Saturday, October 29, 2005

Mars and Money

Maybe this will be a short post. Switch to bullets...
  • Mars has been looking really bright the last few nights. Tomorrow night it will be only 69 million kilometers away. I wanna go!

  • Aside from the short-sightedness of cutting spending on space programs (in terms of long-run benefits and loss of valuable people and capabilities, among other things), there are also aspects of scale and context to consider. A number like $104 billion (estimated 13 year cost for NASA's plans to return to the Moon and go to Mars) sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but do critics consider the time period? And how does it compare to other government expenditures? A letter in the new Scientific American points out that the individual cost to the average American of the whole NASA annual budget is something like the cost of a magazine subscription. NASA is fortunately not the only path to future space ventures, but it still has a role, and I hate to see its budget treated like its programs have no value.

1 comment:

DarthVader said...

Yes Mars is pretty visible these days, I can see it right now from outside my home ... very beautiful.