FRQ Synthesis

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Space exploration has historically been led by government programs with public funding, but in 2004 the United States legalized privatized space travel. Since then private industries have been investigating ways to make exploring space both affordable and profitable. Critics of privatized space exploration believe that the costs of space travel are too prohibitive to be worthwhile for the general public.

Carefully read the following six sources, including the introductory information for each source.

Write an essay that synthesizes material from at least three of the sources and develops your position on the extent to which privatizing space exploration is beneficial.

Source A (McCarthy)
Source B (Schwartz)
Source C (Pappalardo)
Source D (table)
Source E (cartoon)
Source F (Al-Rodhan)
In your response you should do the following:
Respond to the prompt with a thesis that presents a defensible position.
Select and use evidence from at least three of the provided sources to support your line of reasoning. Indicate clearly the sources used through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. Sources may be cited as Source A, Source B, etc., or by using the description in parentheses.
Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning.
Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

Source A
McCarthy, Kevin. “Commercial Space: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Space, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.” 20 Nov. 2013,

The following is excerpted from the testimony of a United States representative during a congressional hearing.

America is built on a strong heritage of exploration, discovery, and innovation. From President Thomas Jefferson’s commissioning of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to exploring the American West, to the Transcontinental Railway linking east and west together, to the public-private partnership that helped the airline industry grow to become a safe mode of travel all over the world, to the internet, which has generated as much economic growth in 15 years as the Industrial Revolution did in 50.

Space, like the internet before the dot-com boom of the 1990s, was originally a government-run enterprise. Many believe that the commercial spaceflight is poised to have its own dot-com moment in the near future. NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo program alone has already created thousands of high-quality jobs here in America, including many at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, which I represent. My district is also home to Mojave Air and Space Port where many commercial spaceflight companies have located to research, develop, and test their hardware that will soon take Americans back to space.

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