2011-12 Policy Topic Announced

Posted on January 12, 2011 by Corey Alderdice

Get ready to look to the stars in the coming season, as the 2011-12 policy debate topic has been announced.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere.

The following statement was released by the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS):

Space exploration fires people’s imaginations. The 1969 moon landings rank as one of the highest achievements of modern civilization. There is something uncanny about the human need to explore the universe. Discussing space exploration and development would have the same effect. A topic like this could spark the imagination of potential debaters, and the easy accessibility of materials would make the learning curve on the subject manageable. This is a critical time in the United States space program. The status of the National Aeronautics and Space and Administration is in limbo, especially concerning human spaceflight. The Space Shuttle is retiring in the fall of 2010, with no possible US replacement available before 2015. In addition, NASA has an unclear mandate/direction to explore either the Moon or Mars. This is balanced against NASA’s recent success with robotic exploration, such as the Mars rovers and the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as increased private sector growth. Affirmative cases could include astronomical surveys, setting new goals for human spaceflight, using new probes to examine celestial bodies in our solar system or beyond, and developing space economies. The technological and economic benefits of the space program are well documented. Negative arguments could include the increased militarization of space, the significant cost in money and resources, timeframe arguments and the need to focus more on problems concerning the Earth, such as climate change.

Let us know what you think about the topic!

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