Do we really need NASA?

  1. #1
    UKPat02's Avatar
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    Do we really need NASA?

    I just read that NASA has requested a $10 billion budget for 2008. Couldn't that be halved and used elsewhere? What has NASA done for us lately? It just seems like an awful waste of money to me.
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    True blue (and gold)'s Avatar
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    No...just like we don't NEED levees, bridges and dams.

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    Wireman's Avatar
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    NO, I think the Men in Black have it all covered.

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    ram2003's Avatar
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    Perhaps I've enjoyed a little too much sci-fi in my day, but when the world is overpopulated and there are spacestations filled with enough biological sections to hold some excess families, the human race oughtta be THANKFUL that NASA exists.

    Not to get into a big anti-war argument, but I wish we could end that ASAP so we can put MORE funds towards NASA.

    I'm aware that NASA isn't moving incredibly fast with the technological innovations that we read about 10 years ago, and I'm not likely to live to see the aforementioned spacestations, but I like to think my descendants will not have to worry about Earth and man destroying each other due to overpopulation.

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    98NCCalum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKPat02
    I just read that NASA has requested a $10 billion budget for 2008. Couldn't that be halved and used elsewhere? What has NASA done for us lately? It just seems like an awful waste of money to me.
    TYo the uninformed, NASA just launches a space shuttle every year.

    They do more for us than you'd ever imagine.

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    Wireman's Avatar
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    I am one that believes that NASA does more stuff that we DON'T know about then stuff that we do.

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    Run To State's Avatar
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    Heck yes we need them!

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    Habib's Avatar
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    For those saying yes, could you elaborate as to why.

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    Agree, we need NASA.
    Here are some of the contributions that have been made by NASA...the scope, clarity, and reliability of our long distance telephone system is the result of communications-satellite technology developed by NASA over a 30 year period. The monitoring systems used in intensive care units and heart rehabilitation wards were developed from the systems used to monitor astronauts during the first space missions in the early 1960s. A single nurse can now monitor several patients in critical care situations. Countless Americans recovering from heart attacks and other serious illnesses or injuries owe their lives to this technology, a direct result of NASA’s space program. NASA’s research in developing and demonstrating space-based beacon locators was used to create an international, satellite-based search and rescue system that has helped save almost 13,000 lives worldwide (as of January 2002). The system automatically detects and locates transmissions from emergency beacons carried by ships, aircraft or individuals.The system then alerts appropriate rescue authorities. A total of 30 nations participate in the system, which operates 24 hours a day year-round.
    NASA researchers determined that cutting thin grooves across concrete runways reduces the risk of hydroplaning. The grooves, which create channels for excess water to drain, have been shown to improve aircraft tire friction performance in wet conditions by 200 to 300 percent. As a result, hundreds of commercial airports around the world have had their runways grooved. This technique is now used nationwide on highway curves and overpasses; pedestrian walkways, ramps and steps; and food processing plants and cattle holding pens. The use of grooves on highways has contributed to an 85 percent reduction in highway accidents.This could be NASA’s most successful technology in terms of lives saved and injuries and accidents avoided.
    Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are extremely small devices and sensors (comparable to the size of a human hair). MEMS applications are directly traceable to the miniature accelerometers NASA developed in the 1970s to measure changes in speed of small objects or activity levels of people or animals during human space flight. MEMS technology is used now in consumer products to trigger automobile airbags, regulate pacemakers and even keep washers and dryers balanced. MEMS-based products have grown into a $3 billion per year industry. The original NASA-sponsored work on an MEMS accelerometer is referenced in 83 patents; the earliest reference was made in 1975 and the latest in 2003.

    The list goes on...bottom line NASA makes a difference in a lot of lives.

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    mcpapa's Avatar
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    For those saying no, could you elaborate as to why? I figure it's $34 per year or so that's well-spent.

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    No way NASA is a waste of money.... America would be a much different place without them.

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    And would we have ever had Tang ??

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    Run To State's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Habib
    For those saying yes, could you elaborate as to why.
    Smoke detectors, bar codes, cordless tools, invisible orthodontic braces, football helmet padding, these are just a few items we have thanks to NASA.

    Here's a pdf of some things thanks to the Space Program, but I don't think this even begins to scratch the surface.

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    UKPat02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run To State
    Smoke detectors, bar codes, cordless tools, invisible orthodontic braces, football helmet padding, these are just a few items we have thanks to NASA.

    Here's a pdf of some things thanks to the Space Program, but I don't think this even begins to scratch the surface.
    Why can't we just have an organization that invents cool, useful stuff like that without all the billion dollar space shuttles and such?

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    Quote Originally Posted by UKPat02
    Why can't we just have an organization that invents cool, useful stuff like that without all the billion dollar space shuttles and such?
    Because necessity is the mother of invention. All those things were invented by some really smart people as solutions to specific problems. Put a bunch of NASA engineers together to solve a problem and you get some great innovation. Put a bunch of inventors together just to see what they come up with, and you get an ABC reality show.

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