Much of what I was going to say about the contributions of NASA to our
civilization and daily life has been said.A man in a cave,
restricted eating only roots and rodents in order to save money may have his
budget in order, but his quality of life is somewhat diminished if that's
all he focuses on.
Capsaicin, if it wasn't for the space program, you wouldn't be
enjoying many of the comforts of life that you enjoy today. Or the food storage
options. Your cell phone, wrist watch, flat screen TV, CD's, DVD's,
notebook computer, personal computer, microwave, LED lighting, Blue Ray, Ipod,
MP3 player, Satellite car radio, HD, cable TV, satellite TV, computer in your
car, navigation system, hand held GPS, encription systems, and so forth. All
this technology we take for granted had it's genesis in the space program
of the United States. Yes we need to get our financial house in order, but not
at the expense of innovation and technoligcal advancement.
Those on the right have again managed to cloud the truth.The TRUTH
is that NASA funding has ONLY been higher in 2010 and 2011.Some of
you make it sound as if the NASA budget has been gutted. It is
currently higher than 2008 levels and expected to remain so.
Capsaicin,I strongly disagree with you.All of NASA
spending, everything it does, which is vastly more than human space flight,
accounts for 0.6% of federal spending. Eliminating NASA in its entirety would
have pretty much no effect whatsoever on the deficit, while taking us even
farther behind other nations in terms of technological, scientific and economic
competitiveness.If we're going to come to terms with federal
debt it will have to involve a strong dose of economic growth, and NASA-inspired
R&D is a major driving force for economic growth and national
competitiveness.I think we'd be wise as a nation to increase
NASA's budget to 0.8% of federal spending and pursue an aggressive program
of space exploration, just because it would create such a profound and badly
needed kick in the pants to the national economy and the national spirit, to say
nothing of the significant scientific advances such an investment would
produce.You could fund that boost to NASA through a trivial
reduction in DoD spending.
Until the nation has its debt problem worked out, any talk of space is a fools
errand.We are headed for a financial cliff of epic proportions. Let's
talk about shoring up our books first before we talk about spending billions on
new launch vehicles.