A few days ago on the way to work I was listening to Dirk Van’s show and he posed an interesting question to the listeners. Is the space program worth it?
Most said that it was, for a variety of reasons. Some of them posed were national pride, research that is done, and there were others.
I remember visiting the Kennedy Space Center several years ago. I loved the museums filled with the rockets and equipment used to explore space. I also was able to walk through the area where they were working on the International Space Station. I was with my father and he said to me “this has got to be a black hole of money here”. I couldn’t argue. I assume that NASA is run like any other government program, and is rife with waste.
The benefits of the space program are many. So many of the things that we use every day that we take for granted have been either invented or improved due to the space program.
But can’t we build a structure that can hold a perfect vacuum here on earth for a LOT cheaper and do the research there? Like for say, a billion dollars? For fiscal year -09, NASA’s budget was almost $18bb!
Do we need the weightless part to get the good research done?
Can’t private industry or individuals look for life on other planets?
I would love to hear from some of our scientists who read the blog as well as others on this subject.