Tax Money in Space



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NASA have sent a rover to Mars, because they spotted an area that has water in that planet.  Just 50 kilometers from where the rover had been exploring there is a mountainous landscape that contains water. NASA is basically trying to take an up close look of what that area looks like. So they are sending that rover to that spot, and it will take the rover a whole year to get to that spot. The money that funds NASA is the American public’s money.  Is it worth the millions of dollars?

By discovering the majestic unknown of other planets in our solar system we are investing far into our future.  Space exploration may soon prove more helpful for humans than ever.  Some people could actually go and live on that planet in just a couple years from now. But who should fund such a risky expedition to colonize Mars?   If NASA wasn’t sure about what they discovered on Mars, then they wouldn’t spend money to put this exploration into action. NASA has to be responsible about this action otherwise the public would’ve not given them the money.  But once the public becomes aware of the potential NASA can begin to encourage private investors to take greater risks.


NASA thinks a lot about planetary protection too. they have an entire department on this.

The chart below shows that the NASA budget has shrunk from a 1967 high of 4.5% of total spending to a 2012 low of less than 0.5%



“Having already found signs of water on Mars, finding signs of organic material would be another piece of evidence that there might — might, might — have once been life on Mars.”  Joe Palca


Space exploration is a great expense and the need to spend money on other areas of public funding like the more immediate needs of poor citizens and the international migrant crisis is quite apparent.  However, investing in long term NASA research is worth it because of the potential human impact of knowledge and resources gained. If there is water on Mars, then maybe in about 100 years people will be living up there.

The government makes decisions on how to invest our tax dollars for the common good.  Recently NASA stopped its Space Shuttle program because of the cost.  They are investing in cheaper forms of research and looking into ways to encourage private investors and other nations to share the human responsibility and cost of space exploration.  When funds from tax dollars are so limited and the costs of government are so high spending needs to be done responsibly.