This conversation is closed.

Should the NASA budget be increased?

What are the benefits to increasing scientific funding through programs such as NASA? How can discoveries made through the space program benefit the world as a whole?

  • Mar 18 2013: I suggest a program(s) that go into the worlds oceans. The discoveries ( technologies) that come from that would benefit us even more then a space program. The abilities to stay underwater for greater times, underwater cities, water purification, etc. would also lead to a cleaner planet.
  • thumb

    Gail .

    • 0
    Mar 18 2013: No. We need to focus on ending the cancer in our social systems first and foremost. When we have done that, then we can move forward again.

    Yes, there are benefits that come to us through discoveries made through the space program, but they have no value if we destroy ourselves as we appear to be doing. A perfect storm is inevitable. A bad fiscal paradigm is causing loss of arable (farmable) soil to the tune of 20,000 square kilometers per year because of bad farming practies, at the same time that we face global warming that is further reducing the availability of food production. Not only that, but aquifeers are being polluted at a dangeerous rate. In December of last year, the American government permitted the destruction of another 1,500 aquifers through fracking. Now add global warming to that and water levels are already being depleted before you consider loss of potable water through - again - bad farming practices of the mega corporate farmers. Now add a burgeoning population to that.

    Why do we have to go to space in order to discover water purification systems or food substances that will feed an already hungry world or affordable energy?
    • Mar 18 2013: That is a good question, and it does have an answer. Sometimes the fastest way to solve a problem is to make the problem bigger, and solve the bigger problem. The best way to feed the hungry people who have poor land and little water might be to solve the problem of feeding people who have no farming land and no water. This approach does not always work, but many times it does work, and the return on investment from NASA is extremely impressive.
  • Mar 18 2013: Yes.
  • Mar 18 2013: The biggest problem with NASA is developing a realistic objective that the whole world can support.

    It is easy to justify NASA's budget, at any level, by pointing at the technology it develops, which provides huge returns to the general economy. Economically, NASA is a great investment in research. However, the results of this research does not benefit everyone equally. In any event, the research budget must be limited.

    Personally, I think the whole world could understand and support the ultimate goal of spreading the human race to locations other than earth. When you consider all of the threats to the human species, establishing colonies in space seems prudent. Especially so if you provide those colonies with the means to re-colonize Earth when it becomes necessary.

    Colonies in space would have to address ALL aspects of living. So the new technologies should have very wide application on Earth as well.