This questions may seem naive, but, worth pondering:
As humans keep sending more and more missions to space (outside earth's system), the earth is being affected in the following ways:
- Earth is losing mass (though negligible, yet cumulative). The point to consider is that most space missions do not return physical matter back to earth and luckily we do not get hit by meteors, asteroids or comets; thus the matter lost may not be replenished.
- Space missions send out hard to find or extract, precious minerals/metals/fuel. Even if space debris falls to earth, mere rock is not the same as metals and other elements.
So the question, if we keep sending out space missions, will earth be impacted negatively?
Update: Many have pointed out that most missions end up in debris that falls back on Earth. I wish to place on record, that I am specifically pointing at non-LEO missions, such as the deep impact probe, Mars missions, Pluto missions etc., specifically in the future, when such missions will increase in frequency.