Help me with my project: Should The government continue to fund NASA?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 20, 2011 9:37 PM GMT
    So you have the question above. I need some fact-supported opinions using fiscal proof. Are there programs that are worth keeping and how much funding do they get? What programs aren't worth a hunk of space junk and how much money do they waste? Is it worth it right now to focus on building a moon outpost, or should NASA's future funding be put to more earthly tasks?

    All supported opinions welcome.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 20, 2011 9:48 PM GMT
    cromiel34 saidSo you have the question above. I need some fact-supported opinions using fiscal proof. Are there programs that are worth keeping and how much funding do they get? What programs aren't worth a hunk of space junk and how much money do they waste? Is it worth it right now to focus on building a moon outpost, or should NASA's future funding be put to more earthly tasks?

    All supported opinions welcome.


    OK I'll bite. A lot has been written about the role and waste at NASA - and I think that while a lot of people think that it should be funded, they dispute how and what should be funded - especially since the risk is that government spending can either support or crowd out the nascent private space age that's just starting to grow.

    Anything you talk about should reference the AnsariX prize (look it up), additional resources here:

    http://infinite-frontier.blogspot.com/2009/03/why-should-we-fund-nasa.html
    http://theissue.com/issue/6331.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h_d6YVA1Kg
    http://www.transterrestrial.com/?p=31402 (how poorly NASA has spent money in the past.
    http://www.aolnews.com/2010/11/18/opinion-nasa-goes-badly-off-course/ (how NASA has lost focus and its leadership problems)
    http://space.xprize.org/ - this is something that NASA has done incredibly well, the use of additional prizes to accomplish specific technical breakthroughs. The idea of using prizes is another way to spend money versus doing the research itself while fostering industry knowledge and competition.
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/nasa/obamas-new-nasa-speech a review by Rand Simburg of the current Administration's plans for NASA
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3280

    Mar 20, 2011 9:55 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    cromiel34 saidSo you have the question above. I need some fact-supported opinions using fiscal proof. Are there programs that are worth keeping and how much funding do they get? What programs aren't worth a hunk of space junk and how much money do they waste? Is it worth it right now to focus on building a moon outpost, or should NASA's future funding be put to more earthly tasks?

    All supported opinions welcome.


    OK I'll bite. A lot has been written about the role and waste at NASA - and I think that while a lot of people think that it should be funded, they dispute how and what should be funded - especially since the risk is that government spending can either support or crowd out the nascent private space age that's just starting to grow.

    Anything you talk about should reference the Ansari SpaceX prize (look it up), additional resources here:

    http://infinite-frontier.blogspot.com/2009/03/why-should-we-fund-nasa.html
    http://theissue.com/issue/6331.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h_d6YVA1Kg
    http://www.transterrestrial.com/?p=31402 (how poorly NASA has spent money in the past.
    http://www.aolnews.com/2010/11/18/opinion-nasa-goes-badly-off-course/ (how NASA has lost focus and its leadership problems)



    Well i think this is an exception to where government could and has played a big role. Waste aside.

    The satellite tv im ( dish/directv) i am watching now was brought about by NASA endeavors.

    If space / moon is to be colonized, we need our government involved. Overall its money well spent..


    I am sure Tigertim would agree overall physics and high end sciences are underfunded.
  • thirdoz

    Posts: 69

    Mar 20, 2011 11:18 PM GMT
    NASA isn't perfect, but because there's some waste doesn't mean it should be abolished, just reformed. NASA's role versus that of emerging private companies isn't really a legitimate argument. These private sector companies emerged under the wings of NASA, largely generated by the technology and research done at NASA, cooperation between the two would make more sense than competition. More importantly, these companies are just that: for-profit companies, and are largely only interested in launching satellites and near space tourism. NASA is there (or should be) for more fundamental questions about the nature of the universe. As for costs, the annual federal budget for NASA is around 17 billion, just over the allotment for pell-grants, not including the total department of education budget. Overall, NASA's spending makes up around 3-5% of the federal budget, by comparison the defense/homeland security budget is over 40 times that (edit: with over half a trillion annual spending/and the growing interest on the national debt around 400billion annually).
    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy10/browse.html
    This article takes a look at some budget issues:
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/898/1
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 20, 2011 11:38 PM GMT
    thx guys. this is a help. ive got a big EPI presentation tomorrow. Its 10% of my grade (yikes)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2011 2:41 AM GMT
    cromiel34 said...or should NASA's future funding be put to more earthly tasks?

    All supported opinions welcome.
    Every single thing that NASA has done, and is planning, is for the advancement of earthly tasks.
    In fact, you wouldn't even be typing this if it weren't for NASA.
    There's my answer. icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2011 2:52 AM GMT
    Perfect answer from one amazing guy.



    And....

    Republicans do not want to die poor.

  • buckled

    Posts: 165

    Mar 23, 2011 3:00 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    cromiel34 said...or should NASA's future funding be put to more earthly tasks?

    All supported opinions welcome.
    Every single thing that NASA has done, and is planning, is for the advancement of earthly tasks.
    In fact, you wouldn't even be typing this if it weren't for NASA.
    There's my answer. icon_wink.gif


    QFT - Pro Answer.
  • shutoman

    Posts: 505

    Mar 23, 2011 10:56 AM GMT
    Here's a perspective:

    NASA has accrued a colossal - and, indeed, expensive - super-critical mass of scientific and technological expertise.

    Moreover - NASA has achieved big things. It embarked upon an astonishingly ambitious project, and succeeded. This is rare.

    Dismantling this would be a waste.

    However, the objectives of NASA (space travel/colonisation) are questionable. Do we really need to expand to other planets? The answer is unclear and the implications problematic.

    Are there other things NASA could do that are clearer and more relevant? Yes. There is severe public anxiety about nuclear energy at the moment (Japan) - but we also have to cope with energy security issues and global warming (I hear you climate change sceptics - but can we save that for another thread, please, this guy has a project).

    Nuclear fusion has the prospect of secure, clean, energy. It is, however, famously problematic. If, as NASA states, its expertise developed in the course of its projects is of benefit to humanity - and justifies its budget - it could apply some of this resource to the fusion project.

    Resources might include: Personnel, training expertise, know-how, IT capacity, political pressure, project management.

    Steven
  • bad_wolf

    Posts: 1002

    Mar 23, 2011 11:57 AM GMT
    When it comes to research in psychology - to receive approval, finicial support and resources you have to submit a proposal about the value and necessity of perform said research to a board adept peers.

    Perhaps the same approach is needed. If NASA wants to send a probe somewhere then - how much, why, is it really necessary, will it actually help us? etc

    My two rusty pence.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2011 12:01 PM GMT
    I think the question is: should NASA be the monopoly entity to receive funding? I say no. We've seen tremendous advances in private sector R&D into potential space flight. Competition is good and helps advance ideas at lower costs. But the underlying concept is that the US has a strategic interest to continue exploring space in whatever way gets us the best Return on Investment.