Should the United States stop Supporting NASA?
According to Teitel, the United States government approved a budget, which stipulated that NASA should receive $17.8 billion in the fiscal year starting in 2012. This amount was $ 648 million less than the amount, which was allocated for the project in the previous year. This budget was to be distributed with respect to such projects as space exploration and space operations. It was established at $ 1 billion, which is $ 300 million less than in the previous budget, involving NASA science programs. An immense decrease in the number of financial resources which NASA projects receive has been anticipated. Thus, it is under this imminent threat that the research paper focuses on the fundamental question of whether it is safe for the US government to stop supporting the Agency in terms of financial aid.
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First, the nation should continue with supporting the Agency mainly because it contributes immensely in the country pre-eminence in the course of the 20th century. This is attributed to the key frontiers the nation managed to develop and maintain in the course of the economic boost experienced in the early 1960s. It should be noted that this exploration agency overtook the one which was conducted by the USSR, while easing the political climate between the two nations. Thus, NASA has a rich history in contributing to the current success the nation is enjoying (Donahue and O’Leary 2-3).
Second, the amount spent on conducting NASA projects is not a heavy burden to the taxpayers, given the fact that it only constitutes of one-half of a penny spent by them. This is an insignificant amount that cannot be used in terms of showcasing the imminent burden of the project to the taxpayers. According to The Week Editorial Staff, the amount which is spent on paying for US space telescopes, planetary probes, as well as the different unique rovers on planet Mars and the cross-boundary Space station consists of the minimally amount of taxpayers spending. In comparison to the era of Apollo, it is postulated that NASA spending hit heights of a penny-per-dollar spent by the taxpayer and was, thus, considered being operated effectively, while providing a favorable flourishing environment for both economical and political notions of the US dominance in the 20th century.
Furthermore, the United States should continue supporting the Agency financially since it increases the survival chances of the future generations. It is evidently clear that the globe is shifting operations to activities which embrace science and technology. NASA’s key goal is to provide findings on research and development, affecting the nation with respect to changes in science and world technology. Future generations need immense developments in science and technology in order to remain economically competitive. Whenever the technological aspect of a nation is right, it means that elements of innovation and job creation are also substantial (Hartman 454-460). It should be noted that these elements catapult the economy in terms of outsourcing services generated in the US to other countries. Thus, the US should support NASA in order to enhance efforts made in spinning-off innovative products that can be sold to other countries, which, in turn, lack the capacity to develop them due to limited science-projects.
Moreover, it is safe for the United State to continue with supporting the NASA projects, because it will be conformed to the culture which has been passed from one generation to another. According to The Week Editorial Staff, space exploration activities have been a part of the US culture since time immemorial; thus, it is illogical to stop supporting the NASA projects at this period of exploration boom.
It should be noted that the United States public has been at the forefront on matters pertaining to space exploration. For instance, in the course of fixing the Hubble telescope, the public went on a rampage, when it was realized that there were hindrances, causing a delay in its launching. In another instance, when the public learned of the breakage of the space shuttle Columbia in the course of re-entering the earth from space, they assumed mourning for a substantial period of days. As a way of enhancing the tradition, media within the United States are perceived as having an upper-edge over the announcement of news which is related to space exploration. For instance, in 2004, when it was discovered that the Cassini space shuttle was expected to pull into orbit near planet Saturn, one of the most-watched shows in the US aired the information in the first hour news-piece, even though the exploration was not a scientific-based exercise (Lambright 151-156).
Furthermore, it is a significant notion that the United States continues supporting the NASA project because it is through space explorations that the Earth came to learn of some imminent danger, approaching from the low Earth orbit in form of a killer asteroid (Topousis, Dennehy, and Lebsock 499-502). This component is expected to paralyze the entire activities of the earth, when it lands. This information grasp has been, in turn, used by the entire globe to prepare for the immediate consequences. It is safe to assume that in the case that space exploration was halted way before the information was gathered due to either under-funding or no-funding at all, the Earth could be living in a state of ignorance and oblivion.
Moreover, the United States of America should continue with supporting NASA activities as it provides a fundamental base upon which young professionals are nurtured and maintained for the sake of future operations. It is evidently clear that with these activities, NASA is capable of improving the development of scientist, statisticians, technologists, as well as specialized engineers. Whenever these young prospects are identified and nurtured in a proper manner, there is hope for a brighter future for the immediate society. The United States should nurture these experts in order to remain relevant and, thus, retain a pre-eminence state it currently enjoys. Failure to implement this aspect means that such countries as China and Germany will surpass the nation with useful advancements in technology; hence, it will lag behind in production activities (Lambright 151-156).
In addition, it is through NASA projects that the dream for a substantially more fair future is attained. In case NASA activities receive enough funds from the US government, the entire nation will be literate in matters concerning space exploration; thus, they will rise through existing ranks to come up with new methodologies of performing activities. This, in turn, will create a foundation for a fairer tomorrow in respect to both economic and political environments.
Most notably, there is a certain level of security the project is able to provide. For instance, it is through NASA activities that the US will be able to formulate strategies which concern protecting its people from advanced forms of terror attacks. In case of a biological warfare attack by another country, the United States, through their NASA-nurtured biologists, will help disembark the weapons which were used and provide with precise measures to prevent possible damages to the country (Lambright 151-156).
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Moreover, the United States government should continue supporting NASA projects merely because by either stopping or underfunding the financial support will mean that the advancements made in the solar system explorations will become insignificant and a waste of time. According to the article NASA’s planetary science program endangered by budget cuts, the political climate has prevented the advancements made in respect to exploration involved with tapping solar energy for the larger part of the American society which had little or no access to electrical form of energy. The solar exploration project was vulnerable to the budget deficits of NASA due to politics. The solar exploration project requires immense levels of preparation, which involves sending robots to the space in order to assess the situation, established technological developments which have been tested over a substantial period of time, as well as an opportune launching activity which requires a planetary configuration. Most significantly, the financial aids that the project should receive are crucial, since in case of either underfunding or no funding, it can paralyze the activity altogether.
Furthermore, the research ventures and combined campaigns by both NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) have lead to the discoveries of other planets, possessing the characteristics favorable for supporting life. For instance, due to its being underfunded by the US government, NASA pulled out of the mission which was focused on launching explorative activities on Mars, as well as a venture agreement with ESA to enter and explore the Martian atmosphere and, thus, provide responses for whether planet Mars was able to support life. Furthermore, due to underfunding, NASA withdrew from a significant project which concerned exploring the truth behind the existence of an ocean harboring Jupiter that could support life. These explorations are significant mainly because they are targeting ways through which the pressure exerted on the already limited earth resources could be supplemented, hence, increasing chances for future survival (Topousis 511).
Moreover, the US government should continue providing sufficient funds for NASA because the projects allow job-creating. Thus, the Agency supports a substantial number of people in terms of earning a livelihood. For instance, there are mathematicians employed to provide exact statistics for launching a space campaign, engineers work in the course of constructing rockets which will be used by the Aeronautics researchers. There is a vast number of American citizens who have been employed by the Agency to provide public relation services for NASA. Thus, cutting or ceasing funding for the projects means that a lot of people will be rendered jobless. It should be noted that the Agency provides a base upon which established aeronautical professionals are found, and this triggers element of self-actualization for them. Stoppage in funding means that there would be nowhere to look-up-to for young and upcoming scientists (Topousis 509-510).
In addition, information derived from explorations made by NASA in space is used extensively in classrooms. Young and upcoming scientists rely heavily on the ever-growing information made by NASA newer advancements. Knowledge is based on the facts which have been explored and proved by the Agency. Thus, cutting-down on funding by the US government means that the classrooms will be cut-short of literature materials useful for enlightening purposes. Children in schools will shift attention away from the science lesson, and this will have a negative impact on the economic development of the nation, given the fact that there would be a short-supply of scientists. Scientists are needed for examining different issues, affecting normal lives of human beings; thus, their absence will cause a permanent negative effect on the living standards of the American people.
Furthermore, the United States government should commence with providing the NASA projects with relevant and reliable financial sources for the mere fact that there is still a need for further adventure. It is without doubt that most of the interesting features within the Earth have been explored; thus, there is a need to conduct further adventure outside the planet and into the little known space. The activity had been initiated in the course of the 1960s, and it is illogical to stop his initiative. Adventures are fascinating in nature and are also the source of reliable information needed in making crucial decisions that affect the planet Earth to a considerable degree (Donahue and O’Leary 5).
Moreover, the American government should continue supporting NASA, since its discoveries continue to create efficient and effective private sector businesses. For instance, the Agency is renowned for developing such features as memory foam, efficient sunglasses, as well as the notion involved with freeze-drying technology. These items and ideas have been used extensively to create businesses, which activities involve production processes and later distributing them to potential consumers at a profit. Therefore, the whole project translates to the refurbishing of the economy, as well as the creation of jobs for the American citizens (Donahue and O’Leary 11-18).
However, there have been arguments which counter the need for supporting the NASA project.
First, it is argued that the billions of dollars which are spent on the outside space can be tapped and used on Earth, especially because there are many problems which affect human beings on the planet. It is argued that money can be directed towards helping the less fortunate in terms of feeding and building shelters for them. It is still argued that most parts of the globe are experiencing starvation and insecurity, and that money used in funding the project can also be used in providing security to these people scattered across the globe.
Second, it is argued that the American government should stop funding NASA projects, because the country is in dire debts; therefore, it needs to redirect money into paying these debts rather than waste on NASA projects which cost the country a substantial amount of money. For instance, it is stipulated that a single space mission costs the nation about $ 450 million in order to be successful, and in case of failure, like the Columbia disaster, it costs the country more than $ 500 million. The opponents indicate that in case of money being directed to pay the trillions of dollars US owes to such countries as China, the debt could have been reduced significantly (Zingale and Hummel 253-260).
Third, the opponents of the issue argue that the United States government should stop funding the project merely because there are bodies within Earth that have not been entirely explored. For instance, the ocean water bodies have only been explored in limited terms and, thus, instead of funding the Agency, the United States government is advised to fund such aforementioned platforms on Earth which also cost less and can derive more benefits.
Moreover, the opponents argue that the funding to NASA should be stopped, because the activity has now been transformed commercially. This transformation means that more people will be involved with the activity, thus, providing extensive financial support to conduct the process (Zingale and Hummel 253-260).
To sum up, it is safe to conclude that the United States government should not stop funding the NASA projects, given the fact that it creates employment, provides relevant information which is useful in the course of learning, provides future professionals who might lead the country into further technological advancements, creates a fundamental base for the thriving of private businesses, as well as leading to innovative products which are useful in terms of improving the living standards of human beings who live on the Earth.