NASA: Still Spending Our Money

Heard this morning that 79 million of our tax dollars will be used by NASA to blast the moon.. no wonder NASA chief Mike Griffin (pictured below) is so happy. Here is a clip from the story:
Early Friday morning, NASA will slam two spacecraft into the moon in the hope of unearthing signs of water.

The spacecraft, called the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite or LCROSS, will break into two parts to hit the moon a few minutes apart. First the Centaur upper stage rocket will hit the lunar crater Cabeus near the southern pole, sending a plume of debris about 6 miles above the moon. LCROSS then will fly through the debris, collecting and analyzing the debris, searching for signs of water ice before slamming into the moon at 5,000 miles per hour.
Stories like this help me realize that NASA is not dead but alive and spending our tax dollars. I used to be very pro space exploration.. but these days I wonder if our destiny lays in space or maybe we should be exploring other things?

Sounds a bit cynical to me.. somebody help me get NASA positive!


  1. $79 million is only 0.0026% of our national budget. The federal government spends that much every 14 minutes around the clock. But, the non-exploration justification is that NASA projects result in many of the technological developments that benefit industry and medicine. Often industry and medicine wouldn't invest as much money as NASA will to develop the technology but once developed the capitalist are happy to exploit it.

  2. I've never understood the technological justification for NASA. The premise seems to be that if we didn't develop the technologies to explore space, they would never have been developed otherwise. Doesn't make sense to me. If they're worthwhile technologies, someone would develop them.

    Even as a kid watching the first moonwalk on TV, I never understood what the big deal was about going to space. I just find it boring. What purpose did landing on the moon serve other than beating the Russians? Now that we've shown we can do it and we've done it, we don't even go anymore.

    If we want to develop technology, develop it and skip the space trips.

  3. I have enjoyed the story of the two Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. It inspires the adventurer in me.

  4. The private sector didn't develop the Internet and would not have. It was a government funded project sponsored by Al Gore who, by the way, never said he invented the internet. The private sector has been revolutionized by the Internet but only because the taxpayer put up the money. Another example is the TVA, another government funded project, that brought the area of the country out of the 19th century into the 20th century. The private industry benefits significantly from the TVA but would never have made such an investment.

    Regarding trips to the moon. The objective was not to land on the moon. The objective was to develop the technology to travel into outer space, to be able to stay for an extended period of time and explore new manufacturing and processing methods that take advantage of zero gravity - the Space Station.

    Finally, I would love to travel into space. I'd love to be able to stand on the moon and look back on our great blue planet. If you enjoy watching the sun set on the beach, then I think watching the Earth from the moon would be that same feeling multiplied 100 times.

  5. How much of the earth is still unexplored? I've heard that much of the ocean depths have never been seen... wonder what wonders will be found one day.

  6. I think we will discover a lot of the trash we dumped into the ocean when we reach its unexplored depths.

  7. That last comment made me laugh Joe.. good one!

  8. Here I thought we declared war on the moon :). I think the positives that come from NASA far outweigh the spending... and as Joe has mentioned compared to numerous other programs it isn't that much.

    I'd rather see them spend on NASA and leave health care to the private sector.


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