For the cost of less than a single day on the War on Terror, we could have a robust and far-reaching program to explore Mars, look for signs of life on another planet, increase our overall science knowledge, and inspire a future generation of kids.
…so explains Phil Plait, who runs the Bad Astronomy Blog, in light of the devastating cuts to NASA’s budget as proposed by the White House. It seem shocking, but as Phil Plait explains, “Over the past few years, the rate of money spent in Afghanistan and Iraq is about 20 million dollars per hour. In other words, the amount of money being cut from Mars exploration is equal to what we were spending on the War on Terror in just 15 hours.”
For more, please read Phil Plait blog is a good overview of the budget cuts and what they mean.
The sad fact of the matter is that the Presidential budget request for fiscal year 2013 cuts NASA’s budget down to a paltry $17.7 billion. Now, that may sound like a lot of money, but considering the fact that NASA’s budget is about 0.5% of the total budget of the United States ($3.7 trillion) puts that into perspective.
But if I had any say, I’d just give NASA the $300 billion it needs to really push the frontiers of space and science, and invest in our country’s future. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that space is (practically) infinite, and with infinite space comes infinite resources and infinite opportunities for economic growth. Now get with it and fix the budget right!