Is NASA spending a waste?


#41

billions of dollars

i say it is money well spent

all signs say that just by natural age progression the yellow dwarf star “Sol” God has given us to be alive will expire

no one posting here will experience th “death” of “Sol”; but it will happen

not by “blowing up” as in supernova, but by becoming larger & larger as her nuclear core expires

so LOGICALLY, we need to move to the next planet out in the solar system ; ie Mars


#42

i know this is all on USA to figure out

europe spends hardly a nickel on space exploration;

it’s all on the broken, busted $22,000,000,000, 000 debt USA citizens to figure out

looking forward to the german Mars mission (NOT HAPPENING)


#43

It’s pretty much guaranteed that some research in the short term is going to come across as seemingly wasteful. Da Vinci’s flying machine never ended up working and it would literally take 400 years for a person to eventually fly. And then when flight finally happened, WW1 started very shortly afterwards and airplanes were used as one of the many new weapons that maximized death and terror for soldiers and civilians. But, it didn’t take long at all for their more practical application to change the world.

I doubt it’s a waste of money, and either way it’s only billions of dollars and not a significant part of the budget.


#44

definitely looking forward to the irish Mars landing

oh, yeah i got it

that is not happening

don’t worry planet Earth, USA has got you covered (NOT)


#45

We would not be here today if this was true. The mere length of time involved in return on investment precludes privatization. It was government sponsorship that explored the world and discovered the New World.


#46

We should only spend money on guns and things that make a profit for us. Give the rest back to the taxpayer. :us:


#47

The Vikings discovered America. And they were doing so on a mission to Christianize Greenland. The mission was paid for by the king, which is really private investment. It was an accidental discovery.

Settlement of the US was a private matter. Men were given land grants from which they established colonies. Jamestown was started by a private stock company.


#48

That makes it seem inconsequential. But the amount is $19.5 billion. If the US has 325 million people then the per person amount is $60. I’d much rather have $60 a year in my pocket than have NASA get that. A family of four would have $240 more money.


#49

Obviously I was not counting that, as we are not descendants of the Vikings. The settlement of the Americas (not just the United States) was private, but would not have occurred without any awareness of the existence of this land. It is not like they would have settled in the oceans, or that the Vikings had left records for Europe to follow to the Americas.

No, without the initial exploration there would have been no late-comers, like the East India Company, to take advantage of colonization. I don’t buy that the crown constitutes private investment. It is not as if any king worked privately for a living. That money came, in some form, from the populous.

We have our own “East India Company” today in the form of Space-X, who could not be operating today without NASA.


#50

Monrarchy is like a private family business where the crown owns the realm. It is different from a republic where the ‘people’ own the realm. It is wrong to project republican ideas onto monarchy.

The Vikings left records. Their acts were recorded in sagas.


#51

Private businesses rarely invest in technology research of theories not even thought of. If you own a computer or smart phone, you have technology that derived from NASA research. Private businesses of that time never even envisioned that a smartphone was possible.

Private enterprise and capitalism are not the end-all-be-all. Even if you irrationally believe in infinite growth on a finite planet, government funded programs such as NASA can be invaluable to economic growth.


#52

How can one invest in a theory not even thought of? That doesn’t make any sense. You have to think of something before you can research it.

Private companies engage in all sorts of technical research.

Quite possibly. But just because NASA research discovered something first doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have been discovered by someone else.

Private companies invented the silicone transistor and integrated circuit. Some of the greatest technology research was done by Bell labs.

Science fiction writers have envisioned most modern technology.


#53

#54

Nope. Studies of the basic building blocks of how things work, uncover possibilities that were unimaginable before the advancement of knowledge. Private companies have no real motivation to partake in this research, because there is not a specific money-making business plan in place. Neil DeGrasse Tyson once said something to the effect that what keeps him up at night is not the things that we struggle to solve that we know things about, it’s the things that we don’t even know enough about to even begin studying.

Except that someone else could be another country and now you lose that competitive advantage. For a country more dependent on technology and expertise than natural resources, it is imperative not to lose the race for knowledge.

“Most” may be a stretch. But how many private companies stay afloat researching science fiction fantasy ideas?


#55

Okay, my point remains. The Europeans of the Fifteenth Century lack time travel technology to come to understand history as we do today, and then go back, as well as the ability to bend cause and effect so the the evidence of the Vikings found in Newfoundland could substantiate that they were there at a land they did not know existed. We are were we are today because of public exploration. You think the type of government matters? Well, good for you. I believe the point remains valid. It takes the government (of some form or fashion) to do certain things.


#56

What is an example of what you are talking about that is a ‘basic building block’ that private companies will not research?

If there is no financial benefit to the research then why engage in it at all? It has no practical use. Now, if something that has no practical use is of interest to people they should be free to research it. But they shouldn’t be able to pick other people’s pockets to satisfy their own curiosity.

Personally I don’t find Tyson to be very smart. He obviously has some specific knowledge that he is an expert in. But when he has ventured into more philosophical realms he has revealed that he isn’t all that wise.


#57

Stop worshiping money.

Just because society doesn’t place a dollar value on something doesn’t make it worthless. “Motherhood” carries no financial benefit, would you say it has no practical use and is valueless?


#58

But that is demonstrably false. Nothing a government has ever done can only be done by government.

It is true that government often does things and no one else at the time does it. That isn’t due to the special nature of government beyond its claim of monopoly rights and ability to fund itself by force.


#59

I grew up reading science fiction (starting in the 1950s), and then later watching it on TV and in the movies. I had a transistor radio glued to my ear when the first Mercury astronauts took their rides. I dreamed of going into space myself. I was a manned-space-exploration junkie.

Having said that, and with 50-ish years of real adult life behind me, I have to say that I completely agree with Paul. As much as I believe that humanity must, eventually, learn how to live in space, for the time being I believe that the United States should completely shut down its manned space program until we have a balanced budget and the national debt has been completely paid off. Yes, we should eventually go to Mars and back to the Moon, but not on a credit card.

D


#60

If that family wants to commit to living without any of the advancements that come from the space program then perhaps they can have their $240 back. Of course I’d prefer not to subsidize their family decisions so I’d prefer they lose their dependent tax credits. I’m sure everyone will be happy with this arrangement as we watch other countries outpace and outshine us as the US descends into a shadow of what it once was.


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