Is NASA spending a waste?


Astrophysics is so glitzy, but I am exhausted by all the money spent on telescopes. “So what?” is my opinion. There are some neat composite pictures. But, is that “it”?

We can’t get to the nearest star in a human lifetime, even if it weren’t cost prohibitive.

All those engineers and scientists seem to want to justify their jobs, when there are many more pressing problems down here on earth.

We hear about all this “research” on the ISS, but what has it produced? Are the results in the private domain? I suspect that there is more militarization of space than there is fundamental research. The cliché is that the next big war will be in space. “Star wars?” I thought we got over that decades ago.


There are research projects that are ‘out of curiosity’ and those with more practical use.
Solar winds. Aside from the Northern Lights, a severe blast of those can cripple our electrical systems. Killer asteroids.


of all the the things the US government spends money on; imho the exploration of space is the LEAST wasteful

i anticipate with hopeful joy the first bishop of Mars

won’t happen in my lifetime…

.maybe my grandchildren’s… :slight_smile:


While you could argue (well, in my opinion) that many costly research projects are not going to yield any useful results and should not be sponsored by taxpayers, shutting down an entire branch of research seems a bit excessive. You are correct that practical space travel is not feasible within our life time, but the opportunities of such an enterprise are too good to just ignore. But I would agree that most countries are too willing to throw money at these kind of things, rather than finding more efficient solutions.

Now you mentioned that there are more pressing issues on Earth, and that is true. However, an astrophysicist is not qualified for anything other than astrophysics, and cannot help stop ebola or re-fertilize the deserts.


Some believe studying Mars might help us understand some parts of Earth.


i think Earth is vastly underpopulated due to secularism, divorce & abortion

i’d love to see a population explosion

whereby humanity by just natural means craves more space

Mars is like a ripe tomato

begging for humans to come & colonize her

we don’t have to “conquer” Mars, we don’t have to make an empire there or steal Mars from any indigenous people

we have to just arrive there & exploit the riches…


If, like me, you are not a believer space exploration makes a lot of sense. With no god(s) to save us humans are at risk of becoming extinct, like 99% of the other species that have lived on earth. Space exploration gives us the chance to continue.


Sonce you consider NASA spending a waste, I suppose you’d be happy to see us all do without the medical advances they’ve produced or assisted in producing?


I personally don’t see it as a waste. It’s a good thing for us to seek more knowledge about our universe. Also, there have been many inventions that came about due to space exploration which benefits mankind to this day. You can read more about that at this link if you’d like:


Yes, manned spaceflight is generally a waste. The ISS has accomplished very little scientifically. There is no reason for humans to go back to the moon. Mars can wait. Unmanned space exploration is much less expensive, and more productive.


Yes there is, to build a space elevator. Once tested there we can build one here and once have done going into space it stupidly cheap.


I would think the main problem with building a prototype of a space elevator on the moon would be lack of resources. It was difficult enough to get a few astronauts to the moon and bring them back. Can you imagine trying to get the massive amount of materials necessary for a space elevator – even a small one – to the moon?! :scream:


Of course it is a waste. Anything the government does is wasteful and political. Private space exploration and study could be very useful. People would fund it only in as much as it actually produced results of some type.


Study of space is (hopefully) going to allow us to go out and explore the amazing wonder of God’s creation beyond the Earth. It might not be doing much for us right now, but I firmly believe it is worthwhile for the future.


There may be. There are resources there that might be needed in the future, as we exhaust ours, like He-3, which can be used, in theory, in fusion energy generation. There is also the possibility of mining asteroids in the future. Historically, such exploration that pushes what we can do is the fuel for human advancement.

Private exploration alone is hardly an answer. Look at what it has done in the area of pharmaceuticals. Deadly disease that is not profitable does not get the research needed, while we have a plethora of high profit medication to make sex better.


The real value of space exploration and military tech is when that technology is eventually released to the general public. Things like GPS, the internet, microwave ovens, LEDs, water purification techniques are a few examples of how we benefit from trying to stay ahead in the space and arms race.

And the additional benefit (while we’re waiting for all that tech to be declassified and commercially available) that government contracts create jobs. The real purpose behind “Star Wars” and most of the Reagan era military deficit spending was to offset the less than desirable effects of the Carter/Volcker plan. You can’t fight a recession and inflation at the same time without pumping some (ahem, a lot of) money into the economy. The end of the cold war was about the government creating an FDR-era works program in the private sector (whether it was for good or ill is more of a personal call.)


Why do you think that? Billions have been spent on cancer research. At least one ED pill was originally researched for high blood pressure but in tests was revealed to help ED. It was an accidental discovery, as many treatments are.


i look at this issue differently (apparently, from the responses here)

i want to see a human population explosion that requires humans into the colonization of Mars, the moons of Jupiter, etc
there may be $ profit from that , there may not be

there will be more “people” and that is a good thing


The point was you asked for a reason. Why we’d build one on the moon is to test the system before we tried it here. You don’t want a rope litterly the diameter of earth to break and crash down. Better to fail on the moon and get it right then fail here.

Furthermore it’s currently costs $20,000 us to send 1kilogram into space. An elevator while a massive undertaking would shrink that to $200 us a kg.


Actually, I didn’t ask for a reason. I think you are referring to @PaulfromIowa, not me.

I merely commented on the cost of getting materials into space. I don’t have a horse in this race beyond that.

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