2-3 minute read
One thing that many space enthusiasts love to imagine is the wonders that NASA and other space agencies would be able to accomplish if their budgets were increased significantly. Some argue that world governments are simply wasting money on their militaries and the money would be much better spent on space exploration as it will push technological development and improve our civilization. But will that actually be the case?
Is investment in the military a waste?
Investment in military is NOT a waste. A lot of the investment goes into developing new weapons, advanced vehicles and planes that use cutting edge technology. What people must realise is that any kind of investment in the development of technology is not a waste. Every investment in technology will directly or indirectly have an affect on tech on the commercial scale that will affect all of our lives.
Also, the United States needs to maintain their superior political status for which, the military plays a huge role.
What if we increase NASA’s budget to that of the US military today?
NASA’s budget for the year 2020 was a little over 22.5 Billion USD. (0.5% of the US government’s spending). The US military’s budget for the year 2020 was 720 billion USD (32 times more than NASA’s budget). That is a huge difference. But, what will happen if NASA’s budget will be increased to 700 billion USD for the next fiscal year?
In the short term, most of that money will be wasted. A 700 billion dollar budget would be totally RIDICULOUS. NASA does not have the resources- both human and material- to utilize such a massive budget. Most of it will be better spent elsewhere.
Also, the progress of space exploration wont speed up significantly even with such a massive budget. The same amount of time will be spent on development and testing of every new rocket, probe, orbiter, etc, irrespective of what the budget is.
What can be solution for the long term?
Author’s idea: The budget should be increased by $10 billion- $30 billion. This will raise the yearly budget of NASA to $30 billion- $50 billion. Lets assume that NASA now has a 50 billion budget. This budget should be divided into two parts. One part ($30 billion) should be used for normal research, operations and missions. This budget will also allow NASA to work on more missions simultaneously. The remaining budget, part 2 ($20 billion) should be devoted to opening new facilities to allow more research and speed up the progress of space exploration. When these newer facilities are built, a big budget boost can be given to not only work on and maintain these new facilities but to build even more facilities or to build a Moon or Mars base. As NASA will expand, it will automatically need a much bigger budget and at some point in the future, its budget may be bigger than that of the military.
In conclusion, increasing NASA’s budget to that of the US military’s will be totally useless today. A better solution is to increase the budget by some amount every year and give massive budget boosts after the achievement of various major milestones to expand even further.
What is your idea/suggestion on this topic? Comment down below.