I wrote this for a small school assignment, please leave feedback :)
The earth has a diameter of 7917.5 miles, the sun has a diameter of 864,938 miles, from the sun to the end of only our solar system is about 122 astronomical units or AUs, and one AU is 93 million miles long. The milky way has a diameter of 100,000 light years, and its not even close to one of the biggest galaxies,
The universe is about 13.8 billion years old, so any light we see has to have been travelling for 13.8 billion years or less – we call this the 'observable universe'. However, the distance to the edge of the observable universe is about 46 billion light years because the universe is expanding all of the time.
Seems huge doesnt it? Thats because it is, and we have a lot of exploring to do, if you havent guessed already, my topic is about why we should expand NASAs budget…
But before we can begin i must tell you what NASAs budget currently is.. Out of the 3.7 trillion dollars the federal government spent for the fiscal year of 2015 NASA got 17.5 billion dollars or half a cent on the dollar.. Which was lowered from 18.5 billion dollars in 2011… Now let me tell you why i believe the NASA budget should be higher..
The first reason is space exploration, especially the problems solved in getting it to work has benefited greatly in our daily lives.. Research and development either led by NASA or effectuated through partnerships with NASA have led to inventions that have found everyday, practical use in our lives.
Those cordless tools in your cabinet? They evolved from technology developed from the Apollo lunar landing program. That ear thermometer that saves you an awkward rectal exam? Developed from the application of 30 years of experience in remote measurement of the temperatures of stars and planets. How long do your tires last? You can attribute 10,000 miles of their tread life to tire technology developed for Mars rovers. Enjoy sleeping on that memory foam mattress? Developed from technology designed to improve crash protection for airplane passengers. Glad you didn't have to wear those hideous chain-link dental braces? The transparent material in invisible braces was developed for military tracking purposes. Enjoy jogging with your athletic shoes? Those insoles derived from technology in moon boots designed for shock absorption. Wear glasses? They're scratch-resistant thanks to synthetic diamond coatings developed for aerospace systems.
The list goes on: high capacity batteries, advances in the aerodynamics of vehicles, UV filters for glasses, cloud technology, satellite television, Google Earth imagery, breast cancer detection... NASA has had a hand in all of these things - and more.
The fact is that NASA has filed thousands of patents with the U.S. government, and technology either spun-off from NASA or directly developed by the program is all around us. Some of the greatest discoveries and inventions in human history were not a result of direct development, but rather were incidental to the development of other technologies and ideas. Funding a space program isn't just funding the construction of spaceships - it's funding invention itself.
My 2nd reason is that its humans fundamental drive to explore the unknown..
(pic of space)
To be human is to be an explorer. It is part of who we are: since the first tribes left the African savanna and spread into Europe and Asia, we have had the need to explore the unknown. Now humans have visited or settled every corner of the globe. The instinct to explore is still active, but there are very few outlets. Some people seek out extreme or exotic places to satisfy this need, risking their lives to do so. Others look to the skies. It may be an old cliche, but Star Trek had it right: Space is the final frontier, and it calls to the explorer in all of us.
The Apollo missions inspired an entire generation of students to pursue math and science careers. As our society becomes more technology-dependent, the populace needs to become scientifically literate to keep up. Telling students that “You could be the first astronaut on Mars!” or “You could be the one driving the next Mars rovers!” is a pretty effective way of inspiring them to study science and math.
As our telescopes probe the depths of space and time and our spacecraft missions reveal the scale and diversity of worlds even within our own solar system, we are provided with a humbling sense of our place in the universe.
NASA’s Earth Science division helps us understand the complex world that we live on.
Studying other worlds like Venus and Mars teaches us how special our planet is, and provides s examples of how the climates of planets can change.
NASA-funded research scans the skies for dangerous asteroids, and missions to asteroids teach us how we might be able to divert them from a collision course, should the need arise.
The earth we live in may seem big to us, and it is big to us, but on the grand scheme of things its just a spec of dust, insignificant compared to the vast cosmos, like an idol of mine carl sagan once said..
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”
And to find that something we have to first try and look..
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You make very good points, most of which are not widly known. You also make a good case for the exploration side of things. I agree with you, NASA should be given more funding. The government wants to make up the "loss", as they would no doubt consider it. Tax the churches.
Not bad. I can't get used to people talking about science and space in imperial instead of metric units but I think that's a US thing.
Perhaps you could include the search for life on exoplanets? Its topical and arguably as important as anything you've covered....
There are moons in our solar system that may contain life, such as Enceladus...
There could be life on Mars. We haven't looked too closely yet.
There is also the matter of protecting space ship Earth from asteroids and other threats from space...
Remember the impacts on Russia? One in 2013 and one was in 1908.
And the Dawn mission will go to "another asteroid" after Vesta and Ceres; Rosetta+Philae; and other missions to explore the Kyper Belt and dwarf planets. These could provide minerals and substances valuable to mankind.
And don't forget the ninth planet in our own solar system - which isn't Pluto...
And don't forget C/2014 S3....
Do people not want to know these things? I know I was born 60 years too soon. I envy the young, not for their youth but for all you'll learn that I never will.
Hope that helps! :-)
Nice informative reply.
"Remember the impacts on Russia? One in 2013 and one was in 1908.
Yep i do,, magically or luckily for us, it exploded in smaller pieces just before impact, or a more likely and logical explanation: someone shot it down before impact.
If you want the details of that event mail me
"Do people not want to know these things? "
Nope, too busy with their phones playing mini games.
Ted Cruz trying to get NASA to stop looking at Earth, in an attempt at pleasing the climate change deniers.
He is way out of his league, but that doesn't stop a professional master of denial.
Thanks for all the awesome feedback and links!