Updated 24 February 2003, 14.52
After the tragic loss of the space shuttle Columbia, people are asking whether we should continue to explore space.
Some people think that the risks are too big, or that we should try and solve our problems on Earth before leaving it.
But others say that things we discover in space help us on Earth, and that by leaving our planet we can solve the problems we have on it.
What do you think?
After all the crashes Nasa should have the common sense to stop sending people into space. It's obvious that space is too dangerous for man
Sam, 10, Llanrhian
I think we should continue to explore space. There's a lot to explore here, like the ocean, but think about it; we always want to know of the unknown. And for those saying that 'there could be more crashes. We have to go out and continue to explore and live a normal life. It's what astronauts who pledged their life to explore space would've wanted.
Calymne, 13, USA
I agree that space costs a lot of money that could be spent on things 100 times better. But I also think we have to realise that we are not the only ones, and that everything makes a difference. We're not as special as we'd like to think we are.
Clare, 13, Essex
We should still continue to explore space but with better spaceships. The Columbia was 23 years old
Calum, 12, Aberdeen
No we shouldn't. All space travel does is risk lives and money, money which could be spent on clean water supplies in villages in third world countries.
Helen, 14, Stoke on Trent
If we do not continue exploration through space then we will not continue to proceed into the future
Alex, 12, Ashford
We have found out so much about space through sending people up in space shuttles. Therefore we can't just stop because there must be more to find.
Graham, 14, Northamptonshire
We should continue sending people into space as they provide us with vital information and accidents are very rare.
Ben, 11, Bristol
We must continue to discover new frontiers in order to protect our planet. One day we could depend on space for our survival.
Laurence, 12, Uxbridge
Of course we should! How are we ever going to understand if we don't reach above and beyond our understanding?!
Leah, 13, Reading
Yes, of course we should carry on exploring space, but I think it's too risky to send people. Instead, we should computerised robots.
Sophie, 10, Gosport
I think that we should carry on exploring space, or everything we have learnt until now will be wasted. We could even find other life that could help cure disease and hunger, so that would be good.
Abby, 11, Dundee
I believe that we should, but I also believe that they should make rockets much safer than before. Space is fascinating and we should explore our surroundings.
Ellycia, 11, Stevenage
No, because it might cause more crashes.
Jessica, 12, Donny
We should definitely continue despite the fact that there's a great risk involved. The findings can be of good value for all the people on earth.
B.M, 16, Kampala
Well, it's very sad that those people died. But we must remember them as very strong people. Going to space isn't a game. I think we should keep trying.
Emma, 16, Ume
We should still, it could help us discover new things. More precautions and safety checks should take place though.
Ros, 11, Cheltenham
What about discovering life on other planets? I bet you anything there is such a thing, and many other brilliant things to discover too! Ever seen a shooting star or comet? I've seen several and they're SOOO beautiful... We're such a small part of the universe so why give up exploring it? It's far more fantastic than anything our human minds can conceive. I'm all for space-travel!
Claire, 13, Australia
I think that we should continue to explore space. There's so many billions of amazing things to discover out there ... why give it up now? We're less than a drop in the ocean compared to the universe and I think it's pretty cowardly to forget all about space travel when we have so far yet to go!
Georgia, 13, Saudi Arabia
I think that we, as a planet, should carry on with space travel. For the sake of those who lost their lives.
Laura, 10, Nottingham
No. This proves we shouldn't. It's far too risky. Space was meant to remain a mystery, if we want to explore use probes and machines.
Laura, 13, Southampton
I think that we should, because we can do so many things there that will help us. And I think the Columbia crew wouldn't want us to give up.
Alice, 13, Harrow
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