Remember, Macs can’t do real work, they’re only for useless artsy stuff like landing on Mars Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2012 at 12:42 pm. PT Written by Jim Dalrymple Classic. http://www.thegraphicmac.com/ JimD Very cool as far as the Mac universe goes. But the whole story is, for me anyway, overshadowed by the fact that we can find 2.5 BILLION dollars to go to Mars to see if a bug lived there millions of years ago, but we can’t find the money to fix healthcare, pay our teachers a decent wage, feed our hungry and put a roof over the homeless in this country. As a human being (and a taxpayer), I’m outraged at this whole thing. Sorry for bringing politics into the discussion. Michael JimD, agree that $2.5B is a lot of money. But what stands in the way of solving the problems you mentioned is not lack of money-it’s a question of priorities and political will. http://www.thegraphicmac.com/ JimD And isn’t that usually the problem. Ugh. Joe Romeo You do realize that if you took away all of NAASA’s budget and put it towards any of of those items (healthcare, education, homelessness) it would be a drop in the bucket right? http://www.thegraphicmac.com/ JimD 2.5 Billion would pay nearly 61,000 new teachers a salary of $41,000. That’s not what I consider a drop in the bucket. In any case, it has to start somewhere. It may not solve all the problems, but at some point we have to start trying. http://www.aichon.com Brad While I don’t disagree that $2.5B is a LOT of money, phrasing it as you have fails to take into account that it wasn’t paid in a lump sum, but was rather spent over the course of an 8-year project. In other words, a better way to put it in perspective is that it’s enough money to pay about 7,600 teachers at $41,000/year for eight years. When you phrase it like that, it definitely feels more like a drop than a deluge. And considering the technologies that came out of the project, as well as what projects like this do to inspire future generations of children to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), I think this is likely a better use of that money. http://profile.yahoo.com/JRXMIILGGK3JEC6PKSE4ALHJBM Ryan Would pay those salaries for one year…and then we would have to fire them all the next… http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido You can play that game with almost any government expenditure, but targeting pure research with that argument is essentially targeting education itself. Benefits from decades of good work done by NASA and JPL yield long-term technological benefits that we all take for granted today. How about “we can find hundreds of billions of dollars to fund military pork projects that keep entire states dependent upon industries that make poorly-designed weapons nobody wants”? Or “we can find tens of billions of dollars to subsidize a farming/food manufacturing industry that no longer needs help to turn an enormous profit? NASA is tiny, and deserves more of our respect. http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow Double Plus Good. As noted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the TARP bailout was more than the running budget of NASA for 50 years. We can afford projects that allow people to dream of what could be, and what we might do. http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido And not a few contractors who ordinarily make weapons on the side. http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow Weapons that get expended monthly if not weekly on a scale that dwarfs the budget of NASA. If we are good with trillions on perpetual warfare, we really can’t complain about a few billion spent to draw our attention to the stars. Per ardua ad astra. http://www.theuniversalsteve.com SSteve That’s a fallacious argument. Taking $2.5 billion from NASA doesn’t automatically make it available to hire teachers. Especially considering that the federal government doesn’t run the public school system. This question was answered much more eloquently that I can hope to do forty years ago. Go to the Letters of Note website and read their August 6, 2012 post “Why Explore Space”. http://www.thediceguys.com Dean Lewis I had a comment posted, but it must still be in moderation due to me providing a link to NASA’s Spinoffs site. Google NASA Spinoffs in order to see what good putting money into science like this does, including helping with the very things listed above. There are tons of technology developed due to space research and creation of things to get to space. Everything from special metals to biotech and more come out of NASA programs and are taken by private enterprise to be pushed further. The amount given to NASA is small, and getting smaller every year, as people with their hearts in the right place or who are outright antagonistic toward science or the notion of government funded research work to cut NASA funding. I’d rather see them take the many more billions (and by several accounts trillions) of dollars spent in wars and put it toward healthcare and poverty than the relative pittance spent on space research.