Roving Curiosity: Why NASA’s Jaw Dropping Mars Mission Is Worth Every Penny – Technology – GOOD

The week before, two friends of mine got into an argument. Brandon, excited for the landing, brought it up to Sam, who was decidedly not: “Pretty cool, but I wish they spent that money forgiving my student loans.” His law school debt was, in a different sense, astronomical.

Brandon bit back. “No offense, but I think that space exploration trumps having another blood sucking lawyer around.”

Sam didn’t flinch. “What’s the benefit? What have we gained from Mars or the moon? Why not spend the cash on other research–infectious diseases perhaps? Government has limited resources; If it spends money, the results must benefit the populace.”

Brandon was having a hard time articulating his point. “The benefit is exploring,” he said. “It’s to gain as much understanding of the universe.”

Sam was unconvinced. “That’s open-ended,” he said. “Exploring for shits and giggles should be left to the private sector. There’s got to be a benefit, otherwise the government should be spending the money on more pressing things.”

This argument occurs, year after year, at dinner parties and in Congress alike. Every time, someone asks the question: why are we paying for NASA?  Why did we send Curiosity, at such enormous cost, when we’ve already sent three rovers? Why do we continue to spend billions on rovers and space telescopes and shuttles and space stations when there’s so much to fix here on earth? Just, why?

via Roving Curiosity: Why NASA’s Jaw Dropping Mars Mission Is Worth Every Penny – Technology – GOOD.

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About straykatstrut

I eat, I sleep, I waste massive amounts of time online. Occasionally I take photos of things that catch my eye and post them. I like to Google myself and others. I think too much and move too little. I am geeky. I am weird. I am straykatstrut.

Posted on August 15, 2012, in blogging, education, nature, people, personal, photo, photography, science, sharing, technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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