Just 2 months ago, NASA canceled the X-Ray Telescope Mission due to budget cuts.
Obama’s proposed 2013 budget, which, like all his budgets, failed to garner a single vote in the Senate, slashed $300 million dollars from NASA.
Last night, the $2.5 BILLION dollar Curiosity Mars Rover made a successful landing on our neighboring planet and, always one to grab for credit, the Obama white house released this statement:
“Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history.
The successful landing of Curiosity – the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet – marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future. It proves that even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination.
Tonight’s success, delivered by NASA, parallels our major steps forward towards a vision for a new partnership with American companies to send American astronauts into space on American spacecraft. That partnership will save taxpayer dollars while allowing NASA to do what it has always done best – push the very boundaries of human knowledge. And tonight’s success reminds us that our preeminence – not just in space, but here on Earth – depends on continuing to invest wisely in the innovation, technology, and basic research that has always made our economy the envy of the world.
Isn’t that special?
Last night, less than an hour before the landing, I had the unique opportunity to speak with Dr. James Rice from NASA’s JPL.
Dr. Rice has worked on both the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Rover Projects and provided a great program here at the Grand Canyon.
Here’s a little something I learned last night.
The NASA budget is $18 Billion dollars.
Americans spend more than twice that amount on pizza every year.
Americans spend more than twice that amount on beer every year.
In the grand scheme of things, the $2.5 Billion dollar Curiosity Rover is costing each and every American taxpayer…about $18.00.
That is…If it only lasts the 2 years it was designed to last. If it lives longer…The cost per taxpayer goes down.
To put that into some sort of perspective…Let’s go back to the Apollo program.
By today’s standards, Apollo didn’t cost much but, back in the 1960’s, it was a pretty penny. According to Dr. Rice…For every dollar spent on getting man to the moon, NASA innovations put $10.00 back into the economy.
That’s a 10 – 1 return on investment!!!
So…How long before the state of the art techno geek stuff on Curiosity makes it to your local Radio Shack? 5 years” 10?
Chances are…You already HAVE some of it.
Cameras, designed for Curiosity are state of the art…Or…to be fair, they WERE state of the art when they were designed…8 YEARS AGO.
The bottom line is…NASA is a good investment of taxpayer dollars unlike green energy companies that are folding faster than origami.
Over the last year, green energy companies like Solyndra have gone under with well more than TWICE the amount of YOUR money than what Obama slashed from NASA.
Think about that…Solyndra, Abound, Nevada Geothermal, Beacon…Just to name 4 of them cost the U.S. Taxpayers $742 MILLION DOLLARS.
Obama, in his proposed 2013 budget SLASHED $300 million from NASA.
Given the 10-1 return figure, one can see that for every $300 million slashed from NASA…
3 BILLION DOLLARS DISAPPEARS FROM THE ECONOMY!!!
Now…had that $742 million dollars thrown down the green energy RAT HOLE gone to NASA…
IT WOULD HAVE PRODUCED A ¾ OF A TRILLION DOLLARS BOOST TO THE ECONOMY!!!
For those who think we are better off spending money on THIS planet rather than letting NASA spend it elsewhere in the galaxy…Think again.
That cancelled X-Ray telescope would have produced technology we could have used HERE, adding to the economy while studying suns in other solar systems and galaxies but, we burned through more than $600 million dollars…$6 BILLION dollars of economic solar windfall on bankrupt solar energy companies here.
The Mars Curiosity Rover carries sophisticated instruments, lasers, drills, radars, cameras, and it has a nose that detects methane gas. ALL of those instruments can, have and will find their way into commercial and medical products and instruments right here on earth and, probably some are already in your house or driveway.
NASA spent $2.5 Billion dollars on a nuclear powered Mars rover designed to last 2 years. That can return to the economy more than 2 TRILLION dollars. On the other hand…Government Motors produced the Chevy Volt with runs on electricity for 25 miles that has, so far, cost the American taxpayers about $200,000.00 per car and burned down a few garages.
To learn more about Mars than we can with Curiosity, we would need to land there, collect rock and soil samples and bring them back to earth for examination. That mission, planned in tandem with the European Space Agency was terminated due to a lack of funding for NASA and the ESA has now teamed with Russia to attempt such a mission in 2018.
X-Ray telescopes, sending people back to the moon, further Mars missions…all scrubbed from NASA and left to others. Right now, we’re outsourcing our manned space flights to the Russians.
Historically, NASA has been one of the only things our government has done well and received the biggest bang for the buck from and we’re outsourcing it left and right.
Now, Nancy Pelosi tells us that the biggest bang for the buck is…Food Stamps and NASA has been holding bake sales.
Last night was a triumph for NASA and 2 months after slashing $300 million dollars from their budget, Obama jumps in to take some of the credit DESPITE THE FACT THAT THIS MISSION WAS PUT INTO MOTION 4 YEARS BEFORE HE EVEN RAN FOR THE OFFICE!!!