Believe it or not, the important benefits are almost too numerous to list: Just envision our TECHNOLOGY! Almost everything we use had its roots or evolved from something invented or developed for NASA and our space program. Many of those NASA inventions were then developed for commercial applications through DARPA – the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Some of you have no clue what I mean if I mention vacuum tubes and what life used to be like before solid state technology. The Russians used vacuum tubes for decades – it’s why their rockets were so huge and so heavy – but microchips and everything made with them – cell phones, all communication we use today,– LED’s and fiber optics, computers, flat screen and HD television – cat scanners, MRI’s, all modern navigation systems GPS, and satellite technology, all came from NASA. Also high tenacity fibers – such as Carbon fiber – Kevlar, even memory foam for your bed, solar energy, your work-out machines for exercise — and from all of these industries and more, billions upon billions upon billions of tax dollars paid from profits that went back into our treasury.The pay-off for space was better than eight to one for every dollar spent, in spite of every dead end lead, and every non-invention that failed and rocket that didn’t launch. The successful ones that made it covered all of those costs and expenses from the failed attempts and still provided an 800% return on the total investment back to our government.
Think of the millions and millions and millions of employed workers who are even now, still working or who have held jobs related to any of those inventions.
Space research spending created a myriad of American jobs, careers, and enormous wealth. It expanded our knowledge and science education. That led to even more space exploration and its resulting inventions. It provided the seeds for new technologies; it helped create our high standard of living, and our technology leadership position around the world.
Realize that although much of what we use is manufactured around the world, aiding world prosperity and promoting peaceful co-existence, almost any invention you can name was invented here in the United States. It might be made in China, or Japan, but it was invented here. We control the patents and the intellectual property. It is the foundation for us to someday go to the planets and eventually the stars – just as soon as we invent that technology as well.
This should be our next goal. New inventions and technologies and the jobs created by them drive our economy forward. It is through new technologies that we will likely solve or slow climate change, cure disease, and reduce global poverty. Our future lies with the exploration of space and the knowledge and new technologies that comes from it.
For those who believe we should have instead spent that same money on social services to help our poor, I say this; spending those funds on space exploration was the best use of government funding ever in our history. The results speak for themselves. The benefits helped our poor and disadvantaged far more than they would have ever been helped had the funding just been spent for their aid. Long ago it would have been used up, but because of our technology it is still paying dividends and will far into our future.
Someday we may need to divert an asteroid away from striking our planet. Someday we will go to Mars. Someday we will develop warp drive and travel beyond our solar system.
For now, dream our future. Explore the jobs that you might want to learn to do. Pursue your dreams, and lead us where we should go.