Lately my research has been centered around the question: should we support the government in funding a space program? I have found that this question is a lot more complex than I initially thought. For example, putting money into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) programs can affect the national economy in a big way. We have to ask ourselves is the possible effects on the economy worth having a space program, but before we even ask that we have to know whether or not the effects will be good or bad. I still believe that the United States Government should support the space program by funding NASA, however, I am curious about what the right mix of funding is. How much money should NASA get each year? That is a question that I do not think can be answered unless we, as a nation, decide to experiment.
I have also been coming to the conclusion that a lot of people do not understand the possible benefits the space program has to offer, not only Americans, but even all humans. Now, I do want to say that the possibility of benefitting people through NASA projects and programs, is just that, a possibility. There is no way to find what will come of the space program without some trial. I think that this trial of new things is pretty scary to a lot of people, just because it is so unknown and it means possible change. I do not think people necessarily handle change or the unknown so well. So I guess what I am really saying is that those who are arguing to fund a space program are going to have an uphill battle ahead for the long haul.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s programs are not cheap. Depending on how you look at it though, the U.S. government is not poor, at least they are not in my personal opinion. When I started researching this topic I was absolutely for increased funding for NASA. I still am in support of it, but I think I understand a lot more about why people do not support NASA. Unfortunately, I do not have the answer to the question of whether or not we should fund a space program. If there is a compromise where both sides in the argument can be satisfied I think it would be very popular, but it seems that a lot of people do not, or do not want to, understand what is really at stake. That is where I want to direct my attention now. What do we have to gain? What do we have to lose?