October 20th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Exploring space: Why’s it so important?

By Zaina Adamu, CNN

Carol Beckles isn't buying into all the space exploration hype. She’s a single, middle-class mother of three living in a modest, cozy three-bedroom home in Atlanta’s suburbs. She foots the college bill of her oldest daughter Tiffany, who – like her mom – wishes she got more government help to pay for tuition.

“It’s definitely hard. From the time that I was a senior (in high school) I had to start figuring out how I was going to pay for this,” said Tiffany who sits close beside her mom.

A mere mention of taxpayers’ dollars going to NASA makes Carol cringe. “I don’t see the use. What are we going out there to do?” she asked. CNN commenters often share these sentiments; one recently identified himself/herself as "waste of tax dollars."

It’s been asked since space exploration began in the late 1950s. Some people argue that some –- if not all –- funding for space exploration could be used to revitalize the economy, fix the education system, or solve undersea mysteries, among other Earth-related issues.

“We need to be researching the bottom of the oceans just as much,” said CNN’s space and science meteorologist Chad Myers. “There could be things at the bottom of the Earth that we don’t know about.”

According to a 2010 CNN/ORC poll, 50% of Americans agreed that the money spent for the space shuttle program - which ended last year - should be spent elsewhere. And in a 2009 Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans who believe the U.S. space program should be scrapped jumped four points: From 4% to 8% in an 11-year period (1998-2009).

The numbers reveal that some question the purpose of space exploration. NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati said the government’s financial contribution to NASA has been beneficial to humans and will continue to set breakthroughs in technology.

“By sending astronauts to space and trying to understand their biological responses to space environment, we’ve learned a lot about understanding human beings,” said Abdalati. “A lot of the instrumentation in an emergency room, for example, is traceable to investments by NASA to monitor and understand human health and performance in a space-related environment.”

Human benefits from space exploration

The birth of the space age has spurred on a plethora of new ideas and ground-breaking technologies that are used in day-to-day living.  

Health: During the early Apollo missions, scientists needed precise images of the moon’s surface in order to land the first man on the moon. In the 1960s, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory created digital image processing, an innovative technology that uses computers to enhance images of the moon. In the medical field, scientists and researchers found that this technology could be used to enhance images of organs in humans. Today, digital image processing is used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging and CT scans.

Medicine: Before Dan Carter joined NASA in 1985, developing large amounts of protein crystal was a challenge. He and colleagues discovered that space-produced crystal could be used to make the atomic components of albumin(PDF), an essential human protein. They founded a called New Century Pharmaceuticals in 1997. Their findings helped lead to the development of a cancer drug combination approach and skin care products.

Information Technology: Captured by satellites, NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System collects and archives information of the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and vegetation on a daily basis. The massive amount of data accumulated has reached 4.5 petabytes. That’s equivalent to completely filling 90 million four-drawer file cabinets with paper, according to NASA’s 2010 “Spinoff” publication(PDF). To provide convenient access to the large data repositories, NASA partnered with Archivas Inc. to create a high-tech software program that can hold large amounts of information. Hospitals, cell-phone providers, businesses and organizations now use this same technology to store information.

Communications: Satellites play an instrumental role in how we communicate and navigate the world. In the 1960s companies including AT&T and RCA partnered with NASA and other space agencies to build and place satellites in the Earth’s orbit. Global positioning systems, television networks, radio stations and cell-phone carriers are all dependent on satellites to keep the world connected.

GPS in particular arose as a result of Sputnik, the Soviet satellite that launched in 1957. Changes in radio frequency helped U.S. scientists track where Sputnik was because of the Doppler effect - that is, a shift in the frequency of sound or light waves corresponds to a change in position. This principle led to a Navy navigation system called TRANSIT intended for submarines. GPS for continuous navigation was developed as a Defense Department initiative in the 1970s, leading to the launch of the first GPS satellite in 1978. The system was complete in 1995 (More about this from Time.com).

Environment: When the Saturn 1B launch stand (used in several Apollo missions) was disassembled, it was stored away in an open field. No one knew until years later that the launch stand was coated with a paint containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a toxic chemical that was seeping into the Earth’s soil. Quinn and her colleagues created the Activated Metal Treatment System (AMTS), a paste-like solvent solution that extracts PCBs from paint without removing the paint itself. The innovative system has been redesigned since then to remove many forms of contamination and pesticides on land.

Transportation: The parachute shrouds that landed the Vikings on Mars have a fibrous material used in automobile tires. These state-of-the-art tires were originally developed by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Now the tires, famously called radial tires, are manufactured in factories around the world. They are five times more durable than steel and have an expected tread life 10,000 miles greater than conventional tires.

Public safety: Those powerful rocket launchers that propel spacecrafts into deep space are now fighting fires. Rory Groonwald, chief engineer at Orbital Technologies Corporation, partnered with the U.S. Air Force Fire Rescue Research Group to design a similar high-pressured system that suppresses fires in seconds. The technology also reduces water usage because the extreme force creates fines water droplets as opposed to an excessive flow.

Memory foam: For anyone who gets a better night’s sleep from a foam mattress, NASA’s to thank. The administration originally developed the polyurethane-silicon plastic to reduce harsh impact when spacecrafts landed. Now the famed foam is used in everything from automobiles and airplanes to helmets and horseback saddles.

We also have advanced water filtration systems for astronauts as a result of the space program.

Talking numbers

In 2012, NASA was allocated $18.7 billion(PDF) from the federal government (less than 1% of the entire U.S. budget) for further research and exploration. $3.8 billion of that will go specifically to space exploration. By comparison, the Department of Defense got $670 billion and another $69.8 billion went to education.

To put that in perspective, that’s 1.2% of a taxpayer’s total income going to science, space and technology programs while national defense and education receives 26.3% and 4.8% of taxpayers’ dollars, respectively.

Even with a limited budget (the smallest budget of any major agency), President Obama emphasized at a 2010 conference at the Kennedy Space Center that space exploration has been key to America’s position as a world leader.

“For pennies on the dollar, the space program has improved our lives, advanced our society, strengthened our economy, and inspired generations of Americans,” he said.

If re-elected, he plans to pump an additional $6 billion in NASA’s budget over the next three years.

The takeaway

Carol does not know for sure if Tiffany’s post-secondary education in business administration will lead her to a job in the field. She does know though, that the opportunities for her will be greater if she stays in college, so she said she will continue to invest in her daughter's education.

In the same way, said Abdalati,  society must continue to invest in space exploration.

“There’s value to making these investments. It’s very easy to look at the challenges we face financially as a nation and consider alternative investments, but if we don’t carve out a small fraction of the national budget to support exploration, we lose something tremendously important and, in fact, we step back as a society.”

CNN's Elizabeth Landau contributed to this report

Filed under: News
soundoff (448 Responses)
  1. owen

    carol is an idiot, 10 billion spent each month for the wars since 03, nasa is minisucle compared to that.

    October 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Magician

      Agree. I vote that we instead cut funding to educate everyone whose IQ is in the lower 20th percentile. Our need for more teachers would be lessened, and class teacher/student ratios would improve as well as the average score of all standardized tests. Also employment will go up as this lower 20th percentile would have to settle for minimum wage jobs. This would then also help deplete the number of jobs available to illegal immigrants. So much WIN here.

      October 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
      • Drew

        sooooooooo true!

        October 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
      • Greg

        You still wouldn't save any taxpayer money because the Chicago teachers' union would demand that all that slashed funding be given to them instead. Afterall 3 months of vacation time and $75,000+ per year in pay is not enough for people who were too stupid to major in Engineering or something else serious...

        October 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
      • scottgriz

        @Greg. You can not be serious. My wife is a teacher and I take offense to your comments. I can tell you, they do not get 3 months off. Any vacation they get during the school year is used to prepare for the upcoming weeks and the 2 months they get in summer is often not all time off. Some of it is spent prepping the classroom for the following year.
        There is nothing more important than teaching the children of this nation so they can grow up to want to become engineers or as you say "something else serious" (like more teachers in my opinion). It's obvious from your irrational argument that you fail to see the irony of your statement. It takes teachers to teach engineers. In other words, engineers aren't just born as such. They must grow up in an environment that fosters such a willingness to create and learn. An environment that every child deserves.

        October 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
      • John

        Greg, you are a moron. I taught for 9 years and now I own my own business. Teaching is much a much harder job than what I do now and I make more money and work when and how I want. Teachers deserve everything they want and unless you want to do what they do shut your mouth. Lets get back to the to the topic. I can tell that the woman in the article probably votes the same as Greg does haha! And just to be clear, exploration of space is the MOST important thing we do.

        October 21, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Bob33321

      The key is the last sentence in the first paragraph: "Tiffany, who – like her mom – wishes she got more government help to pay for tuition." Nuff said.......

      October 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
      • frank


        October 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
      • cheapseats2

        I wish I had government help to get through school too. But I did what used to be known as the American thing and I busted my a s s to work my way through school. Now I have a well paying job and I resent those people who think I owe them higher taxes so they can coast through it all. Get off it and work your way through school. It takes more time and effort but guess what? It actually means more to you when you made it happen yourself.

        October 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
      • Cakecrook

        thank you cheapseats, people need to learn how to work like the rest of us. (Im not really a crook, just a screenname) But you're right, people expect the government to give people money when all they do is sit on their butts and do nothing all day. They don't even look for jobs! They sit, watch TV and keep tabs on their mail box.

        January 22, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Bill Osler

      Ultimately, man must learn to live in space. At any time in the future, perhaps tomorrow, the Earth could become uninhabitable for man and every other organism on the planet. We think we have eons ahead of us, but there is also a theory that the conditions that make life possible may only exist in a tiny window of time. I cringe a little when I hear about 'space exploration'. Exploration is important, but the primary goal needs to be survival of life itself. We need to establish self-sufficient colonies in space as soon as possible. We are the first generation to possess the technology to make it possible. If we fail to do so, we may be condemning life on Earth to extinction.

      October 20, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
      • PO

        mr osler got it correct
        earth already got wiped out by an asteroid & after millions of years we finally have the technology to stop that but she doesnt think its important . whata loser she is.
        all i did was go to fafsa.gov & got all my school paid for plus extra to live on, couldnt be simpler

        October 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
      • justin

        everything on earth is wiped out every 100,000 years who says we are any different, we need to escape earth or some day we will be the fossil being dug up

        October 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
      • audiologic

        100% Agree. The human species needs backup.

        October 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
      • yourewrong

        The idea that we're going to colonize space is laughable. It would be a thousand times easier for us to colonize the uninhabitable areas of Earth than it would be to colonize Venus, Mars, the Moon, or any other environment outside of our atmosphere. But you don't see permanent residents of Antartica, do you? Nor do you see floating airship cities, nor cities in the Gobi Desert.

        It would be cheaper also to engineer methods to prevent extinction events here on Earth. There have been five mass extinction events in the last 500 million years, so they occur about once every 100 million years. None of the extinctions that life here has experienced would be sufficient to wipe humanity out. The only event in Earth's history that was cataclysmic enough to do that was when we collided with another planet (part of which is now our moon), but that was before life existed and is not replicable, because the planetary orbits are now too stable for such an interaction to occur.

        Asteroid impacts, flood basalt events, gradual or even sudden environmental change: these are all problems that we can solve without having to blast off to our space colonies. The risk factors we have less ability to address, such as gamma ray bursts, are both incredibly unlikely, and flying off into space probably would not work anyway. If we're going to be hit by a gamma ray burst we better have taken off for another star system several million years ago, or it's going to hit those space ships as well.

        The reality is, if humans can make it another million years, we've had a pretty good run. I think it's unlikely we'll get that far, but not because of a natural event. We're going to be the first species to cause our own extinction. Colonizing space is a great plan for 10-100 million years from now, but it is pointless until we prove that we as a species are capable of surviving indefinitely barring an unprecedented extinction event. Right now we can't even keep the Earth's climate stable, and you think we're going to get into a space ship with less than one ten billionth its volume for the next million years without screwing everything up? This Earth is literally one giant spaceship we're riding and if we cannot live in a sustainable manner here, there's no way we're going to be able to do so on a much smaller scale.

        I'm not an environmentalist, either. But it is a simple fact that to survive in a space ship for hundreds of thousands to millions of years you'd need to approach 100% recovery and reuse of all matter in that ship. If we can't do that on Earth, where everything is orders of magnitude easier, there's no way we can do it in space.

        These points aside, I fully support our space program. I do think that manned space operations are too expensive for the payoff, though. I think we can do the same sort of research for less money using robotic missions. I think the manned space program is just a relic of the Cold War; it grants us prestige to say we're sending our citizens into space. But it doesn't result in much science (it took how many years before the ISS had a basic lab in it?).

        The space program is a jobs program that has the benefit of doing science that can benefit humanity. Compare this to our defense program, which is a jobs program that creates weapons to kill people. Clearly, the former should receive as much funding as we can afford while the latter should receive as little as necessary to protect our country. As it stands the sums these departments receive are totally askew from what a rational person would assign them. But the funding is based on inertia rather than logic, so on it goes.

        October 21, 2012 at 4:11 am |
      • LRCarter

        The rate at which the population of the world is growing and the rate at which we are going through easily found resources, a day will come when there is very little left for the bulk of the people on this planet. When that happens, the have-nots will destroy the have and there will be no colleges, so tuition will not matter. The time to act is before the crisis. Considering how hard it is to live in space and get anywhere interesting, we better focus on it or figure out how to stop consuming more than mother Earth can supply. Since most religions want us to make lots of babies, about the only hope is to figure out how to survive and thrive in space.

        October 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
      • Derdicht

        I believe Mankind are the problem. We need not seek to take our problem elsewhere. However, we will find resources to continue our downward spiral within our solar system. Corporations should realize this and contribute to a business of space exploration for profit. NASA should continue to be funded for the scientific advancements needed as corporations do not see long term profit from discovery. Our planet was seeded from space whether by design or accident. We have evolved and produced ous self destructive species which will obliterate itself eventually.

        October 23, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • David Friedman PhD

      10M each month is a total watse.
      Watch SciFi on TV and let the real world take care of families and children.
      Wake Up and stop wasting our money on Nas-Car

      October 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
      • Specter

        Thank you for this wonderful insight. Please continue with your wonderful wisdom. Lets spend that 10,000,000 a month to feed kids and make them dependent on a handout every month, because inspiring them to become a scientist and engineer is to much of a hassle, and lets face it when did they REALLY come up with something useful with the sorcery they call math. I mean Steve Jobs must have been such the genius in helping advance the smaller processors and wonderful ways to connect to the mysterious on my magical device they call a MacBook Pro. Please in all seriousness log off. Unless you have something to contribute to the cause of advancing human life and inspiring people to push themselves to work harder, don't talk

        October 21, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • RUDY

      She is not an idiot. She is a mom trying to keep her head above water that doesn't see the direct impact that NASA has had on her life. It is hard to see this when money is tight and you her a number like $18 Billion. So while I disagree with her I understand her perspective. Let's cut her a break.

      October 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
      • rahul

        actually, its not hard to see, and she deserves any criticism she gets here. anyone with an education past high school would be able to figure this out. it doesn't take a genius, or someone who is well off to understand simple facts, or use critical thinking skills.

        October 21, 2012 at 5:00 am |
      • WarMachine99

        Typical pedantic psychobabble. The benefits of the space program have impacted our daily lives, end of story. If she wants to complain about something else, try the money spent on war, or the one percenters, or whathaveya.

        October 21, 2012 at 6:09 am |
    • alcoa

      It is a shame that we can't ask Carol for a refund for the money spent by the government on her education. Obviously it was wasted upon her. And I thought that Georgia was one of the better states in terms of available scholarships for students. In Florida, they used some of the proceeds from the state lottery for student scholarships. They were available to anyone who had a decent high school GPA and scored well on the SATs. At least this is how it used to be when I got my bachelors degree 15 years ago.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Schmedley

      Carol Beckles needs to understand that funding NASA *is* helping the economy. What, do you think that you just throw a few billion into a box and out pops a Mars lander? That money goes to fund jobs for highly educated and skilled scientists, engineers and technicians at NASA and their sub-contractors that develop the space vehicles, the special materials, and all the math behind the mission. You not only get new technologies that work their way into civilian use, you pay American workers to develop them.

      Throwing money at welfare addicts or even paying for her kids college has a very low chance of immediate return. How many college students turn out to be worthless and do nothing? A lot. 95+% of welfare recipients will never contribute substantially to the US economy or to our society. They take a lot and return very little.

      Funding NASA gives jobs to highly skilled American workers and provides near-term returns from R&D on robotics, material science, cosmology, biology, etc.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • rbloom

      It's spelled "minuscule."
      A little taxpayer-supported education could do you some good, too.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:47 am |
  2. shrinktofit

    I like to think of NASA as a college for people that are already smart, but are willing to work hard to be even smarter, and get paid to learn about new discoveries. Then they share those discoveries with a bunch of dumber people that don't give a rat's furry butt about anything but themselves, and sometimes, not even that. Doing something stupid = not doing something smart.

    October 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • troy

      Did you know that nearly 30% of students entering college need remedial instruction in English?

      October 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
      • Burt Way

        Then they should not be allowed into college. After they have reached achievemnt of a real High School grad at night school they can apply to college.

        October 21, 2012 at 2:40 am |
  3. Mr.Williams

    I think a better article would be Why are we not spending more on Space Exploration?

    October 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • owen


      October 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • toohip4u

      because it's a waste of $. Very, very little is learned that is applied to our society today. It's just the fantasies of little boys and the fiction of comics, books, and movies that makes it interesting. In these economic times it's a waste of $.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
      • btlprod

        Really? So you can just throw your Cell Phone, GPS, Color TV, Computer, Internet, LED bulbs, away? Clearly none of that is needed right?

        October 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
      • bozobub

        Completely false. It's a shame, that you're simply too lazy to Google "economic benefits of the us space program".

        October 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
      • bozobub

        (Exactly, btlprod)

        October 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
      • Ian

        That's unbelievably ignorant. Science and technology is what movies economies and innovation forward. We gave AIG more money for a bailout then we give nasa in four years.

        October 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
      • Amar Vishnu

        Little boys, comic books, and movies??? That is completely ignorant to the fact that we are one out of trillions of other planets, one out of hundreds of billions of other solar systems, and one out of billions of other galaxies. Space exploration in society involves those "fantasy-like ideas," but if you think like a realist, everything else out there is part of the universe we live in and it can provide our ever-curious minds of why us humans are here. Space exploration is really the next thing for humans to do. If your telling me we need to keep adding more and more to the Earth and expand our society and improve technology(which we obviously are), that is just completely selfish. I wouldn't mind if we turned around our society to live simpler, stress-free lives, where the only thing that matters is family, happiness, and spirituality.

        October 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
      • Collin

        Because we have more important things to do, like invade other countries.

        October 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
      • ZikChil

        Americans pay less than $10 a year per citizen to NASA. That means you could quit smoking (or give cut 2 packs), give up beer, or stop spending money on the NFL and solve all of our financial issues. Oh no – cant do that! I should not be paying 35% of my salary in taxes while rich people get breaks – that's the real issue.

        October 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
      • Doug

        Hey waste of money???? really well then I suggest you throw away all of no stick pans, toss out all that Teflon oh throw away all your digital cams, throw away your iridium sunglasses, throw away your gps, throw away your cellphones, throw away your satellite tv forget about getting world news so fast. hmmm yeah real waste oh and forget about our cams in space the we use for surveillance to save our butts.

        October 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
      • PO

        the earth will die for sure. the whole point of life is to keep life going

        October 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
      • Anonymous

        if the moon was once part of earth, every natural metal and no carbon based resource that can be found under the ground can be found on the moon. think of all that gold, silver, iron, uranium, all those resources. it could fix our economy.

        October 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
      • BDefrogg

        Yes, we should give it all to the Defense Department to build more bombs so we can blow up more people. I feel safer already!

        “Why are you giving Columbus all this money? Solve Hunger then go sailing!” — anonymous Spanish peasant, 1492.

        October 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
      • Rogue351

        You have bough into the Republican economy problem hook line and sinker. Look at the DOW !! I am willing to bet stores will have record sales come Christmas. More cars are being sold than any other time. The economy is doing just fine, no help from the Republicans. However to help Mitt get elected the prey on stupid people like you that rely on FOX new, Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh for News. Or should I say doom and gloom ever single day. But once Mitt is elected he will take credit for everything. That is until 4 or 8 years pass and everything falls back into the toilet again. If you say things are bad enough times morons like you will believe it. Things are getting better. Things are much much better than 4 years ago. Things will remind good for at least 4 years or until Mitt stars another War to bolster the economy, which he will. That is not speculation that is fact. Yo see the Republicans, Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and Fox broadcast day after day scare tactics telling their listeners everything is bad. The reason they do this is so they can make more money because for some reason Bad news sells in this country, that is exactly why the Republicans, who actually created the bad new fail to report anything is getting better. Well until Mitt gets into office and then everything will be great, even if it is not. Just like religion they lie to you and because you respect them and they know they can get away with it. You respect and trust Religion and the Republicans because you have been brainwashed your whole life to do so. And your stupidity allows you to turn the tables 180 degrees and say everyone else is lying. We didn't go to the moon, man walked with dinosaurs, WMD's in Iraq. Toucher is ok as long as the USA is hiring other countries to do it for them and not doing it themselves. Letting people die in the streets because Obama care is an elitist, socialist concept, even the Christians who claim to be on the side of helping people are stand up against this. Bt they call themselves patriots. Explain to me how a "Patriot" can protest a soldiers funeral because it has something to do with people being gay ? Tell me how can Christians send entire families back to mexico and let our fruit and vegetable rot on the vine because they are illegal but have been working in the country for 20 + years. Republicans, Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh have screwed up this country so bad it is unbelievable. And then they turn around and blame it on the illegals, the gays and the people whom don't make enough money to eve pay taxes. NO the problem is the rick never having enough. The rich not giving back to there employees. The Republicans not working with the elected president on anything. Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity telling you day in and day out how bad things are and how bad our president is and you being so stupid you believe it. The NRA selling death in record numbers and then saying guns don't kill people, people kill people. 47000 Americans dies last year because of guns you the Republicans are ok with that, The NRA says we need more gun on the street to fight the problem, so they can make more money. And you, the Good Christian Republican believe them. The same Christens that saw how many pastors, bishops and clergy convicted of molesting your children and now it is the boy scouts turn to come clean after years of cover ups. Nope it is all the Democrats fault and Obama was behind it all. No he was not, you have been brainwashed on so many fronts you don't even know where or how to explain it. And it fear of looking weak you wont even try. You will just say with the standard message and vote yet another Republican into office and them blame all the screw up on the democrats. I am better off that I was four years ago. But in the next four years if I have to start carrying a gun just to protect myself, if I see one dirt road closed because the land was sold to some private rick guy to drill on. If I see one young man or woman going off to fight another war for nothing but a presidents ego. I will not be ok. But you will except it and call him great because he lowered your taxes $10 a year. THINK or at least try to think and try to question instead of listening and repeating what you hear mindlessly based on what religion says you should do. Or what Beck, Hannity or Limbaugh said. Disregard what scientists have spent there whole life researching and stick with the so called Fact man walked with dinosaurs, we didn't go to the moon and everything out side of our solar system was put there by the devil to test you. People and laugh at you, but that is because they are stupid. I am going to let you in on a secret. It is not them that are stupid. Religion, Guns, Fear of all sorts of things are what drives a Republican and that is no way to live a free life. I am sure None of the Republicans out there will remotely understand this but it is fact. Some republicans will look back years from now and think a little bit about these things. Some are so far gone they have lost any sort of personal or social responsibility.

        October 21, 2012 at 12:42 am |
      • WarMachine99

        You're probably sipping your triple-latte crappachino while typing this in your iPad at your "hip" (overused adjective, as you may know) coffeeshop and infesting the boards wirelessly, all thanks to NASA.

        October 21, 2012 at 6:16 am |
      • Amused

        You couldn't possibly be MORE WRONG! Nearly EVER SINGLE bit of electronic convenience and gadgetry that YOU USE EVERY SINGLE DAY has been brought to you courtesy of the SPACE PROGRAM, you clueless fool! Without the Space Program you would NOT have: Microprocessors, digital computers, laptops, ipods, ipads, smart phones, CELL PHONES, Satellite phones, DIGITAL TV, dish TV, satellite communications, DVDs, GPS navigation, velcro, Digital imaging for ALL Medical scanning devices, ultrasound technology, laser angioplasty, pacemakers, ocular screening, flat screen TVs and Computer monitors, pagers, digital scanners, jump drives, 3D imaging, etc. and the list goes on and on and on...

        December 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Jeff

      Indeed Mr. Williams, Indeed.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • steve


      October 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • mary

      Yes! How ridiculous to suggest space exploration has no benefit to mankind! Want to save the economy?...duh!

      October 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • bodylanguagesuccess

      The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
      It is the source of all true art and science.
      He to whom this emotion is a stranger,
      who can no longer pause to wonder
      and stand rapt in awe,
      is as good as dead.
      His eyes are closed.

      Albert Einstein

      October 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
      • Karen

        I start each school year by sharing this quote with my physics students; I also include Neil deGrasse Tyson's "Most Astounding Thing" video clip... all detractors of space exploration should watch that.

        October 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • whatever

      I feel the same way. I see NASA funding as contributing money to a scientific think tank, in the process of solving problems of space exploration and possibly future colonization I can say with certainty that technology discovered and developed by NASA and groups like them will be used to make life better here at home. If you need proof look into NASA technology and see how it was used in the public and private sector to make our lives easier. Odds are you are using something every day that was originally developed at NASA.

      October 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  4. Marc144

    If we don't look to the future, what is the point of the present?

    October 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  5. angryoldguy

    Oh the anti-science crowd is out today! "Let's just stay right here" "god doesn't want you going into space" I can't send my kid to school because we waste money on space" Welcome to the new "Dark Ages"! I can't wait until we start burning science heretics at the stake! Ah, the good old days! IDIOTS! We either move forward, or we die out as a species! and that's a fact you CAN deny, but you'll die trying!

    October 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • toohip4u

      I'm not an anti-science or even religious person. I'm a retired Physical Scientist, with a Masters in Physics (Remote Sensing, e.g., satelites, etc.). But there only so much to learn from space that can benefit our society, DIRECTLY. The rest is just oohs and ahhs of curiousity. In these economic times, we can't "afford" to waste $billions on rovers or going to Mars (two years trip), because it's intereshing (huh!) to learn things about our solar system, but not at the cost it takes from our society.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
      • Jeff

        Nasa's latest invention ... a high strength polymerized aerogel insulator ... the uses for which are so ubiquitous that the return on capitalization of that technology alone will fund space exploration for decades to come, create jobs, and improve the efficiency of countless devices. You're worried about billions? Bombs cost billions. Aircraft carriers cost billions. Amusement parks cost billions. Olympic Games cost billions ... I could go on. If you wish to hand over spending decisions to my fellow scientists and engineers we'll happily take it. No more honey boo boo for you.

        October 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
      • bozobub

        Bogus, bogus, bogus. Not only has space exploration yielded economic benefits far outweighing the money we've put into it, it also involves a tiny portion of what we've spent on the last few wars (much less all of them).

        Anyone typing on their COMPUTER about the lack of benefits of the space program is, self-evidently, an utter fool.

        October 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
      • Tharsis

        If you have a degree in remote sensing, you should be ashamed of yourself for making that statement.

        October 20, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
      • dogboy

        Sure, not all discoveries from space exploration benefit humans, immediately. Yet, there is definitely benefits, DIRECTLY, to humans. If you read the article at all, then your reading comprehension leads me to believe that you are not all those letters you claim to be with your "degrees". Retired or not.

        Not only that, but it opens our minds and those that are smart enough, well, they invent something. Which benefits us. Now, I ain't no eduyamakated feller. Hell, I'm called dogboy. But I'm smart enough to see the need for continued space exploration.

        That being said, I do agree that there should be more sea exploration.

        October 20, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
      • Mike

        Hey toohip4u! I'm also a Master in Physics working with NASA contracts building satellites..... You are as loony as they come. The societal payback from investment in scientific research in general and space in particular is phenomenal. Checkout: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fspinoff.nasa.gov%2FSpinoff2010%2Fpdf%2FSpinoff2010.pdf

        October 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
      • Hugo

        If you actually have a Masters in anything, where did you go? Why didn't you hang around to defend your position? People with a B.S. in anything that uses upper division undergrad mathematics should know that and you claim to have an M.S. Where did you go?

        October 21, 2012 at 12:58 am |
      • Alex

        Space exploration is for children. War is for grownups. Seriously, we need to colonize other planets just so I can put more distance between myself and you morons.

        October 21, 2012 at 4:33 am |
      • Alex

        Didn't mean for that to be nest here, though toohip4u is among those I'm addressing. And forgive me, toohip4u, if I don't believe that you have a Masters in physics.

        October 21, 2012 at 4:37 am |
      • WarMachine99

        Are you afraid hat NASA's meager allocation is going to hurt your Social Security? Complain about the war, not the scientific studies and benefits.

        October 21, 2012 at 6:20 am |
  6. Daremonai

    Most people have trouble understanding how anything benefits them if it is not direct and immediate... people have trouble with complexity they don't understand, and if they don't understand it then it must be wrong....

    I find the mother saying space research was worthless while wanting the government to help pay for her kid going to college, esp in terms of people thinking that people going to college is worthless unless they send themselves (i.e. useful to the person doing it but worthless to everyone else)

    October 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • shrinktofit

      "people have trouble with complexity they don't understand, and if they don't understand it then it must be wrong"

      This is the textbook definition of stupid, and you can't fix it without more chlorine in the gene pool.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  7. nick

    I'm sure the economy needs another person with a business admin degree....... Why don't you spend your money on something useful like a math, science, or engineering degree. Heck go to a trade school and learn to weld or do something that gives you a marketable skill.

    October 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • anon

      >using a computer
      >created by math + science
      >telling people they need to get into something useful with the market
      >market matters, no tech.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  8. waste of tax dollars

    If we can STOP THE WAR and WARS spending.... It much easier to put people into SPACE.

    October 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • usmc1999

      did all the terrorists surrender overnight?

      October 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
      • sdf

        no, but i pretty sure they sharded themselves laughing when the saw the asinine amounts of money we spend to combat them

        October 21, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  9. blazer0x

    It is necessary to ensure the future (albeit the far, far, far future) of the human race. It is a FACT that eventually our sun will become a red giant, and literally envelop the earth. That's game over for the human race if we have not moved elsewhere by then. This is not a "what if" scenario, this IS going to happen. It is far away, and it's easy to say "ah well let the future generations take care of it", "we will be more advanced in the future and surely will have spread to other galaxies by then". Do you really want to pass the buck when it comes to the entire human race? Your great-great-great-n grandchildren? The technological hurdles of moving to an entirely different solar system (once our sun goes Red Giant and then super-nova, ours is just done) will take millenniums to overcome. We cannot afford to be selfish and pass the buck to future generations (look where that has gotten us for things like the national debt), we have to do everything we can now, and for every "now" (current generation) to come, until we succeed. Otherwise, everything that mankind has become and accomplished, will all be snuffed out by what amounts to simply a natural disaster that we had literally eons of time to figure out how to avoid. If this happens because we are just too selfish and lazy, well then, perhaps it is a good thing.

    October 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • shrinktofit

      I really hate to bust anyone's bubble here, but if the human race doesn't learn to protect the planet they use now, they'll be long dead and gone by the time their sun goes native. Given the climbing rate of pollution, humans will begin to off themselves at an increasing level until they achieve permanent extinction from their own follies and narrow minded habit of kicking the can down the road. Doing something stupid is supposed to be painful and expensive – fail to plan, plan to fail.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  10. iBod

    Those who have not studied history cannot predict the future parallels. Here is one: We will always have wars, but what is most important is that we continue to discover new lands, New Worlds, and colonize them. Colonization has been the history of Humanity for millennia gone and past; and it is Man's destiny continue colonizing in millennia to come. It is our duty to preserve our species through expanding species to great lengths and great heights. We will begin to colonize the Moon this Century, as well as Mars. Decades will pass before those days arise; but when the decade arises, the question of relevancy will finally be clear to ALL. The investment is well worth it and I despise anyone who cannot seem to understand the importance of such an investment.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Virginia

      Sometimes I wonder if our species already came from another planet that they destroyed. I know we have deep issues on Earth, but we cannot give up on space exploration. We are not alone. We can't be the only ones.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
      • Jim

        It possible, and an intersting thought. There are some very serious scientic theories that life started on Mars and was brought to earth on meteorites smashe loose from mars in the early solar system.This is because we have found ancient meteorites form mars in the antarctic. We know they came from mars because of the isotopic makeup of gasses trapped withing them. And some show microscopic "casts" which some thing may be micororganisms carried from mars.
        Maybe Ray Bradbury was right. Want to see a real Martian? Look in the mirror

        October 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  11. Jonathan

    The small mindedness of saying "space exploration money could be better spent elsewhere" is mind numbing. Our warmongering money could better be spent elsewhere. No money ever spent by the federal government has brought back as cheap, efficient and effective of a return on our investment than NASA has. To survive as a species into any significant foreseeable future we must colonize our solar system. We must tap into the unlimited resources and living space available in outer space. Not only does it bring in sound technological advancement that pours into every facet of our lives it also inspires future generations. It sets the bar that much higher. Every mission has new technologies invented to make the mission possible. This woman wants help putting her kids through school so he solution is to cut the measly 18-20 billion NASA gets every year? Insanity. How about trying to put your kids through without NASA having never had a single dollar invested into it. Everything about our society would have been different. People man, people....

    October 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Tir-Na-Nog

      $18-$20 Billion/year is pocket change compared to the insane money spent elsewhere. Solyndra, for one, funneled $1 Billion into a fiasco development of solar panels. What was the payoff for that 'bright' idea? ZERO. There were a half dozen other failed 'green energy' programs that wasted more than that. Tell the woman and her kid to work a second job if they need money for education. The government is the worst 'idea' manager in every sense of the word. NASA is one of a very few shining examples among a mountain of burned out government invested programs. Go tell it to the mountain. And then go work harder for your education.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
      • Daremonai

        Eh, to be fair, it was a risk and the risk was poorly examined, but the basic idea was good. China was putting government support into their solar companies and crushing the US... if the US didn't support its homegrown industry we would find ourself in the same place we are with, say,... batteries... no domestic capacity in production OR research.

        October 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  12. JimmyJam

    The sooner we find an inhabitable planet, the sooner I can get away from all the religious whack jobs on this one. Worth every penny in my opinion.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Tallus

      Couldn't agree more.

      The space program in its entirety costs only 6/10ths of 1 cent on every dollar of tax money we pay to the government. Whining about "why are we spending money up there when we have stuff to fix down here" is ludicrous. If they really want problems solved down here, and they think the space budget is going to solve them...then like Neil deGrass Tyson said, we need to rethink our priorities, cuz there's nothing that's going to be solved on a fraction of a penny.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  13. Bman

    Dear Tiffany,
    I regret to inform you that you have flunked out of college, the taxpayers of america have decided that you are not college material. The fact of your short sighted outlook and your visceral reaction to those with a longer term view disqualifies you from higher education and the human race. Have fun and crawl under a rock.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  14. Kodak

    What a stupid story. Just becuase some dumb lady and her daughter has no ability to look beyond their own noses, this is worth a story in National news??

    October 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Vendetta

      Exactly what I was thinking. CNN is just trying to start a war in the comment section between intelligent people that know that NASA gets a very small fraction of federal tax "pennys" and the ignorrant that don't want to "waste" tax money on "silly" space exploration. Of course these same people see no point in "learning" about the universe as they think that our only purpose is to be born worship a magically being and then die so that we can come back to life and live beside the magically being.

      Hell with that logic humans should just quit doing anything at all.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Hugo

      Um, you read the story.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  15. Edward Belanger

    The single BEST reason to continue to invest in space exploration is precisely what we do NOT know. The prospective return on our investment stands to be the entire universe! Just look at what the investment of a handful of Jewels by Queen Isabella of Spain turned into. The America's returned untold wealth to Spain AND all of the other European nations that made a paltry investment into the discovery of the New World. The investment of a few billion into exploration of mars could possibly result in the entire WEALTH of a whole PLANET being returned to our world. Multiply that many times over for EACH planet and moon that we decide to exploit and the return could literally be astronomical! THEN you can factor in all of unknown millions of practical applications from the scientific and engineering advancements which result from all of that as a BYPRODUCT! It is pretty short-sighted to count pennies when the return could be untold TRILLIONS! HOW can we possibly deny our progeny these possibilities?

    October 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  16. Rogue351

    I agree the government should help educate the public. It makes the entire country stronger. However instead of cutting funding on space exploration how about cutting fund on WAR. The exploration of space has many far reaching advantages that simple minded people just cant see. It advances computer technology, propulsion systems, chemistry, manufacturing, etc. It is not just a bunch of number and pretty pictures. If anything we should double our space exploration efforts and science and technology efforts. We should have a strong military but it is being misused. We DO NOT need to invade other countries to bolster our economy like so many Republicans think we should. Education, Science and technology should be moved up the list as national goals. The moron quoted at the first of this article needs to either go to a better school or pay more attention. How do they think internet and TV communication are broadcast around the globe ? If it was not for space exploration we would still be teaching that climate change is not real, man walked with dinosaurs and the earth was flat.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Joe Clark

      The navy's new destroyers cost $7 Billion each. Yes, each. That's enough to build 3 space shuttles for the price of one destroyer.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  17. D

    It does seem like those who don't pay federal income tax often have the loudest bark about where they think "their tax dollars" should go.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • birdbrain

      Lets not forget we now have tang because of the space program!

      October 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
      • chris

        We have Gatorade from Nasa forget Tang!

        October 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  18. serana

    Want proof of God's existence? Rather than give you the 'perfect' proof, I will first ask you to tell me what you think is the 'perfect' proof, then provide it .. so as not to give you an excuse to wiggle out from under the excess baggage you are carrying.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Andrew

      If I knew what the perfect proof of god was, i wouldn't be an atheist..
      If i thought of an argument that you could give me to prove god, i would have already converted myself, as of yet, it hasn't presented itself. If you want to present a hypothetical scenario that would 'prove' gods existence, the scenario would then actually need to happen for me to start believing in the god hypothesis

      October 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • JMM

      If you can stand in the middle of a crowded stadium and proclaim "God smite me now!" – and He does so in spectacular fashion (think flaming meteor strike, etc.), after which His disembodied voice shall boom "Take that Serana, as validation of your faith in our Lord!" – I will consider that solid evidence, and immediately begin attending church...

      October 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  19. JMM

    I want to explore space so I can someday get far, far away from these stupid fnckers...

    October 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  20. Paul

    Is everything about her? Maybe I don't support my tax dollars helping put her kids to college., but I support NASA. We don't get to choose everything our taxes go to, but our taxes are almost always beneficial.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • D

      The irony is...she herself very likely pays 0 federal income tax (the vast majority of most middle class folks' tax liability).

      October 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • D

      It does seem like those who don't pay federal income tax often have the loudest bark about where they think "their tax dollars" should go.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  21. Frank

    If god intended us to explore the heavens he would have given us wings. We should be spending money on military installations, and weapons to protect us from the godless heathens that live across the sea.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • jermofypsi

      Nice Troll post, Frank.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Lancelot

      If god had intended for us to explore the universe, he would have given us brains and the ability to think. Apparently he forgot about you.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  22. JPD

    This is the exact conversation the education business wants us to have, whether or not we should fund NASA and space exploration. Not the conversation and investigation into why education is so expensive in the first place, locking millions of Americans into a paycheck to paycheck survival mode to get a degree or worse, keeping them from furthering their education altogether. If education were more affordable, more Americans would have the education to know that space exploration is vital to the future of the human race.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • D

      Very well said.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  23. Peikovi

    The Greek philosophical academies were closed because we needed to get on with funding the Dark Ages.

    October 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  24. E

    We need to keep exploring already the majority of this planet is convinced this world is 6000 years old and made by a magical being. They cannot be helped. We need to spend whatever it takes to get of this planet, explore learn, grow, strive for something greater than our own selfish desires. Religious people have given up they aren't interested in learning or truth, but in 4 billion years this planet and all of its religious inhabitants will be dead and gone, hopefully the smart ones have learned to travel to the stars and preserve humankind, our knowledge, our art and literature, our humor, our drama, our love, Give NASA whatever it needs!

    October 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Kelsey Grammarnazi

      Wow. Just wow.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Swiss Cottage

      Maybe if you knew one religious person you might understand that most of them believe that the earth is billions of years old. Perhaps we need to spend money to get rid of ignorant people like you who have no idea what they're talking about.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
      • Mobius123

        Here in the Midwest I meet religious people all the time. I often bring up the subject of the planet's age, as soon as they divert the subject of the conversation to religion (which always seems to happen). MOST of these people believe that the Earth is THOUSANDS OF YEARS OLD, although I did have a Mormon tell me that the Earth was "millions" of years old.

        I've NEVER has a religious person suggest to me that the earth is 4-5 billions years of age, the generally accepted (scientific) age of our planet.

        October 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Alex

      I second that...

      October 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • E

      Impressive. I didn't know an "E" existed with a such a departure from reality. Or one who made such sweeping statements.

      NASA is seriously one of the worst administrations at management. They overspend their budget constantly.

      With commercialization of space travel, I can only hope that their spending habits improve.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Lunaeros

      This planet Earth has a finite amount of time left. Whether it be destroyed by a comet or asteroid, a direct gamma ray burst, coronal mass ejection from our unstable star, a passing black hole, us destroying the climate or ultimately in the end when our star dies our planet WILL come to an end someday.
      If we do not invest the resources to figure out how to travel the universe, the galaxy or at the VERY least our solar system the human race will perish.
      We may not have a chance at it but with our survival instinct we SHOULD try!

      October 21, 2012 at 12:55 am |
  25. Andrew

    NASA has been one of the greatest investments this country ever made.

    October 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • E

      Yes it has, sad to see it reduced to nothing

      October 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • garypaul54

      Your right the benefits are to many to count, but some do not understand that.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  26. Rob

    670 Billion for defense, 18 for Space Exploration. For the comments that said we will never go there and live, you are being very short sighted. It may not happen in your lifetime, but it will happen. We need to invest more in space. If they had more money to work with, more would be done. Maybe they should cap the military at 600 billion and move 70 to Space Exploration.

    October 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Andrew

      If people didn't explore and expand our surroundings America never would of existed in the first place.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Rico2233

      But Christopher, how can we fund your wild trips to India when there are poor people still begging in Seville? That money could feed 200 people for a year rather than pay for three ships...

      October 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
      • Max

        haha Rico nice! 🙂 (I don't think alot of people understood the reference though, my American brothers and sisters are terribly weak in historical knowledge) but I couldn't agree more with your sarcastic statement! Honestly if you were to reflect on the close to 250 years of American history since our country's founding. The MOST important event/project Americans have done in that 250 year period was the Apollo Moon landing.
        Just like the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Egypt is the Pyramids of Giza. 1,000 years from now when people think of America, they'll say, "ahhhh of course, the country that was the first to land on the Moon." It's our legacy.

        October 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • jimmykl

      20 billion dollars for air conditioning tents in Afghanistan

      October 20, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  27. Syd

    Of course it matters! Besides all the reasons mentioned above, there's seven billion of us stuck to a wet dirty pebble in the middle of nowhere. Unless we find a way off this place, permanently for some, the human species it doomed to eventual extinction. And ias we've seen over the past 50 years, it won't be easy, so we need to start NOW.

    October 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  28. jeff

    this makes me sick. The entire human race needs to be crippled so some mom can continue living without a job. Get a job woman.

    October 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  29. PaxLoki

    Carol–you are part of the gimme, gimme, gimme generation–take it you believe–Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what you country can do for you–I am so tired of the leeches of our society

    October 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  30. jimmykl

    It's sad that some people are so selfish they would rather see NASA's funding used to benefit a handful of people for a short amount of time instead of benefitting all mandkind far into the future.

    October 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  31. John G.

    NASA is one of the few areas where the US still shines in terms of core science and technology innovation. If anything, funding needs to be increased. Maybe cancel an unneeded pentagon purchase some congressman insists on keeping because it generates jobs in his or her district?

    October 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  32. Miklan

    Undoubtedly anyone who doesnt believe in creationism understand the importance of space exploration. This planet will only remain viable for a few more billion years, so if we wish to exist as a species for as long as possible, exodus of earth will inevitable be the only option.

    October 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Chzwiz

      What does creationism have to do with anything? There is no way we are ready to spend the money to put more people into space, the moon, or mars. We don't have the technology to get to another star system, and if we did what would they do when they got there? The space program is utter crap and a complete waste of money.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
      • Joe

        Remember that the next time your in the hospital or in your car driving or using your smart phone!

        October 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
      • William Russian Jr

        Cheezwwiz for brains. So first, we need to build technology to the stars, then we start a space program? Brilliant.

        October 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
      • Vector VII

        God or Not Space exploration is as much a waste of money as sea exploration was. You wont ever get to another to another star system and i wont ever go either. but The tech to explore deep space is being developed and will continue to pay dividends in the future. Don't forget that there are now quit a few Other nations out there with space programs of their own. Not all of those countries will have good intentions, Who ever controls space controls the earth national defense is worth the effort and the price tag i dont need to explain to you what would happen if a hostile space program out paced our own. the space program is a defense program and will continue to endure. so i would ask you7 please to reconsider your position and support a WELL FUNDED SPACE PROGRAM.

        October 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  33. palintwit

    I'm beginning to believe that Sarah Palin is the only one who can heal and re-unify our country. But first she must return to her motorhome and resume her cross country tour. She will have to visit cities both large and small, taking care to speak to only to "real Americans", dispensing her sage advice and folksy, homespun common sense solutions. We can be a great nation once again but first we must all follow the Palin Path.

    October 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • John G.

      So your point about the article is???

      October 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Blkntan

      I love the sarcasm!

      October 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  34. Steve

    Try not to forget that NASA is also a major employer and creates technology jobs with its projects, many of which aren't the big ticket exploration programs. Also space exploration is possibly the one area of science in which the United States is still the premiere leader. The USA dominates in the field of planetary exploration and other countries look to us for guidance in this field. Ceding that lead would be a major set back in terms of the United States' contribution to science.

    October 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  35. itoldyouso10

    Well, you think humanity got to where it is by staying in a cave? We need to explore space, but we need to go out as one Terran people of this world and leave our problems here. Yes we will still have stuff, but it's either we explore space or do ourselves in. And if we choose the latter, then we are a very immature species who deserves what we created for ourselves.

    October 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  36. Sylar

    How much of our technology was born because of the space program? Also when we are finished ruining this planet, we will need a replacement so we better start looking.

    October 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • ashcom

      And.... Think of all the jobs created by the space program - not just astronauts - engineers, scientists, secretaries, accountants, teachers, construction workers, electricians, plumbers..... etc. etc. etc. Not to mention the retailers they all require to purchase goods from, and the people who work there and make those goods.... come on, people. Its good to spend on research and exploration - much better than spending on drilling for oil that ultimately depletes our planet; and spending lives and resources on war - that depletes our morale.... and kills. The space program is a boon to society, and especially to middle class single mothers and their children.

      October 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • ok marshall

      We are choking ourselves to death. I don't think we find out the planet like earth beforeour finale. How about explore to underneath earth, under sea for our future generations ?

      October 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  37. Reuben Sutherland

    There should be a space program that is well funded and maintained. Despite the problems with the current economy, programs like space exploration should not be neglected nor abandoned just because there are difficulties in the world. Besides, there is already a military space program that is ages beyond what NASA has, but the problem with that program is that there is no transparency or any tangible benefit to the average person other than it's apparent military applications for the few that are privy to be in the know.

    October 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  38. sparky

    Space exploration is important. *Manned* space exploration is a waste of money.

    We have had robots surveying Mars continuously for years now. More work has been done by these robots than all the astronauts who landed on the Moon.

    With a manned mission, the whole point is to bring them back alive. Little or no room left for science. Robots are cheap and expendable.

    October 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Smartguy

      Manned exploration isn't a waste. There would be a wealth of knowledge gained from health, medical, and life support. If we just decided to skipped research in manned missions, we will never leave this planet. Eventually the population and environment will get out of hand on earth will bring the need to spread out in the galaxy. Colonization is an inevitable need given enough time. Not to mention that probes and robots will be less effective at research given enough distance. The vast distances will make it difficult to control and communicate with these unmanned probes due to the limitation of the speed of light.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Dale B

      Robotic landers are nice toys, no two ways. Toys that exist at the end of a multi-minute command and control loop. No probe ever proposed has even the slightest chance of surviving an unplanned event. We need humans out there exploring, because they can and will see things no machine could. They think. They analyze in real time. And they possess those things no mere machine ever will; courage and instinct.

      What we need right now is a firm commitment to build humanities first space ship. Not capsule. Not shuttle. Ship. A vehicle built in orbit, that lives its life in space, and if it ever landed, it would be once, and only due to disaster. An actual command and support crew who runs the vehicle, with scientists as passengers. A ship that had the onboard resources to actually repair itself in flight. Medical facilities. Since we haven't figured out gravity yet, probably a rotational section to simulate near Earth gravity during exercise or sleeping. Would it cost? Oh, hell yes. Just like a nuclear carrier costs. Neither vehicle can be justified on the basis of its maiden voyage. Where the cost savings come in when you return to port, resupply, re man, and go out for anther mission. The only technologies we lack are a regenerative life support technology, and a propulsion system that could move the vehicle fast enough to make inter planetary exploration both feasible and cost effective. And we won't have them until there is a -need- for them. And the research and development for those technologies, and the perfecting and advancing of the off the shelf tech to meet the need, would fall on the colleges. Which would push them to clean up their educational acts or lose those government contracts. Which would open doors and set a fire in the high school hard sciences. How many young adults would actually choose to be an office drone when they would have a chance to put their name into the history books? And once we had one, we'd find we needed two. Then more. And an entirely new industry would be born around it. And with easier access to Mars and the asteroid belt, the resources to actually build some of those space habitats would be available without requiring huge tracts of Terra being strip mined. And that would open the door to moving most if not all of the polluting industries off the planet.....

      Talk about getting an economy moving again....

      October 20, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • CBT73

      NASA's budget is essentially the cost of 18 Stealth Bombers. Not that I don't appreciate what Stealth Bombers have done for our nation just that I appreciate how NASA does so much with so little. Most of NASA's budget is spent purchasing services and products from American companys who produce those products in American factories. Now if we can get the SLS built so we can stop paying Russia to fly us to the space station all will be well again.

      The manned space exploration is just as important as robotic exploration. Don't discount the inspiration it provides to the students today.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  39. Smartguy

    I blame reality shows for making American's to dumb to appreciate scientific research.

    October 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Rick

      too dumb not "to dumb"

      October 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Chzwiz

      Oh? Please tell us your favorites. I am to dumb to support the space program and all its wasted dollars.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  40. biglots470

    Its frustrates me so much that there are people out there who think their college tuition or grocery bills are more important than scientific research.

    October 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Chzwiz

      Yeah, let's get rid of them. They do not need to eat and if they stopped breathing they would not contribute to global warming. The space program is at the bottom of my priorities. Kill it and forget about it.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • J J

      I feel no obligation to pay for the education of Ms. Beckles' children.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  41. Get your head out of the gutter

    If we started putting half the money we put towards our useless military industrial complex (which is about 70% of the WORLD's arms) into space exploration, maybe we would be a shining beacon for other countries to follow, instead of using our military to control and bully other countries, thereby making America LESS safe.......get your head out of the gutter and look up!

    October 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  42. Michael S

    There are no "Tax dollars in space". Every penny is spent right here on Earth on jobs and materials and so contributing directly to the economy. The space program is good for Science and may well be all we can base our hopes on if humans will not start to treat the Earth with more respect and care.

    October 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  43. soul68

    Reading comments like the ones in this article make me cringe. People haven't got a clue how many BILLIONS of their dollars are wasted on foreign aid, private military contrators, unnecessary wars, development of faulty weapons systems...

    it DWARFS... by factors of 100s the amount of money spent on space exploration. People scoff at that every day yet they are more than happy to benefit from the technology derived from the spin-offs of space tech.

    This is what you get when you have a nation of scientifically illiterate people.

    October 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  44. john

    The benefits that we (mankind) have received from space exploration have contributed to tremendous stides in the welfare of all of us. We are explorers, and have been since we could walk. The next place to explore is space. I wish i was of the next generation so that i could participate in that exploration.
    Maybe Tiffany should stop focusing on her cell phone and social networking and try to get better grades in the sciences so she can contribute to the exploration that she feels is a waste of money.

    October 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  45. Whome

    Space exploration is a waste of time and money that should be spent on the needs of mankind here on earth, lets cure cancer first.

    October 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • DanBun

      A significant amount of cancer research is being done on the Space Station right now.
      Ever wonder how much medical technology came from the space program?
      Eliminate NASA entirely, and you save a mere $18 Billion. That's 1/48th of Social Security's budget, and you just eliminated about 125,000 high-tech jobs ....

      October 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Ty

      as one who works in the pharmaceutical field, this simple statement "let's cure cancer first" is completely absurd in regards to NASA. do you relieve how much technology has advanced due to NASA?!?! without it, i doubt the technology we currently have would be invented until another few decades. without this new, developing technology, we wouldnt have the computational power to even sequence one's DNA. it requires about 100 supercomputers approx 14 days to generate one's dna. (computers were advanced via NASA). be smart. this is such an integral aspect of development. and in terms of bang for the buck, it is, likely, the most efficient gov't establishment.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Get your head out of the gutter

      Curing cancer will just contribute to the world being even more overpopulated....Cancer is a good way to keep thinning the herd!

      October 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Morgan

      Cures for cancer were found decades ago; however our government does not allow the proliferation of that information because there is too much $$ in 'research' and the pharmaceuticals. When 'we' are sick, a LOT of people get rich from it. When we are well and in good health, a lot of people lose their jobs. What we really need is for the populace to get educated, and stop pandering to what the media says.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
      • E

        wow just wow, got to love conspiracy lunatics

        October 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • biglots470

      You should be exiled to a desert island in the pacific.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Eric M

      Curing Cancer and Space Exploration are NOT mutually exclusive things. And actually, space exploration may even lead to the former. We have gained a lot of medicinal knowledge by understanding certain processes in a zero G environment. Further, it is hardly a zero sum matter. You can have Space Exploration AND Cure Cancer. There are far too many other things taking far more money than the Space Program. They are very different fields that both provide benefits. And besides, do you think Big Pharma companies WANT a cure for Cancer? They'd rather just treat it and keep getting money to control it versus curing it. Rumor has it there are secret patents for cures already.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  46. Jason

    You know what my kids are doing to go to college? They're going to go into debt until they're 35-40 just like I did. Anyone can go to college and get an education if you really want it. But yeah, I'd rather have the government pay for it too, but that's not how it works. Pick yourself up people and do what you want to do!

    October 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • DanBun

      I teach at the college level. I have noticed that those students who pay their own way, or borrow to go to college, tend to do significantly better than those on financial aid.
      And I went to college 25 years ago on Pell Grants and scholarships, so this is particularly disappointing to me.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
      • Hugo

        Dan, how do you even get that information about financial aid? AFAIK, you aren't supposed to know about it as an instructor.

        October 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  47. Guy

    This is so frustrating to read. Being a person who loves technology and learning about our universe, I love what we're doing right now. I read updates on Curiosity daily. Just to land on Mars and explore it is a HUGE human achievement. Have these people never looked up at the stars and wondered what's out there? There is SO MUCH we don't know and haven't discover yet. Trying to find answers to the wonders of the of the universe should be FOSTERED, not dismissed. I believe in God, but I believe that God gave us a brain to wonder, think, learn, and adapt. Technological advances, mainly BECAUSE OF NASA, has HELPED humans improve our lives. And we're just getting started....

    Let's keep going as far into space as we can. Hopefully we will discover something so amazing that some will start to dream and wonder again.....

    October 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • DanBun

      I strongly agree!
      I would love to see NASA have enough funding to explore the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
      And wouldn't it be great to get orbiters around Neptune and Uranus?
      How much more would we know after this?
      And more practically: how much more technolgy enhancements would result, how many jobs would be created, how many younger people would be encouraged to study the sciences?
      Doubling NASA's budget would take it to a mere 1%, and would have such significant payoffs....
      But too many of us lack the vision and desire to work for a better future; we've become too shortsighted....

      October 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  48. Jim

    Way back in 1492, the average Spaniard probably argued why is King Ferdinand wasting money on Columbus sailing out over the endless sea when he/she is living in squalor and misery...

    October 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • DanBun

      At one time, Spain and Portugal led Europe in exploring the world.
      Then they gave up.
      Then Great Britain and France took the lead in exploration.
      Spain and Portugal have never recovered.....

      October 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  49. Alexis Klatt

    If we went to any other planet we would end up destroying it, just the same as we are destroying our earth & all it's natural resources. There's nothing wrong with the earth, but the people on it. We cannot run away from ourselves!

    October 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  50. HenryMiller

    "She foots the college bill of her oldest daughter Tiffany, who – like her mom – wishes she got more government help to pay for tuition. ... A mere mention of taxpayers’ dollars going to NASA makes Carol cringe. “I don’t see the use...""

    Another ignorant, unimaginative, parasite whining for more taxpayer handouts, obviously utterly unaware that a lot of the technology she takes for granted got its start in research for the early space programmes. Personal computers are a direct descendants of the computer, the IBM AP101, developed for NASA's Apollo missions, the technology used in the displays used in modern phones and computer screens were originally developed for NASA, and so on.

    October 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  51. DanBun

    A nation can either lead, or follow.
    A nation can either explore, or not.
    We can look outwards, towards the future. Or we can look inwards, and think only of today.
    They are easy choices.
    NASA's entire budget is less than 1% of the total federal budget; surely we as a nation can afford to spend such a small amount of our wealth on science and technology, research and development, and on preparing the USA to lead the world in the future of exploration.

    October 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • soul68

      It's about a half a percent actually, which is even more sickening.

      Listening to this woman complaining about the money we spend on NASA is like Romney complaining that the money spent on PBS will get us out of debt.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  52. shane

    Does religion matter? No, infact, it hurts humanity. At least this is something that can strongly benefit society.

    October 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • DanBun

      Not all religion is bad. That's too broad of a statement.
      Religion gives us the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity. These are all beneficial to our society.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
      • B

        We don’t need the untruth of religious mythology to have a intelligent morality the works for all without the untrue nonsense.

        October 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
      • DanBun

        B: you may be correct.
        But the fact remains that those three organizations DO exist, they are religiously established, and they do benefit our nation and people.

        October 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
      • B

        Of corse those organizations are a good thing, but we can do the same thing without indoctrination of the mythologies that go along with the service.

        You do not have to be religious to be moral.

        October 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  53. Rob

    Im glad to see that most of these comments are from educated people with some vision. Most Americans forget that one of the biggest factors that lead to the economic boom of the 80's was the research done during the space race. Thanks to space exploration, we have cellphones, tv, fire detectors, MRI's, among dozens of other things we enjoy daily. Thanks to the research done in microgravity and for space in general we have learned a lot of how our bodies work, and we hve learned a lot of how we got here. Did you know that it was in microgravity that an astronaut discovered that static electricity is responsible for the formation of solar systems?

    Bottom line is, we actually need to spend MORE in NASA. Spend as much on research as we spend on corporate bailouts and even 1/10th of our military budget and we can expect our economy to lead the world again in 15 years.

    October 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  54. adela naji

    Space and nasa is a waste of time and money.Only a few selfish and stuck up individuals got to go-on yours and mine hard earned money.Wake up!!

    October 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Rob

      Get your head out of your ass. You'd have to be really ignorant to thing that only a handful of people benefit from space research.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • HenryMiller

      Empty-headed ignorance rears its ugly head.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • DanBun

      I have never been to space; but I have benefitted from those who have. And I have benefitted from the robotic explorations, too. Knowledge for knowledge's sake is in and of itself worthy of the USA spending a mere .5% of the federal budget. We are better when we know more. You seem to actually be favoring ignorance. That and allowing other nations to lead and explore space. In my opinion, that is a very short-sighted plan....

      October 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Layne

      Imagine if Orville and Wilbur Wright had said after Kitty Hawk: "Wow, that was fun! Now let's go back to the farm and forget this ever happened!" There would be no airlines, no air mail, no Life Flight medical helicopters or search and rescue helicopters. A trip to the other hemisphere would take weeks on a boat instead of hours in a plane.

      Think bigger, my friend. Just because you weren't at Kitty Hawk doesn't mean your life isn't enriched by what the Wright Brothers accomplished there, and just because you weren't Neil Armstrong doesn't mean you're not enriched by what we've accomplished in pursuit of space.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
      • DanBun

        Far too many Americans have gotten far too short-sighted....

        October 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Smartguy


      October 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • jimmykl

      Keep that in mind next time you are sitting around gettin fat in front of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" brought to you by a satelite.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  55. cljohnston108

    Whenever I hear somebody whining about "all that money we waste on Space", I ask them "All WHAT money? How big do you think NASA's budget is?" and they usually guess it's about a quarter of the total federal budget.
    When I tell them the real number (vs the DoD's), they usually go, "Ohhh. Never mind."

    Spaceflight is simply the coolest thing this species has done, and you can't unboil that egg.

    October 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Francisco d'Anconia

      Not a valid function of government. The private sector will get us there cheaper and faster, simply because they are more efficient.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
      • DanBun

        The private sector is good at making money in space. But the private sector has done NOTHING in space with regards to exploration. All space exploration has been done by governmental agencies.

        October 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • anothermuse

      They will fransicisco, but not until there is a more clear profit to be had. At the moment the govenrment is providing that profit by, for instance renting out the Dragon module. This will result in cheaper costs. However the bigger programs will not have an ROI for decades so they need the government investment.

      This was the same as the early exploration to the new world. Governments had to fund the inital journeys until private groups were granted their charters.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  56. allynom

    Basic lack of comprehension here. The dollars do not get launched into space. The dollars are paid to people and to businesses that employ people, and all that right here in the USA. This is one business that will never be outsourced to China. Continuing to view space exploration as important, glamorous and exciting will encourage science education and innovation. Getting private industry involved in partnership with government, as is now happening, will further boost the economy. Nothing but good will come of space exploration.

    October 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Chris

      Of course we need to explore space. Would you prefer your future generations living on Mars or living in bubble beneath the ocean?

      October 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
      • btlprod

        You need NASA for both.

        October 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  57. Dave

    I'm sure she'll be real down on the space program when someone discovers a 20 mile diameter asteroid hurdling towards the earth. If you can't see the value in humans reaching beyond our one, small, resource limited planet, you're ignorant.

    October 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  58. B

    It is a waste of time to try to convince the masses about the truth of science and the untruth of mythology. It would take longer than humans have left crawling around in the mud of ignorance and greed.
    All you have to do is look at our history so far.. We are not going to get smart fast enough to save the place.

    Evolution take a long time and people are very very slow to see and understand the truth!

    October 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • JustTellThem

      That their precious gps wouldn't be here if it wasn't for us going into space.
      –If they don't get it, remind them that satilites are what makes gps work. duuu

      That shbould shut them up.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  59. wizard2399

    test post

    October 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  60. Bill

    Put more into education instead of exploring space? Based on that assumption, I would surmise that NASA astronauts and other personel are uneducated. From what your saying there is no connection. I wonder if your daughter wanted to become a astronaut or a astro biologist? According to your theory that would be a waste of time. Stupid people are the reason we have not had a manned mission to Mars, or moon bases by now. Space exploration is a part of human nature. This planet will not sustain the human race forever. Probably not for much longer. Especially when women are cranking out kids by the numbers, and want taxpayers to pay for it. 3 kids and you want assistance? Try birth control.

    October 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dave

      What?! You're asking someone to exercise personal responsibility and self restraint? You're crazy...this is 'Merica man!

      October 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  61. wr

    “I don’t see the use. What are we going out there to do?”

    This is more an indictment of her ignorance than of the benefit of expenditures on aerospace research. If you want to know what's been accomplished and what is accomplished go do your homework.

    October 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  62. Martyr2

    Well I am glad to hear Tiffany is getting an education when apparently her mom hasn't gotten one. Instead Carol prefers to enjoy a life where half of what she touches on a daily basis was made possible by space exploration. From her cell phone she uses to talk to Tiffany, to her memory foam mattress she sleeps on to her medical treatment to her tires which probably have driven Tiffany around during her school days.

    Let's be real for a moment, space exploration yields some information we wouldn't have had if we hadn't gone to space. The biggest is communications which would still be decades behind if it were not for satellites. Carol and Tiffany's life has been made better because of space exploration. Now should we continue to spend on it? Most certainly. Just like we should spend on ocean exploration. They are INVESTMENTS that we should always do. Just like Carol is investing in her daughter. Tell your daughter you won't back her because you think your money could be used for more personal things and see how she feels about that.

    October 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • JustTellThem


      October 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  63. Robert

    For the glory of building huge machines to launch ourselves into space and unraveling the mystery of the universe.

    Just like designing and building 2000 mw nuclear plants. The glory of mankind harnessing nature.

    October 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  64. John Deatherage

    "Tiffany, who – like her mom – wishes she got more government help to pay for tuition..." Why Tiffany do you think the public should "help" pay for your college education? I think the government should spend less on space (& everything else). Everyone thinks they or their pet projects are special and should be supported by the rest of us. We, like over indulgent parents, have failed to say "no" often enough. We we have no choice. We must spend less.

    October 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Merle McClung

      Because their tax dollars go to support the colleges and universities. Why should they pay for services that are too expensive for them to use??

      You forget, sir, that EVERYBODY pays taxes in one form or another - income, payroll, sales, fees and all. This lady no doubt pays a higher percentage of her earnings in taxes than Rmoney. Her daughter should be able to attend the schools those tax dollars pay for.

      October 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • JustTellThem

      Quit using GPS.
      Quit using Satilite radio.
      Quit using batteries.

      These are all examples of what has come out of NASA.

      You think the NASA budget is to expensive, and is a waste of time.

      PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MORONIC MOUTH IS. And quit using the technoligy that has come out of space exploration.

      Put up or shut up.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  65. moxy

    This is absurd. This equipment didn't need to go to space for this "benefit." What is described here is all earth-bound. You are really reaching!

    When the Saturn 1B launch stand (used in several Apollo missions) was disassembled, it was stored away in an open field. No one knew until years later that the launch stand was coated with a paint containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a toxic chemical that was seeping into the Earth’s soil. Quinn and her colleagues created the Activated Metal Treatment System (AMTS), a paste like solvent solution that extracts PCBs from paint without removing the paint itself. The innovative system has been redesigned since then to remove many forms of contamination and pesticides on land.

    October 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • JustTellThem

      You really are showing your stupidity.

      They wouldn't have been developed, or would have been developed YEARS latter if it wasn't for NASA.

      Quit using the products develped by NASA, or shut up about it.

      What a moron, Nothing more, nothing less.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  66. Chutzpah

    I have a suggestion for the human race. Turn around and crawl back into the slime, because that's where we're all headed. With religious and political leaders (and I use that term with great irony) telling everyone that science is wrong, that the Earth is 6,000 years old, we're doomed to another Dark Ages (I always forget... do we lose or gain an hour?)

    Either that or just start blowing everything up.

    October 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Lucifer1

      Agree 100%

      October 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  67. SG

    SURE! Lets take NASA's measly little budget (more then medicare pays out in a week) and give it to the poor & homeless. Do you know what you get if you give money to, and feed 1 million poor and homeless???? YOU GET 3 million poor and homeless! What do you get when you fund NASA programs??? You get educated families who send their children to college for engineering degrees... DO these people thingk we put all the NASA cash on a rocket and send it to space? NO almost every single penny of NASA funding goes right back into the economy because these missions are almost 100% MADE IN THE U.S. !!!

    October 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  68. Erik

    No space does not matter. Nothing matters except our day to day existence. Money and pwoer do not matter. Joy and happiness matter. We still don't get it.

    October 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  69. ron

    ask these questions about war, not scientific discovery and progress. this argument should never be made, it is disgusting.

    October 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  70. Randy Wachenfeld

    It's shocking to see more and more people wallowing in their own ignorance and trying to drive society to do the same. Anyone ever see The Mist? I feel like I'm in the grocery store right now and am being forced to listen to that nut preach on about how humans were never meant to walk on the moon, and uncovering the secrets of life only God was meant to know is blasphemy.

    October 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  71. Pro Death

    I think that if we ever to to a planet with intelligent life we should just make circles in their crops and leave...

    October 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  72. Pinche

    Hey Carol, maybe you should have put some thought into how you were going to care for your children before you pumped them out and expect the tax payers to chip in.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • joe candow

      i was thinking the same thing. stopping space exploration would be going in reverse in our human development.

      October 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Merle McClung

      Takes two, dumbo. Why isn't Daddy paying for college??

      October 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
      • Pinche

        Merle, She never mentions "dad". Just how horrible it is that we tax payers are not paying MORE for her child's education. If you can't take care of your kids Carol, don't have them!

        October 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  73. bob

    look at the mess we have made of earth and now we want to go into space and mess it up . they tell you how they are scared space garbage might hit one of ther stations . well who put the garbage in space in the first place seems like we have pleanty of problems here on earth to take care of before we take on space. lets start with the goverment have not done one thing in the last 10 mounths to take care of the debt food prices gas prices stock market the feds ect ect but they can tell you how much ea guy has spent to become pres . i wonder how much we the people have spent on the goverment in the last 10 months for them to sit ther and eat and talk lets get real people we are in deep s–t here and nobody is doing anthing to fix it . as for the lady with out enought goverment help for collage . my grand daugher just put herself threw 8 years of collage and worked part time jobs all th way threw school is 140 thousand in debt and got a job in her field of work but has 600 a mounth payments for years . she knows the goverment could of helped her but she says this way she owes nobody for her education blows obama thig about the govement making you what you are . that is the way it should be pay your own way. faimaly can help but at least you are not dependent on the goverment

    October 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • zeke


      Did you go to the same school as Serana?

      October 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Rob

      Mess up space? Do you hve the slightest idea how big it is? even blowing up a nuclear bomb would not even add more radiation to space than pouring a class of water into the ocean.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • jls22

      So axing the NASA budget will solve everything....... SIMPLE MATH people........ 315,000,000 US citizens, NASA 2012 budget $18,700,000,000. Send me your mailing address and I'll write you a check for your $60 share.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
      • zeke

        $18 trillion? I hope it was an accident that you tossed in 3 extra zeros.

        October 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
      • zeke

        oops, my bad, you're right.

        October 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  74. Truth Be Told

    Every dollar that our government invests in NASA, the US economy sees seven in return. That’s a pretty good investment, and just one of the many reasons why NASA is one of the few government agencies that are already considered successful! And with so many broken government agencies, like the IRS and Public School System, why is this administration attacking NASA?

    October 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • ddblah

      Not sure what you mean by "attacking NASA". If increasing $7B is the attack you meant, I'd love to be attacked!

      October 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

    $7 or $8 in goods and services are still produced for every $1 that the government invests in NASA.
    We should be Increasing the funds and investing in NASA with increased funding. NASA has filed more than 6,300 patents, NASA journal "Spinoff" will make you realize we would have so much less without them, Like the fancy phones and 90% of other items in life.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Francisco d'Anconia

      There is a fault in your logic. You are assuming that because NASA developed these innovations, no one else would have.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
      • SG

        Francisco – Using that logic, Governments should not fund ANY research "because someone else will". The truth is that since there is no money to be made exploring space (YET), then no profit-driven enterprise would do it

        October 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
      • Francisco d'Anconia

        SG, now you're getting it.

        I am not opposed to research. I understand all the benefits that come from it. What I am opposed to is government funded research. Everything the government touches ends up costing 10x what it would have if done in the private sector. Using someone else's money to accomplish a task breeds inefficiency.

        And I disagree that there is no money to be made in space. Telecommunications, tourism, satellite insertion, repair and extraction...

        The only reason industry isn't already in space, is because government has had a monopoly.

        October 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

      This is a better $ per $ revenue then most if not all private business ventures. If we left it up to the private sector most of this would take THOUSANDS of years to stumble upon.

      NASA has a Need, it makes the device and then some in private sector says, HEY I CAN USE THAT for THIS!!

      They get make a deal with NASA and that does much of its funding. NASA is more important then 90% of the rest of the Government. Cars would still be 20MPG, Pollution from these vehicals would be 80 times higher then the what they are thanks to the Computers that run the motors, the CATs that filter the bad stuff, all thanks to NASA.

      NASA made much of the TECH in your Phone! You want to have waited say 40 more years for private funding to stumble on it? Maybe Never? Who knows what they will invent 1 or 20 years from now, but the point is they ALWAYS every year come out with something. most of it is impacting you life every day and usually within just 2 years after its invented.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  76. eqgold

    This kind if thing is a false choice. It's the aspirations of human kind for exploration. and it costs $9 per person per year, in other words, nothing. We can afford to take care of people in need socially, and explore the universe too, we are rich. I say triple he NASA budget, lets see that would be $27 per person.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  77. Spencer

    There are plenty of cheap colleges to go to if you don't want to buy into the hype of a high dollar crapadamy. Carol Beckles obviously is a tardface and needs to put down her blueberry for a min or use it to research things that matter for her and bug off.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  78. truth teller

    single mom right after high school? why should the taxpayer foot the bill for her daughters college like she wishes?she probably gets more than she is letting on,being middle class unless she thinks the taxpayer should pay for it all. Space exploration advances man kind in many ways,and we have spent much more on social programs with the war on poverty with no observable positive results

    October 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Lynn

      When we solve all the problems we have here on earth, then we can look to the heavens. When children, through no fault of their own, spend a portion of each day hungry, there is NO justification for spending millions on space exploration – or wars. If the private sector wants to continue the space race, let them. My sense is they won't. I'm still waiting for republicans to step up and take care of the broken and maimed Veterans they created in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
      • SG

        Lynn – we will NEVER solve all of the problems here on Earth. If we took the $$ spent on Sport's & Sport's memorabilia in the US alone it would be MORE than NASA's budget! NASA's YEARLY budget is less than what is spent on medicare IN ONE WEEK!! Do you truly believe that that tiny extra money would even be noticed by welfare & medicare recipients? Where are our priorities? NASA is about exploration, advancement of science and technology. Do you believe that NASA has not saved ANY human lives with the weather satellites and other Earth observing spacecraft?? WHEN (not if) an asteroid smashes into the Earth and kills Billions of people and slams the Earth into another ice age, everyone will be complaining "WHY DIDNT WE SPEND MORE ON NASA SO WE COULD HAVE AVOIDED THIS!!!"

        October 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • btlprod

        If we don't get people off this rock, we may solve the problems too late.

        October 20, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
      • Burt Way

        How about, "when we solve all the problems we have here on earth, then ...
        We can fund opera performances
        Dig up dinosaur fossils
        Have art museums
        Allow the World Series
        Have music lessons in school
        Fund Shakespeare in Central Park
        Force kids to learn about Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.
        [Add 100 more lines here]
        Yes, we will do nothing until we correct the evils of the world. Which means we will do nothing forever.

        October 21, 2012 at 2:16 am |
  79. GaryR

    This is how good behavior is rewarded, starring a few simple numbers. Who do you think is getting more bang for the buck?

    Total NASA budget for 2013: ~$17.7 billion. That is, ~ 0.5% of proposed U.S. 2013 budget.

    Total cost of the Curiosity Mars rover mission: ~ $2.5 billion.

    Total cut from NASA budget of 2013: ~ $100 million.

    Total cost of Russian Soyuz taxi rides of American astronauts to the I.S.S: ~ $65 million a pop – allocated from NASA budget.

    Total funds allocated from NASA to commercial space companies for development of low orbit vehicles that will act as ferries to and from the I.S.S.: $830 million (that is, twice of much as 2012); therefore ~ 9.5% total NASA budget of 2013.

    A comment made in reference to the cost of tickets that will be offered for an experience of a few minutes of low orbit manned space flight:

    "Is $200,000 still a lot of money? Yes, a lot to some people, but there's a lot of people out there who can afford that," says George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, a commercial space company. "We think it's going to be a great business for us."

    Total budget of military cost of war in Afghanistan: ~ $2 billion per week.

    That is, one week of military spending for the war in Afghanistan = total cost of the Curiosity rover, 8 days of funding for the entire NASA 2013 budget.

    Total U.S. fatalities through July of 2012 war in Afghanistan: 181. Total wounded: 1557.

    Who do you think is getting more bang for the buck?

    Exploration is part of the human condition. It's hard wired and imprinted into who we are. When did we as a nation become so afraid, so tentative, so venal, full of such querulous whiners? One real irony – or not: President Obama is fond of citing the Apollo program as an exciting result of math and science and why we should concentrate on improving our abilities in math and science. His administration evicerated funds for NASA and human and robotic exploration.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • SG

      Truth – "His administration evicerated funds for NASA and human and robotic exploration."

      NO he did NOT! Obama asked for MORE $$ and CONGRESS denied it. Obama asked for more funding for fundamental research to make space exploration more affordable and efficient CONGRESS denied it. Obama cancelled Ares BECAUSE THE SPACE EXPERTS TOLD HIM TO. BUSH cancelled Shuttle and the underfunded Constellation to replace it. CONGRESS demanded a new rocket (SLS) that NASA did not ask for (nor does it need). SLS has already wasted more than THREE times what SpaceX has spent on development of a launch vehicle and 7 passenger capsule and THEY ARE FLYING!!! What does NASA have to show for over 50 Billion in development costs for SLS? Nothing! CONGRESS is to blame for this , NOT the president! Obama gave MORE money to the commercial sector to get cargo and humans to LEO (congress TRIED to deny that). There is a cargo capsule docked to the ISS RIGHT NOW as a result of that funding.

      October 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
      • GaryR

        SG – The Constellation heavy lift vehicle that was well into the pipeline was cancelled by a committee expressly assembled by the Obama adminstration to cancel it in favor of commercial space flight development such as the SpaceX commercial semi tractor trailers that ferry goods and to the I.S.S. and act as garbage scows from it, and $200,000 tickets for millionaires for an hour or two in microgravity. Yes it was over budget – without exception any cutting edge engineering and science always goes over budget. Things have to be worked out. I have spokent to people in the higher rungs of NASA and they have to a man/woman expressed deep dismay at the cancellation of American manned space flight exploration. Many have quit. We have lost generations of engineers and scientists expert in manned space flight expertise. Obama'a administration is one of the most unfriendly to science that there has been in years. Funds to the NIH have been chopped so severely that generations of new scientists will be lost. There was weak if any protests by this administration to provide even funding for inflation. The only thing that this administration has done is rip off 10% of funding from NASA to commerical space flight development. America can wave goodbye to the Chinese and the Russians – they have the courage and vibrancy in manned space exploration that we lack.

        October 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • SG

      GaryR – Ares-I was cancelled because it was the #1 WORST manned launch vehicle design EVER proposed. And I work for the company that would have had the contract to build the Avionics that would make it fly. It did not have the lift capacity to put the Orion vehicle in orbit by itself (Orion would have to burn 4 tons of fuel to reach orbit). The "pogo effect" of the solid booster would have killed the astronauts and NASA was planning an additional "thrust oscillation dampener" that increased launch mass to counter that effect. Also the rocket had a unacceptable chance of hitting the launch tower at liftoff. Put all of those things together and you have a DISASTER. Obama did not assemble idiots for his committee to advise him about cancelling Constellation, he assembled the most respected launch vehicle experts, and not a "Partisan court". AND based on his decision, we have a commercial resupply mission docked to the ISS right NOW! That same capsule will be flying humans commercially in 3 years, 5 years before NASA can even TEST the orion UN-MANNED on a non-NASA launch vehicle.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  80. serana

    Those who think there is life out there because there are zillions of heavenly bodies in universe are very unscientific. They are only looking at one side of an equation. If the number of heavenly bodies out there is represented by x, where x is a huge, huge number, then the chance of intelligent life originating by itself is many magnitudes of that. So the chance of life being out there is infinitesimal or non-existent.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • truth teller

      those who think we are the only life in the universes,yes universes,are vain and ignorant. quit listening to those who claim to speak for god and do your own research, science and religion are only incompatible in the closed minded who have been brainwashed by on or theo ther

      October 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Francisco d'Anconia

      So, serana, can you please explain how you came to the conclusion that "the chance of intelligent life originating by itself is many magnitudes" higher than the number of heavenly bodies?

      Simply saying something is true doesn't make it true. What is the basis for your premise?

      October 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • serana

        Take some stuff and toss it on the table. What are the chances that just one, fully functioning kidney comes into being? If you look into the complexity of the blood cell, it is not like a bustling factory but like a bustling city, with some two hundred miniscule cleaning crews, submicroscopic elements that perform cleanup .. how the spleen functions in sending out immunity fighting cells to only certain areas that send out signals .. the list is endless. Just one human body, coming about by chance is such a small number, that when multiplied by a huge number (representing the number of heavenly bodies known) comes out to near zero. Life was designed, there is a creator .. get real. And we have all the answers now from an authenticated source.

        October 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
      • Francisco d'Anconia

        Well, serana, I'll give you one thing. Your understanding of evolution is certainly on par with your math skills.

        Perhaps some night courses?

        October 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
      • zeke

        so because something is complex it necessitates creation by a deity. ever heard of the large hadron collider? The personal computer? 1040 forms? hello?

        October 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • zeke

      Whaaaaaaaa? What math are you using Serana? Are you attempting to be logical by using "x" in a sentence? You say there's "zillions" of heavenly bodies and then say that the chance of life arising is "magnitudes of that" which I can only assume you mean "many MORE magnitudes" which would make it even more likely. Then you say that the chances are non-existent. The only thing worse than someone who can't use math is one who can't use it, but tries to use it to make a point.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
      • serana

        Sorry I made a mess explaining myself. If there are QZ bodies out there (Quadzillion), but the chance of life originating by itself (like on earth) is 1/ZQZ (zillion quad zillion), then the chance of life being out there is 1/Z.

        October 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
      • zeke

        actually, you're just a mess.

        October 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
      • zeke

        you do realize that variables... sorry... "the letters" in math are actually referring to real numbers as opposed to made up words like "quadzillion" right? how far did you go in math anyway? did you get to fractions? are you puzzled by percents? dumbfounded by decimals?

        October 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
      • btlprod

        Sereana Scientific study says the chance of life existing on other planets is unknown, heck it isn't even known what the chance of life being on this planet is, or how it formed in the first place. I'll take Princeton's and MIT's word for it before I accept your view.

        October 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • bsuorangenblue

      Instead of pretending you're smart (It's obvious you are very much the opposite), look up the Drake Equation.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
      • serana

        Even over a few billion years, the infinitesimal chance of life just happening by itself, and I am talking about simple life, not the complex human life with intelligence, still negates the possibility of life on other planets many times over.

        October 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • SG

      serana, lets ask the question in another way. What if there are an infinite number of junkyards out there filled with various vehicle parts. If a tornado randomly hits these junkyards, what is the probability that at least ONE of these tornadoes produces one 99 toyota camry??? The ANSWER: 100%
      If you have an infinite number of puddles full of goo, at least ONE of them will spontaneously generate a blood cell, or a bacteria. Once you accept that the universe is infinite, then there MUST be at least ONE place out there where life forms. AND we have some statistics to back this up: HOW MANY universes have we explored? – ONE! How many of the observed universes have intelligent life in them?? – ONE! OK then that's 100% of the observed universes have life in them! Then I would say that the "chance" life "pops into existence" is pretty good so far!

      October 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • serana

        You are talking infinity vs infinity, not infinity vs magnitudes of infinity. Apples dont equal oranges

        October 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
      • hoffmaniacal

        SG, the key phrase you forget to mention is: "over time". None of these complex systems spontaneously appear. They develop over long periods of time in response to changes in the environment. Without an understanding of how long it takes these things to happen, poorly explained science can sound just as magic as bible dribble.

        October 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • btlprod

      Funny, studies from Princeton and MIT say that you can't tell either way without going to look.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  81. Dr Mike

    This woman and many like her are simply ignorant.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • serana

      ignorant of what? those who have no logic and no answers and want you to blindly follow them in the name of science.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  82. serana

    We are never going to go there and live, too expensive and too cold/hot. We were meant to stay on our planet and our bodies are created for this. Forget about finding life out there and answers, we have the answers there is no life out there in all our communication efforts. We were placed here because we were rebels who doubted God's absolute authority, and a miniscule earth was given to prove Satan's incompetence as a god. That is why all the misery and chaos, and why we cannot see God for now. Also so many creatures who had agreed with satan later repented and agreed to serve a function as an expiation, that is why there are so many heavenly bodies yet no life with freewill and rational thinking .. that is for the humans who wanted to see a demonstration of satan's capabilities and did not take the repentance offer. The earth is teeming with life yet nothing out there .. for a good reason.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • bsuorangenblue

      Did you eat a big bowl of retarded for breakfast? It never fails to surprise me how many religiously inclined idiots will use the same excesses you do to discredit the space program. Perhaps when the earth is over populated, over polluted, and still under the sway of idiots like yourself, then humanity will push ourselves out into the cosmos, as it will become a necessity to continue our existence. If we do, I sincerely hope that humanity leaves people like you behind, and you can wait all you want to meet your God.....

      October 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
      • serana

        just insutls .. because you have no proof and no answers. Very intelligent of you. And I am the one who is retarded?

        October 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • zeke

      lol. sorry folks, it's to "cold/hot" out there. Let's stay here and wait for the meteor to hit.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
      • serana

        I agree zeke, it is not the rsv .. if something is revised because the prior version is full of mistakes, I would not trust that either. I do not believe in faith, which is defined as unquestioning belief in something for which there is no proof. However, once you have the proof, it is not faith but certainty. Any book, like the Bible that makes a god out of a carpenter is pretty weird, I admit.

        October 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • zeke

      it's stupid comments like this from stupid religious people that make me know I'm right to be atheist. the most ignorant people in the world are invariably religious. you have to be ignorant to believe religious ideologies.

      October 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
      • serana

        Sorry, but I have the scientific proof from an authentic source, and all the answers. What you you have? Just insults .. and you call me ignorant and stupid? Think again.

        October 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • zeke

        awesome what is your "scientific proof" from an "authentic source" which gives you all the answer... do tell. Please say "the bible". please.

        October 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
      • bsuorangenblue

        Serena...The bible is scientific and authenticated? rrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigggggggggggggggghhhhhhhttt........
        I wonder if your "scientific" method is something like:
        Step 1. Read the Bible
        Step 2. Tell everyone you did, and therefore have all the answers
        Step 3. Stick fingers in ears and go "LA LA LA LA LA LA" when confronted with any conflicting evidence.

        If you've got all the answers, please explain Dinosaurs to me. (Protip: The Leviathan was NOT a dinosaur)

        October 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • zeke

        I love how religious people fought against science for ages, and then, after realizing that it did a great job at explaining things and it was catching on with many people, they decided to try to use it as proof of god's existence. They made "creation science" classes to fight against evolution. Now their ignorant followers try to use math and science to explain their position, but they've become so outclassed by the average person now, that it just becomes this pitiful, child-like attempt to explain a logic-bereft position.

        October 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • serana

        Why do you assume it is the BIble? Read the preface of the 1971 RSV where its authors admit that the reason for the revision is because the previous version had so many mistakes and they were so serious. Scientists don't make assumptions. To assume is to put an ass between you and me.

        October 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
      • zeke

        oh, it's not the bible. it's the revised standard version of the bible. completely different. and "assuming" is not "putting an ass between you and me" it's "making an ass out of you and me." Putting an ass between you and me would be "uassme" which of course is only a word in the 1971 RSV, I believe. Anyway, a revision of a completely false book is still a completely false book. The only revision you can make worth anything is to throw it in the trash.

        October 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Jim

      serana -"u-ass-me?"

      October 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • btlprod

      We could live on the Moon with Today's technology. Mars in 10-20 years if we wanted to.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  83. us_1776

    Many of the modern conveniences of today are the result of our space program.

    Communication technologies, microwave technologies, laser technologies, heating, cooling, improved metals.

    There are a thousand things that improved our lives and businesses as a result of the space program.

    Maybe you want to go back to your rotary phone and b/w tv but I know I don't.


    October 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  84. jamessavik

    There are plenty of fuk-tards that either don't believe in or understand science. That does not mean that they should dictate policy. I'm sure there are plenty of religious fanatics that think they should get all that money to spread their ignorance but that's not going to happen either.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  85. Ken

    Ok, let's see. Nearly unlimited resources and energy off planet. The earth will run out of resources someday, so we'd better learn to live offworld sooner than. Otherwise the human race is done. Also isn't it more fun to build and have adventure instead of fighting over a dwindling set of resources. There is a solar system to explore and we sit here fighting over tribal god images and trinkets.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Ashish

      It is sad you think that way. Space is a desolate place and it will take enormous amount of energy and resources to reach other planets even within the solar system. Our planet is beautiful and it is ALL we have got – it is our lifestyle that needs to change. We needs to become spiritual beings to understand our relationship with the earth. We stop behaving like animals and nature will provide a solution. Vegetarianism alone for instance not only has health benefits but can support more than three to five times the world population without issues. Protecting the forests and resources will happen if we effectively use land, water and quality of food. Sustainability is something that the west needs to learn from so called "under-developed" countries.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Francisco d'Anconia

      Do you really believe the human race will be here in another 4.5 billion years when the sun dies? If our decedents survive the next extinction, of which there have been many and surely will be many more, they will be unrecognizable as human beings.

      Pure hubris.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • Francisco d'Anconia

        Retraction, my apologies. I misread your post and read "sun" instead of "earth".

        But, the premise is still valid. Our resources will very likely outlast us.

        October 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  86. Dave

    I'm sorry – I have NO sympathy for a single middle class mother of three living in a cozy three bedroom home who wants MORE taxpayers money for her children's education – then condemning what that education is sometimes used to do in the public good. Give me a break !

    October 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  87. elusively2

    I don't understand why they can't just develop those innovations for human use in the first place instead of waiting for and relying on planning for outer space travel to innovate. I'm not for outer space exploration. I'm for INNER space exploration because that is where all the real important answers lie. Truly.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • jamessavik

      When you look down, do you see dreams or dirt?

      October 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Chuckie

      Elusive, this way private industry can get the government (we the people) to pay for development costs of products from which they wil reap a fortune. In the meantime they will loudly compalin about taxes being too high.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  88. anon123

    NASA also made great strides in computing and electronics miniaturization, which drove technological advances toward development of the personal computer.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  89. btlprod

    It doesn't matter what scientist you talk to, what politician you talk to, whether you talk to the environmentalists or Big Oil, while they can;'t agree on a time frame they all agree on one thing. The Earth will die.

    It can be in a hundred years, a thousand years, a million years, or 5 billion years, it is going to happen. If we don't explore space and go out among the stars when that day comes we will not just die, the Universe will lose Marylin Monroe, Chuck Berry, William Shakespeare, Van Gogh, Mozart....

    October 20, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • cljohnston108

      Mary Ann Cramer: I have to ask you the same question people back home are asking about space these days. Is it worth it? Should we just pull back? Forget the whole thing as a bad idea, and take care of our own problems, at home.

      Cmdr. Jeffrey Sinclair: No. We have to stay here. And there's a simple reason why. Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics, and you'll get ten different answers, but there's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us. It'll take Marilyn Monroe, and Lao-Tzu, and Einstein, and Morobuto, and Buddy Holly, and Aristophanes, and – all of this – all of this – was for nothing. Unless we go to the stars.
      ——Babylon 5, "Infection"

      October 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
      • WarMachine99


        October 21, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • Troy

      ..Tina Turner.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • btlprod

      Yes I paraphrased Babylon 5. But it is definitely true. 🙂

      October 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  90. dATRUTH

    Wow. This women is an f'in handytard.

    I wonder what American would look like if the Pioneers of the 1800's were like "explore the west? Naaaah. Its just to expensive. lets not"

    Space is the final frontier and the destination of our future. As a one-planet species, our exsistence could be utterly destroyed in the blink of an eye, and nobody would ever know humanity exsisted. Space Exploration should BE OUR PRIMARY USE OF GOVERNMENT MONEY.

    But all we worry about is petty, irrelevant crap. Hey, if you and your daughter can't afford college, THEN YOU DON'T GO TO COLLEGE. They purchased a service, which they couldn't afford, payed with it in credit, and now want the government to help them out. Funniest part is that im sure they are republican willard fans.

    Sometime I wish we just would have let the south annex themselves during the civil war. Alot more people would have lived. And they could run their cest-pool of ingnorance and filth straight into the ground.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • grace

      You had me until the partisan crap. Lets face it, single mom, three kids, looking for a handout, I sincerely doubt they vote Republican. I'm conservative and I agree that space exploration is our only hope as a species, so don't be so quick to stereotype.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • want2believe

        I love people who stereotype and subsequently yell at another person for stereotyping...

        October 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • bob

      you had me for a while, but the political and the slightly racist comments towards the end.

      however, i completely agree that the lady is an ignorant and selfish wanting tax payer money to pay for her daughters tuition rather than solidifying the lasting legacy of human kind so that we don't end when this rock runs dry. her daughter should get loans like the rest of us (including myself who has a healthy chunk of loans).

      i blame religion for the shortsighted viewpoints of billions of people who only care about keeping the majority of the populations' head above water when they don't have the means to tread water themselves. We need to realize as a race of intelligent beings that we need to strive for what is best for the future of our race as a whole and not what is best for feeding and taking care of a large portion of the population that does have the capability to do it themselves. the movie idiocracy comes to mind from the way we reward people with handouts for churning out children and not being able to feed said children. we need to reward people for doing well and achieving greatness and we must focus on making sure humanity is great and that we solidify our existence in the universe.


      October 21, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  91. Getting Tired of the Celebration of Ignorance

    It is the space program's success that makes it a target of short-sighted individuals who think of it as a "waste" of money.

    It is one of the smallest programs in the government, costing us all extremely little in our tax dollars. If it were, as these individuals propose, completely eliminated, and our taxes directly reduced in proportion to the budget reduction, none of us would notice. About the only think Carol Beckles could do with that money is buy an extra latte each month. It would not help Carol pay college tuition.

    Yet, when it comes to investments that technologically and economically push forward entire civilizations, the space program is remarkably effective. Despite being so cheap. The advancements in science and engineering have paid for themselves several times over.

    Of course, in being so effective, in a country that seems to be willfully dumbing itself down, its success grabs headlines. The space program calls attention to itself with each major achievement. And, invariably, the fact that a mission may have cost a billion raises the hackles of the Carol Beckles of this once great country.

    A billion, a trillion, what's the difference? They all sound like a lot more money than I have. I would use that billion to put my kid through school.

    Oh, except, of course, that billion is from the pooled resources of an entire country of 315 million people and my share is around $3.17. Spread out over a multi-year mission.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Aargh. Typos

      "About the only think Carol Beckles could..." should have been "About the only thing Carol Beckles could..."

      October 20, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  92. Adam

    I think this story is missing a key element. We need to explore space because, in a very real sense, the perpetuation of the human race depends on it. Think of it. The entirety of the human race - our thoughts, our memories, our histories - is contained on this single planet. And with one singular catastrophic event, it can all be wiped out. One giant space rock ends our existence and all that we've ever done or known.

    By continuing to explore beyond our planet, we push toward the ability to colonize other worlds, and doing so exponentially increases the ability of our race to survive forever. It is essential. And while it may not "feel" to the average person as if it improves their lives, it absolutely does so, and indeed may be the saving grace of a future generation.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • dATRUTH

      You are spot-on, absolutely 100% correct. The only problem with our country is that many individuals prefer the bliss of rolling around in their own filth and ignorance. The whole "my life is fine right now, the next generation can deal with their own problems" mentatlity will be the nail in humanity's coffin

      October 20, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  93. OregonTom

    NASA rocks and so do Earthlings!

    October 20, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  94. bob

    Somebody needs to point out to poor Carol and Tiffany how much money from NASA and the government in general ALREADY goes to colleges to support them. In many cases there wouldn't be a college without the research funded by NASA/gov...

    October 20, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  95. Tim Jackson

    We must go into space, and soon. We need to gather more resources. We need scientific research based on the idea of getting to Luna or Mars in a short period of time. We need all those discoveries from space age research to live better lives. We need to expand our population to live in the moon and to live on Mars.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  96. capnmike

    Having trouble raising and educating your kids and you think the government should give you more help instead of spending money on space research (and the military? And all the other stuff they do)? WHO TOLD YOU TO HAVE KIDS? You decide to have children, taking care of them is YOUR problem. Grow up and face your responsibilities.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  97. MT

    Just because people think the space programs is useless does not mean anything. These people have no concept of what NASA does. When a program costs 3 BILLION its like they pack the CASH and ship it to Mars!!! That money is spent here for Engineers, Builders, Products and goes directly to support the economy. NASA spends money here in the US to the benefit of everyone. The research they do and innovations they discover with help everyone.

    Let me explain BASIC MATH.

    NASA Budget for 2012 – 17.7 BILLION (wow)
    US Defense Budget 2010 – 683.7 BILLION – <- YES REALLY

    NASA's budget is about 1/2 of 1%!!!!! of all US spending. Thats like if you make $50,000 a year, your NASA budget would be $250

    For all you idiots complaining about NASA learn to do math and study what NASA has contributed. It would take NASA 38 YEARS to spend the same money the defense spends in 1 YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!


    October 20, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Mennoknight

      My point exactly. How much does on Aircraft Carrier, Nuclear Sub, or Stealth Bomber cost?

      When broken down to each American NASA's budget cost us about $60 per person. That is a GREAT investment!

      Personally I would love to see it doubled.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Mopery

      " There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. " -Sun Tzu

      October 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  98. Mennoknight

    NASA's annual budget is less than 1% of the military. If people want to cut back on spending to help the economy then we need to stop overspending on the military.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  99. Marvin Cantankerous

    It's a failing society that loses interest in exploring the frontier. And space is the future.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • jamessavik

      Agreed Marvin- it is a corrupt and decadent people that are preoccupied with self that looks inwards.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  100. Truth1111

    If we dont establish a space colony in space ASAP the Islamic fanaticists will destroy this world and everyone will be living back in the stone ages...

    October 20, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Clint

      Sounds like you've already made it there brother...

      October 21, 2012 at 2:07 am |
1 2 3


  • Elizabeth Landau
  • Sophia Dengo
    Senior Designer