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Hector Benavidez

Dr. Sterling

English 1302

01 April 2017

Houston, we've had a problem

For many years NASA has provided scientific research and technological

advancement and although this advancement and research has enabled the human species to

travel farther than ever imagined possible. The financial costs, however, have greatly dissatisfied

politicians and many other groups responsible for the country's finances. Many argue that

although NASA has contributed greatly to the advancement of the United States technological

advances, the financial impact far outweighs the possible innovation that may come from the

space program. Although both sides have very compelling arguments, people from both sides can

recognize the importance of technological advancements in today's society and on the world's


In 2016, NASA estimated it would need a total of about $19.3 billion in order to

accomplish the goals that they had planned for the fiscal year. (Space) Space Technology and

Aeronautics Research have taken a majority of the budget with a total of $1.6 Billion . (Space)

Although NASA's technological advancements and scientific breakthroughs have helped

improve the scientific community and humanity as a whole, many still believe that the money

allocated to fund NASA's endeavors could improve the lives of countless others. By investing in

social reforms and other projects, the United States Government could reduce poverty in not only

the United States, but also around the world in impoverished countries. (DeGroot)

Although much of the money used to fund space exploration could help reduce poverty

rates around the world, many people could take advantage of these social programs and nothing

would come from the money lost. The technology developed and the information gathered from

a Mars mission could ultimately help all of humanity by helping to bring water to communities

who struggle to find any at all. The methods and technologies developed for farming edible crops

on Mars could help those whose homes offer little to no fertile earth to farm and could help solve

hunger throughout the world. Solar panels could bring free, clean, reusable electricity to these

communities and further improve their lives and also provide a steady form of protection from

predatory animals.

With the use of Solar panels providing a steady, reliable source of energy, the dependence

of fossil fuels would decrease and so would the pollution in the Earth's atmosphere. Studies of

paleoclimate evidence show a dramatic increase of carbon dioxide, likely caused by the burning

of fossil fuels in the last sixty to seventy years. (Climate) Further research into this global

phenomenon can lead to the development of technologies that reduce the amount of carbon

dioxide released into the air every day. Many of these contributions would prove very difficult to

accomplish without space travel and research.

Furthermore, NASA's research into Aeronautics can help improve travel times for

commercial aircraft and may even provide a new generation of jet engines that reduce the

amount of fuel burned during flight. (Banke) Less fuel burned during flight means less emissions

getting vented into the atmosphere, thus lowering the environmental impact humans have on the

planet's climate. Much of this research requires much funding and very intelligent minds in order

to conduct the required experiments and collect the data gathered during experiments and

research. Through this research, scientists can find new ways of gathering evidence and develop

new technologies that can help the world grow as a civilization.

NASA also provides various scholarships to students looking to enter the field of various

NASA occupations. Awarded to the brightest of minds, these scholarships help those who wish to

pursue a career in one of many fields of work NASA offers at its prestigious laboratories located

all around the country. Once these students finish their educations, either NASA or various other

affiliates offer these individuals opportunities to help further the course of human exploration

and Earth Science. In turn, These individuals earn money which they spend on many other

products produced using NASA research, such as vehicles using technologies developed by

NASA and brought out commercially for use by private citizens.

The financial costs, however, would also lead to various other problems and many other

projects would have to work with reduced funding and a lack of qualified personnel to operate

these projects. NASA also helps provide answers for questions that have puzzled astronomers

and philosophers alike for many centuries. Before NASA, humans only knew of a few planets

but with the help of technologies and methods developed by NASA scientists, more and more

planets are found orbiting distant stars.

Many would argue that increasing NASAs budget would not make much of a difference

in development and research, and although that may hold true to some extent, both parties can

agree that without enough qualified people working in the laboratories the full potential of the

administration would not meet the standards expected from it. Those who argue that the cost of

keeping NASA running can agree that technological advancement is essential for maintaining a

functioning global economy and civilization.


Works Cited

Banke, Jim. Reduce Fuel Burn With a Dose of BLI.

Nasa, https://www.nasa.gov/aero/reduce-fuel-burn-with-a-dose-of-bli

DeGroot, Jerry. "The US Government Should Cut NASA Funding." Space Exploration, edited by

David Haugen and Zack Lewis, Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints

in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010356216/OVIC?


Malik, Tariq. NASA's $19 Billion 2017 Budget Request: A Summary.

Space, http://www.space.com/31875-nasa-2017-budget-request-summary.html

NASA, Climate Change. Climate change: How do we know?

Climate Change, https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/