AUTHOR: NORM AUGUSTINE, MARK KELLY, AND SCOTT HUBBARD. NORM AUGUSTINE, MARK KELLY, AND SCOTT HUBBARD
SCIENCE DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01.28.17.01.28.17 TIME OF PUBLICATION: 7:00 AM.7:00 AM
PUT PEOPLE ON MARS BY 2033—FOR THE GOOD OF THE NATION
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And exploring Mars is achievable under reasonably expected future budget allocations for NASA. During the space race under President Kennedy and then President Johnson’s leadership, NASA claimed 4 percent of the overall federal budget. Today, NASA’s budget is 0.5 percent of the federal budget; the agency receives about $19 billion per year, of which about $8 billion is spent on human space flight. With the right approach and planning, including a potential handoff of the International Space Station to a commercial entity, these funds could be redirected for a successful human mission to Mars. Our leaders in Washington could speed up the timeline for a successful mission, and national victory, with additional investments.
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I don’t see NASA as a spectacular success story.
Having read all the Heinlein books in my youth, I keep wondering where we went wrong.
I grew up “believing” and still no nuclear power, no folks in space, and a debauched fiat currency that has lost most of its value in my lifetime.
I conclude it’s ALL Gooferment’s fault. The politicians and bureaucrats have robbed the people blind. The Crony Capitalists have feathered their nest and left the ordinary people in tatters.
So let entrepreneurs lead us to space. Let them risk their capital and lives for the benefit of mankind.
I firmly believe that is the only way we will get there.
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