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December 27, 2008

Space program wastes money

American and Russian crew members go for a six-hour spacewalk outside the international space station” (12/23, A-6). I wonder how much this cost.

How many families looking forward to a dismal holiday because of their lack of funds could have benefited from a different use of our tax dollars? How many homeless people could have thought of a better use for the money spent?

My real question: How many billions of dollars have been spent on space exploration in relation to the benefits we have realized from it?

It seems like we, the middle class, could think of a better use for money than war and space travel.

If there really is life out there that we might be interested in, why don’t we just let them find us and put our money to better use?

Gary Levin
Overland Park



devin, I am only making a point about Christmas. It is not Presentmas or Creditmas after all. Personally I think organized religion is bogus.


"Except of course that it's really a pagan winter solstice festival celebrating the death of the son-god (on the southern cross, no less) and his rebirth three days later on december 25th."

Really, Devin, no that may have been what it was at one time with a different culture. In this culture it is about Christ. Deal with it.


Ah, NMMNG, always such a wonderful example of Christian charity and love. Thanks for reminding us of the true meaning of the holiday. Except of course that it's really a pagan winter solstice festival celebrating the death of the son-god (on the southern cross, no less) and his rebirth three days later on december 25th. Christians just usurped the holiday centuries after Jesus (who almost certainly wasn't born on december 25th) after noticing all the similarities between the astrological story and their own story about their god (coincidence?).

Sorry, cooker already made the point I wanted to make on this letter, and way better than I would have. Also, I'm curious what would be accomplished by laying off all these rocket scientists and geniuses? I've been following private-sector space exploration for years and they're still decades behind what the government is doing so it's not like there'd be private sector jobs for these people in their field. Maybe the writer thinks the economy would be better served by NASA scientists working as cashiers and restaurant servers??


Gary if people are basing their CHRISTMAS (stop calling it holiday, it is a celebration of Christ) on how much they get or didn't get, we have bigger issues than space exploration. Actually most tax revenue could be better spent, by those that earn it and pay it into the system. I would bet Gary disagrees with that, however.


I hope that we Americans always find a way to fund exploration and research in the hard sciences.

T. Hanson

Word scrabble for today:

ace = can

T. Hanson

I agree with Cooker, but even if none of those products came out of the "Space Age" where do you think those Billions went? Did NASA just light a match and burn it? No, they went to contractors, engineers, scientist, assembly line workers, janitors, health workers, heck even the guys that made paper clips for NASA.

The money stayed here, it actually in a weird way was a government bailout, but at least the Government got something out of it, now you ace add all the stuff Cooker said.


So I take it things like cell phones, the sensor technology that allows air bags to inflate in and accident, or the space based beacon locator which has saved over 13,000 lives, or something as simple as the process of cutting grooves across concrete runways to reduce the risk of hydroplaning now used on highways which has had an 85% reduction in the number accidents, or the mouse you use on your computer, or t he food research which has developed wheat that yields 5 times the amount of grain, or the NASA Structual Analysis program (NASTRAN) which is now used by the private sector which now generates over $1 Billion annually and affects hundreds of billions of dollars worth of consumer products. Or maybe the lifeshears that help to cut trapped persons out of wrecked cars? Nope none of that is at all useful! And there are hundreds more! Things as simple as ziploc bags, tempurpedic beds, GPS navigation are a result of NASA technology. So yes Gary, NASA helps us all in our everyday lives.

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