Cost of Manned Space Research (was Boston Globe article)

From: Stephen Bolton (
Date: Wed Feb 05 2003 - 17:00:07 EST

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    On Wed, 5 Feb 2003 11:54:02 -0400, you ("Stephen Bolton"
    <>) wrote:
    >I have no doubt money must be wasted in other research areas.
    >But doesn't your argument boil down to "others waste money why shouldn't
    No, actually I think it boils down to the fact that other, even much more
    abstract fields are _well_ worth funding huge amounts of money, and so has
    to be spaceflight, especially when considering how extremely little that is
    compared to the rest of a FY budget. You can't possibly state figures
    without putting them into perspective towards the rest of the household,
    and certainly you can't disregard their broad short-term and long-term
    value and effect. I sometimes feel it's pure magic how NASA still is
    successful in doing what they're doing with that measly less-than-1% of the
    US household that they're granted, and yet they're feeling the increasing
    budget cuts year after year. And that is from someone who strives for
    objectiveness and who is not exactly a 100% NASA fan.
    CU!	Markus
    I don't think the basic issue is who funds what, or if research is
    considered basic or "applied".
    The fundamental issue is as follows:
    All research costs money. Manned space research is proportionally MUCH more
    expensive compared to unmanned space or ground.
    Are we getting out monies worth?
    When I look at what the manned LEO program has returned VS what could have
    been a program with bigger space telescopes and a complete robotic
    exploration of our solar system (because, face it, the manned space steals
    from the unmanned space budget) I get upset. I'll take the return from the
    Hubble over the return from the entire STS/ ISS program.
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