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"Manned space flight is costly and dangerous. Moreover, the recent success of a series of unmanned space probes and satellites has demonstrated that a great deal of useful information can be gathered without the costs and risks associated with sending men and women into space. Therefore, we should invest our resources in unmanned space flight."
The first look of the argument seems entirely true, convincing and matches with the nowadays’s technology and progress. At the first sight to the above letter, you will agree with the author that we should invest and direct our resources in unmanned spaces probes as long as it’s less risky and as efficient as the manned space probes. However, as we go deep into the matter, we can easily grasp many flaws and realize that the argument lacks the vital evidence to validate its claim.
First of all, the argument considers that manned space flights are costly and dangerous than their counterparts, which is completely unsubstantiated. He didn’t even mention any studies or statistics that assure his claims. How many accidents or space failures have taken place in the recent years? It may be true that unmanned spaceships need robots and advanced complex machines to be able to perform their missions and minimize the probability of errors and hence not economic at all. On the other hand, manned space ventures won’t be affected by such robots’ errors. As long as we can’t confirm these claims, then the premise is weak and we can’t make a conclusion that the unmanned space flights are the future.
A second reason that the argument is flawed is the assumption put forward by the author. the author assumes that- according to recent studies- unmanned space flights can gather the same useful information gathered by manned space trips. How would that be possible if the robot itself has been invented by a human? And even there’s no evidence that they both perform the same functions. Both manned and unmanned space flights might perform related tasks but they might also perform other tasks that are independent and so both of them are required for future endeavors. To illustrate, manned space flight could gather information about the texture of the land on a determined planet by touching it, and the probes and satellites could gather information such as temperature and air humidity. If the argument had provided the type of information gathered by each type of space flight, then it would have been a lot more convincing.
Furthermore, the letter states that “the recent success of a series of ...” which is a vague language that could mean there is a considerable number of drones which were sent out to space, of which enough succeeded to be considered a representative sample of the whole population of ships that will be sent out. It could also mean, however, that there was a series of five drones sent out, of which all five succeeded. The argument could have been much clearer if it mentioned the number of series released into space and the percentage of success that they achieved otherwise, the use of statistics this way doesn’t prove a legitimate basis of support.
The argument could have been more cogent if the reference for these assumptions is explicitly provided, thus due to the above-stated flaws, the argument seems to be ill-founded. However, if the author had mentioned enough evidence and stats, then the argument would have been infallible and leave no room for guessing. But as of now, the authenticity of the argument falls flat due to the insufficiency of the data provided.