NASA spending, small part of overall budget, has led to beneficial discoveries
Let’s suppose you’re very rich. vou place one thousand piles on the table, each pile containing A1,000. If they would fit, you now have a million dollars on the table ( A1,000,000).
If you place one thousand piles on the table, each containing A1 million, you would have A1 billion ( A1,000,000,000)! And if you could put one thousand piles totaling A1 billion each, you would have a trillion dollars ( A1,000,000,000,000).
NASA sure has changed. Many of the 18,000 employees are gone and the fleet of space shuttles have been delivered to museums around the country.
The president’s budget request for NASA in 2013 is A17,711,400,000. In comparison, the actual budget for 2011 was more than this year at A18,448,000,000.
The NASA budget is made up of many categories. In 2013, compared to other years, NASA plans to spend more for astrophysics, the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be launched in 2018, and heliophysics, the study of the sun. However, in 2011, NASA had spent A258.5 million more than in 2013 on the study of the planets.
NASA will spend A242.7 million more in 2013 than was spent in 2011 on space technology. Also, in 2013, NASA will allocate nearly A300 million more on the International Space Station, ( a laboratory circling about 200 miles above Earth).
In 2011, NASA spent A1,592,900,000 on the Space Shuttle. Since the shuttles are no longer flying, NASA needs A70.6 million for 2013 and in the following years there will be no further request for money for the shuttle. In education, the 2013 president’s budget calls for A69.8 billion in discretionary spending, an increase of A1.7 billion over fiscal 2012.
President Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal will add up to A3.67 trillion in new spending. Discretionary programs of education, the military and EPA account for A1.15 trillion. More than half the budget, A2.27 trillion, covers Social Security and Medicare.
The military expenditure of A653 billion is significantly more than the A17,711,000,000 asked by NASA. In fact, the money spent by the government on NASA is less than 3 percent of the dollars spent on the rnited States military.
NASA spinoffs are the inventions and developments based on NASA’s discoveries that are of benefit to all of us. Some of these are firefighting equipment, LEDs, artificial limbs, infrared thermometers, ear implants, highway safety grooving, ventricular assist devices that are temporary heart instruments, cordless miniature vacuums known as Dustbusters, freeze drying of food, microcircuitry of medical intensive care unit monitors, and scratch resistant eyeglass lenses.
At present, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and Epiomed Therapeutics Inc., Irvine, Calif., are developing a fast- acting nasal spray to fight motion sickness.
Although the space shuttles are no longer flying, the r. S. commercial space industry will send unmanned and manned crafts into orbit, later to the planets and will continue commercial cargo flights to the International Space Station. This will be under the direction of NASA.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, under plans by the president, will send humans to Mars and the moon in the mid 2030s. The budget supports development of a heavy lift rocket and crew capsule for flights in 2021.
Perhaps, most important, NASA will continue with heavy emphasis on education, which will encourage students to study physics, astronomy, math and the universe.
Health & Science Dr. Milton Friedman