Monday, December 7, 2009

Think NASA should be further along than it is? Don't blame NASA

Jason Rhian
Tampa Space Program Examiner

The average citizen will often pose the question, "If we landed on the moon in the 60s, then why haven't we gone anywhere or done any exploring in the last 37 years?" They will also point an accusatory finger at NASA's Orion spacecraft and Ares rocket and ask why the space agency has not developed something more inspiring. Where are the moon bases? Why aren't we out exploring the solar system? If you've ever asked these questions, don't blame NASA - blame yourself.

NASA lives at the will of politicians - who are elected by the American people. Therein lies the tragic comedy that is NASA's funding situation. The public rails against NASA for not doing all sorts of amazing things and then becomes indignant when funding goes toward the agency's efforts. In short, we want it both ways. The public also goes insane when they hear that NASA's annual budget is $17.8 billion. When you have a populace that is willing to spend $80 billion a year on cigarettes and an estimated $14 billion in pornography, yet unwilling to spend one fourth of its annual smoking expenditure and near the same amount as its annual porn expenditures for one of the most important endeavors a nation can undertake - then we as a people have fallen extremely low.

Read the column HERE.

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