a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by wasoxygen

I agree that NASA's portion of the budget is small, and there are much larger programs that deserve more criticism.

But I don't think the right argument to make is: "It's only a little bit of money, so we don't have to worry if it is being used responsibly."

Ten billion dollars a year is small compared to larger programs. But it is large compared to the National Malaria Eradication Program, which produced great benefits.

If NASA is free, and we don't have to give anything up to pay for space research, then we should have a hundred NASAs. What are we actually giving up in order to have NASA, does anyone know?

To determine if NASA is a good way to invest resources, we should examine the costs and the benefits of having NASA. The Internet is not one of those benefits.





goobster  ·  1553 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Wrong. You are absolutely wrong in the wrongest way a wrong person could be.

It's called basic research. It is the human endeavor to learn, to discover, to figure out the universe and how it works.

Basic research can never have a value placed on it because it is basic. Elemental. It underpins every other idea, concept, invention, and innovation that follows it.

I used to work for NASA's Office of Technology Commercialization. The job of the OTC was to take NASA's inventions, and give them to private sector companies to turn into products. There were like, 20 people in this department! And we couldn't even get through all the amazing shit we had to give away. (Why give it away? Because NASA is a publicly funded agency, so WE - the taxpayers - own what NASA produces. That's why the OTC exists. It gives OUR research back to US so WE can make money on it, invent things, create jobs, and continue being amazing and innovative.)

I'm done with you. You choose to live in ignorance, and then espouse moronic opinions completely unencumbered by facts or the practical experience of generations of humans. If we spent 10x on NASA's budget, we still wouldn't be paying "market rates" for the amazing shit they create that makes our modern lives possible. The whole space thing is the flashy "marketing" part of NASA. The real value is the thousands and thousands of scientists, working diligently away in labs, with too little funding, and yet still producing brilliant work that benefits all of us - worldwide - that deserve your respect. And your nickel.