thoroughly investigated for many years; the only issue that was left was: “What is left to explore?” Which in turn, led people to explore the ocean. Humans to this day still continue their search for valuable information about the unknown parts of the Earth. It became a problem when space exploration became more of a topic than marine exploration. Exploration not only involves science, it also harbors fundamental values that add to the vast knowledge of human studies. Although the general public might not think that marine biological research does not matter as much as astronomic research, its influence goes beyond knowledge of marine life to gaining new ways of preserving human life. The fact that there are still more and more people delving into space exploration is great; however, future-astronomers and scientists should be more concerned about our own world at the moment.

In the early 1800s, Thomas Jefferson established the United States Coast Survey. Since then, people have been eager to conduct more research about the place that disconnected the lands. People of the United States were consistently willing to donate money or even volunteer to conduct this research. The organization studied several parts of the United States and gathered data about different subjects concerning the ocean, including tides, tidal currents, and seafloor characteristics. Knowing information such as plant and animal life in the ocean, they marine biologists keep track of the health of marine ecosystems. Upon understanding underwater habitats, marine biologists also help disaster relief efforts. There are many ways that they could help, such as: helping other scientists with oil spills or chemical outbreaks and restoring other habitats back to their rightful states. Other ways that marine research can help benefit humans even more is through developing technology that can eliminate waste. If waste eliminating machines can work in the ocean, then they can also be developed in order for them to be used on land.

Wanting to learn more about the oceans changed in the last half of the 20th century. Technology started to advance. The advancement of technology meant that humans are now able to conduct more exploration that consisted beyond the planet. Astronomy intrigued people more compared to the ocean because the Space Race occurred. People piled more money towards space instead of the ocean because everyone wanted to see which astronaut representative of the United States and the Soviet Union would reach space first. In fact, the astronaut that reached space first was from the Soviet Union, who only orbited space in a spacecraft for 108 minutes. This did not accomplish any research nor gain any knowledge from launching someone in space. All the while the Space Race was occurring, oceanic research remained ignored.

More recently, in 2012, the Congress awarded NASA with $18.7 billion to encourage scientific research and discovery. By contrast, NOAA only received $4.5 billion from Congress, which is $14.2 billion less than what they had given NASA. Alongside the downgraded funding from Congress, NOAA was also given $1 billion less than their original requested amount. This event clearly shows that people are more willing to provide money to explore space.

The NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has confirmed that at least 95% of the oceanic realm has never been explored nor even visited by a human. The space program hasn’t experienced any progress in research or knowledge in recent years. The space program needs to create intricate and elaborate spacecrafts in order to conduct research, at a terrific cost. While the ocean is right next to land, people can have research conducted fairly swiftly. Compared to space, humans have known for a fact that the Earth is not endless. At around 500 B.C., Pythagoras, a philosopher and mathematician in Ancient Greece, coined the theory of the Earth being round. This theory proves that it is possible for the Earth to end.  While having these theories about the Earth, they could've went and conducted research themselves because technology such as boats can be provided during that era. Theorists have coined several of their sayings, yet some of them don't prove whatever they say because they don't conduct actual research to support them. The only way for people to completely prove facts is when they've thoroughly investigated a topic or scene that they've made claims about. There are many theories that scientists have made about Earth and space, yet the only claims that they can prove at the moment are ones about Earth. There needs to be a lot of time and effort put into space exploration because people can't just create rockets and blast people into space. It takes a lot of effort into building a spacecraft that can harbour the needed materials into space along with space suits and the astronauts that are going to be conducting research. Although, it's just as hard to build ships and materials in order for people to conduct marine research, compared to astronomical research, it wouldn't take a lot of effort in building a ship.

Having knowledge about one’s own planet is more efficient at the moment compared to learning about the vast majority of the rest of the universe. It’s just as important to have knowledge about the ocean as it is with outer space. The knowledge of marine exploration contributes to human sustainability, and offers equal opportunities that space exploration also provides. Therefore, the world should be able to much needed research to devote themselves to exploring the oceans.

Works Cited

"What Is Marine Biology?" MarineBio Conservation Society ~ Marine Biology, Ocean Life Conservation, Sea Creatures, Biodiversity, Research… N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2016. <>.

Nnamani, Sally. "Government Should Fund NOAA and Marine Research, Not NASA Space Research." Mic. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2016. <>.

"Issues in Science and Technology." Issues in Science and Technology. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2016. <>.

Ocean Exploration. NASA, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2016. <>.

Comments (2)

Claire Byrnes (Student 2018)
Claire Byrnes

This essay is written in a way that feels almost lyrical to me. The research was incredibly thorough with details such as: the comparative fundings for NASA and NOAA's, Jefferson establishing the Coast Survey, and the Greek philosopher, Pythagoras. This expanded my thinking because I never drew the conclusion between humans exploring space and their own planet. I agree that exploring space for the thrill of new discovery is illogical when scientists could more easier be more productive on our own planet.

Tito Mazzucchi (Student 2018)
Tito Mazzucchi

I can relate to the issue this essay talks about because many times my attention pointed towards the sky. I had known this before but reading this reminded me of the importance of marine discoveries, not just in the field of science. The implications of the knowledge hidden under the sea can only help us better understand ourselves as planet Earth.