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  • According to the 2016 fiscal year budget request, NASA wants 18.5 billion dollars. What would

  • happen if we… I dunno. Doubled it?

  • Hey space rangers, Trace here for DNews. NASA is owned by the people of the United States

  • of America. If you pay taxes here, you're helping support space exploration. When NASA

  • landed on the moon, we the people did that. The thing is, excepting the Space Race (which

  • was during cold wartime), the U.S. has spent roughly the same amount on NASA every year,

  • between one-half and 1 percent of the Federal budget. Currently, that's about 18 billion

  • dollars. Americans spend 27 billion on pizza annually, for comparison, and 97 billion on

  • alcohol. So, we got to thinking, what would NASA do

  • if the government gave them a few billion extra bucks?

  • Well, according to Jeff Matthews of the Space Frontier Foundation, a well-funded NASA could

  • send more crew to the International Space Station, provide money for Commercial Spaceflight,

  • boost deep-space human missions, and help us send a robotic mission to Europa. Because

  • of the current budget, we don't even staff the ISS fully. Matthews wrote, "we are missing

  • out on direct, near-term science," Meaning, there are more science proposals submitted

  • then there are crew on the International Space Station to carry them out.

  • If NASA's budget were doubled, or tripled, that would still leave it 10 billion less

  • than the Department of Education, or 12 billion less than the intelligence budget. And as

  • Micah Walter-Range of the Space Foundation wrote to DNews, if money were no object, NASA

  • could "invest heavily in developing new technology…" They could, say, maintain the ISS after 2024

  • when it's slated to be abandoned AND fund the human spaceflight program -- right now

  • it's either/or. It would be great to have both, as the ISS can provide more research

  • and support as we venture into deep space. As Walter-Range wrote, "There's a huge need

  • for more biological research if we are going to try to send people to live away from Earth.

  • We may even need to do some tinkering with our physiology in order to survive in different

  • levels of gravity."

  • Unfortunately, a fully-funded NASA probably isn't in the cards. Previously cuts have reduced

  • NASA's public outreach, the office dedicated to helping the American people understand

  • what NASA is doing with tax dollars. And, in 2015, Congress cut the Earth science budget,

  • the department that looks at the "the Earth as a whole system [to] understand how it is

  • changing." Interestingly, "earth science" is where Climate Scientists get much of their

  • dataCongress cut that budget... ? Huh. The Space Frontier Foundation's Policy Director

  • Aaron Oesterle wrote to DNews that NASA is used as a "political football by various special

  • interest groups… [meaning] people will cheer NASA on and support programs that could result

  • in dead ends, when what is needed is a real discussion about goals and strategies."

  • Instead, According to Matthews, a tripled budget could get a manned Mars landing in

  • the late 2020s, sustained exploration, and "significant value for the American public

  • and other beneficiaries of NASA." What beneficiaries? Glad you asked! Well, the taxpayers for one,

  • but also private companies like SpaceX, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon, Orbital ATK, Lockheed

  • Martin, and dozens of others who are all contracted with NASA. Meaning, there's a real return

  • on investment for these tax dollars.

  • And yet, alas, NASA's next human mission to Mars, and the new rocket that will take us

  • there are both "slated for significant cuts under the proposed" budget for 2017.

  • Look, as Dr. Tyson says, NASA costs Americans half a penny per tax dollar. That fraction

  • of a dollar bill is not enough from the edge to reach the ink. Increases like this could

  • restore and boost standard missions like weather, atmospheric and earth sciences, while accelerating

  • and securing contracts for new launch systems, human and biological study, as well as robotic

  • and human-based missions to the edges of our imagination. Wouldn't that be awesome? Yeah,

  • it would. Sponsorship?

  • If you're as into space as we are at Discovery then make sure you tell your phone to remind

  • you about global premiere of Telescope, Saturday, Feb 20th at 9/8c on Discovery channel.

  • If you're thinking, all this sounds great, but what would all this do for me? Guess what.

  • A lot. Check this video here for all the ways space exploration has benefited you, right

  • now.

  • Special thanks to both the Space Frontier Foundation and the Space Foundation for their

  • help with this story! How much money would you give NASA? What would you fund?

  • Let us know in the comments!

According to the 2016 fiscal year budget request, NASA wants 18.5 billion dollars. What would

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What Could NASA Do With Double The Budget?

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    王杰 posted on 2020/02/19
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