Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nada for NASA

 Humans have been interested in space ever since we came into existence. Yet with all this interest we fail to make ends meet as a space exploring species. Ever since the Apollo missions of the space race with the Soviet Union NASA (or National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a government run agency)funding  has been reduced dramatically. This has been largely due to the fact that people think the moon was the last stop. This is not the case. George Bush planned to return to the moon by 2020 and land a human on Mars and return him safely by 2050. These plans have come under recent stress. On September 9th, 2009, The Augustine Panel, the panel that was set up a few months earlier to advise the president of funding to NASA, came to a conclusion. That NASA needs $3 billion more added on to their $18 billion budget. This may seem like a lot of money to a common person, but in reality it is very small. Eighteen billion dollars is less than 1% of the government's budget.

How will NASA get this money? There are many plans out there to get NASA this extra $3 billion so they can continue to proceed from the moon to Mars. The Augustine Panel came up with a few, but they aren't very good in my opinion. One of the options says to deorbit the International Space Station in 2016 and use the money put into that to get to the moon. The panel warned that this was a last resort option though. Another plan involves scrapping the planned rocket to take men to the moon and Mars and use commercial rockets instead. This way the government doesn't pay for the rockets directly.

Whatever course of action NASA takes I will support. I believe exploring space is one of the most important things we can do as a species. The technology to get up there and live up there for extended periods also benefits people on Earth. One of the Apollo NASA administrators said, "Comparing technology today and what we had back then is shocking. We essentially went to the moon on the computing power of one laptop and one digital pocket watch. Why can't we get to Mars now?" I think he makes a very good point. NASA has gone very far with what money they have; I think they deserve a little bit more money.

-Marmaduke Maximillian Winchester III


  1.) Brooks, Jeff. "The Space Review: Putting NASA&#8217;s budget in perspective." The Space Review: essays and commentary about the final frontier. 2 July 2007. Web. 17 Sept. 2009. <>.

2.) "Cash needed to fuel return to moon." Omaha World-Herald 9 Sept. 2009, Main News sec.: 3A. Print.

3.) Cornish, Neil J. "Lagrange Points." Department of Physics, Montana State University. 21 May 1999. Web. 17 Sept. 2009. <>.

4.) Dunbar, Brian. "NASA - What Does NASA Do?" NASA - Home. 9 Mar. 2008. Web. 17 Sept. 2009. <>.

5.) Powell, Stewart M. "NASA's mission for billions more may be an uphill battle | National | - Houston Chronicle." Houston news, entertainment, search and shopping | - Houston Chronicle. 13 Sept. 2009. Web. 17 Sept. 2009. <>.

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Madonna Wayne Gacy said...

Well, you do have another option which is go for the current plan with money: print some new dollars.

:D Everybody likes new things, why not get new dollars too?

In all seriousness, we could just divert like 5billion from some useless program within the government towards NASA. Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security rings a bell. But I don't know, because we have the stupid WE MUST GET EVERYONE REGISTERED TO VOTE!! Mentality, we're doing retarded things. If we had kept the voter registration less of an issue, we wouldn't have had as many people going "You're right, 'YES WE CAN'!" and voting. Therefore, problem solved if we fix voting system.


But NASA is a pretty important deal. Better space exploration = colonization = a back up plan for when we go nuclear. Also, it can lead to new life if it so does! Who says that aliens have to come and destroy us? Why can't we go in and destroy them!?

waffle crisp said...

I say give NASA some support. Back during the Space Race getting to the moon was the most important thing, but that wasn't a stopping point.

(Though I am still angry at this whole Pluto isn't a planet thing !)

MachV said...

I, personally, think that progress in space should be one of the main goals of the scientific community today. Sure, we still have a lot of problems on Earth, but recent global trends and doomsday theories hint that things are only going to get worse. Think of all we could learn if we pushed the limit of the "final frontier". But it takes money to run a space program, even for us to build powerful telescopes and just look into space. I think this whole budgeting thing is a grave mistake and should seriously be reconsidered.