Exploring space


Sir, – Dennis Fitzgerald (Letters, January 5th), while fascinated by the recent images of the large rock at the edges of our solar system, bemoans the lack of progress in solving more pressing Earth-bound needs, such as climate change, disease and hunger.

In fairness, photographing Ultima Thule was not the primary function of the New Horizons probe.

The relative cost of the entire mission is a fraction of the cost of a single nuclear submarine or stealth bomber.

It has long been accepted that the development and execution of space exploration deliver significant benefits to mankind in the areas of technology, engineering, communications, medicine, agriculture, climate understanding, materials and many others fields.

However, I think the most pertinent observation when it comes to prioritising solving Earth-bound issues such as hunger and homelessness is not the money itself, but rather a dearth of political will. – Yours, etc,




Co Wicklow.

Sir, – The probe sent to Ultima Thule also passed Jupiter and Pluto, giving us vital information regarding the geology and atmospheric conditions of other worlds, which will help us solve our own climate change issues, given enough political will to do so.

The cost of the New Horizon mission was comparable to the amount Americans spend on Valentine’s Day presents for their pets in 2018. – Yours, etc,