Tiny Code

Tiny Code

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

NASA's steadily shrinking budget

According to this article at least some politicians are aware of the problems posed by NASA's steadily dwindling budget. With the economy as strained as it is now, there's very little chance they'll get the increase they so desperately need. The problem isn't widely understood either. According to this article, most Americans grossly overestimate how large a part of the nation's budget NASA gets. It's hard to believe they only account for 0.6% of the budget. Where else can you get that type of return for such a small investment?

We need to revisit our priorities because correcting NASA's funding deficits isn't merely something to do to make ourselves feel good, it's an absolute imperative. Have a look at this chart of the number of near Earth asteroids (NEAs) observed within the last 60 days. Do we really want to take the chance that none of these will come close enough to do massive damage, especially when funding NASA is so affordable compared to a lot of the other budget items?

Most scientists credit an asteroid strike with causing the extinction of dinosaurs. That may be the way we're headed unless we find a way to fund more space research.

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