Discussion 2 Directions – Write at least one paragraph consisting of three to five sentences including an introduction to your topic idea, the facts that

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Directions – Write at least one paragraph consisting of three to five sentences including an introduction to your topic idea, the facts that support your statement, and your conclusion based on facts. Note that two posts, your position statement and a follow-up response, are required for each topic.


After stating and explaining your initial thoughts in post 1, do some research using the suggested or other reputable* websites and articles. Then in post 2, discuss whether or not your original thoughts and ideas have changed based on your research or respond to another’s opinion in a threaded discussion. Be sure to cite your sources in post 2. Post 1 is just a statement expressing your initial thoughts, so no other sources are needed unless you just wish to include them.

Citations are required for post 2. Remember, you should cite only reliably published, high-quality mainstream sources.

Classmate post:

The space program should be supported by companies that want to do exploration in space rather than wasting tax dollars money on it. I found that the u.s.a uses 22.6 billion dollars of taxpayer money every year on the space program. That comes to nearly 650 billion dollars spent in its lifetime. Over the years the space program didn’t really grow as much as people hope that it would. The program was careless with their funding and was just making products that weren’t reusable and that made them use their funding poorly. However, If we look at the companies that tried to do their own space program prioritized recyclable rockets that can be used to make better rockets. An example of this is space x and how they made rockets that can be used again and were far cheaper than the ones that NASA has. Space x rocket cost 62 million dollars to launch while NASA cost 1.55 billion to launch while they are different rockets product they still do the same thing and that is that its meant to launch into space and let companies use it however they want. This just shows how comapnies can make cost efficient rockets while progams that are run by tax payer money dont care how much it cost to launch a single rocket. That is why i say that space programs should exists but they should just let companies to make the rockets as they would try to make it as cheap and effective as possible.

The question

Human space exploration is exciting. Robotic explorers can venture great distances from Earth without concerns for safety and are much less expensive. Should space explorers be human, robotic, or both? As a start, discuss your views including whether one is more appropriate now and another at a later time when technological improvements and future innovations have been realized.


Read NASA articles concerning robotic vs. human space exploration and some of the benefits of the space program by browsing through the following websites:

http://www.nasa.gov/, https://www.nasa.gov/topics/benefits/index.html, 






Keep in mind, however, on 14 January 2004, President Bush gave a speech in which he announced the cancellation of the Space Shuttle program. One issue that John McCain (R-Ariz.) joined by Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and David Vitter (R-La.), raised was that “Once the space shuttle is retired, Russia stands to possess the only means of transporting astronauts to and from the space station.” That has been the case for some time now.


According to Chris Buckley, ISS Flight Controller since 2006, “On March 14, 2011 NASA made a deal with the Russian Space Agency (RSA) for 12 trips to ISS at $753 million ($63 million/seat). Russian Soyuz spacecraft ferried astronauts to and from the ISS.”


“NASA’s budget has generally been approximately 1% of the federal budget from the early 1970s on, but briefly peaked to approximately 4% in the 1960s during the Apollo Moon program. Recent public perception of the NASA budget has been shown to be significantly different from reality; a 1997 poll indicated that Americans who responded thought on average that 20% of the federal budget went to NASA.”


The actual percentage of federal budget that NASA was allocated steadily dropped after the Apollo program and in 2012 the NASA budget was estimated to be 0.48% of the federal budget. In a March 2012 meeting of the United States Senate Science Committee, Neil deGrasse Tyson testified that “NASA’s annual budget is just half a penny on your tax dollar.” NASA’s 2015 budget was less than half a percent of the federal budget (0.45% to be more accurate) per professional astronomer and writer Phil Plait.


According to Eric Berger, “NASA is perennially underfunded. People say it has 20 pounds of missions in a 10-pound bag. The nation asks it to do all its stuff and then gives it half the money that it needs.” Because of budget cuts, no new planetary-science missions were planned from the end of 2016 to the beginning of 2020. This has been “the longest gap in planetary science in at least 20 years.” 


NASA’s budget in fiscal year (FY) 2020 is $22.629 billion which represents 0.48% of all U.S. government spending. This is a 5.3% increase from the previous fiscal year. (See the Planetary Society Coverage of Past NASA Budgets: FY 2021 | FY 2020 | FY 2019 | FY 2018 | FY 2017 | FY 2016 | FY 2015 | FY 2014 | FY 2013, Resources: Historical NASA Budget Tables, 
NASA Budget Docs, 1959 – Current 
NASA.gov Budget Information}


Since NASA is paid for by tax dollars, its budget is made public as are all of the space photographs and information/data gained through its missions and exploration of space. This may not necessarily be the case for a privately held space agency! For example, all Hubble photographs are free for public use, including you. However, this would not be the case if the Hubble Space Telescope was privately owned and controlled.


Discussion – What should be the future of the US Space Program? Should the US Space Program become privatized or be supported by tax dollars? Should it be discontinued completely and the money spent for programs here on Earth? (Check out the technological advances that are a direct result of human space flight such as cordless tools, invisible braces, water filters …





 and include these in your discussion of the future of the US Space Program.)

McFadden, Christopher. “23 Great NASA Spin-off Technologies.” Interesting Engineering, Interesting Engineering, 16 Sept. 2020, interestingengineering.com/23-great-nasa-spin-off-technologies. 


If you think the US Space Program should be continued, consider the suggested articles explaining the technological advances we utilize in everyday life that came about as a direct result of human space flight (you might be surprised). Discuss the technological advances that have come through the Space Program, especially medical advances – are they worth the investment? Should the US Space Program be discontinued? If not, should there be human exploration or just robotic exploration of the Solar System?


Discuss whether the US Space Program should be continued as is. Would an international Space Program (much like the European Space Agency) with the USA simply one of the members be a solution to this issue? What about SpaceX, the first private company to send humans to the International Space Station (Crew Dragon Demo-2 on May 31, 2020?


If you think the US Space Program should continue, how can it be funded? Be creative in your thinking. As one former class member suggested, perhaps mining (think metallic asteroids) could be a source of funding.


If you need an idea for Discussion 2 Post 2 read and consider the following article:


The Pros And Cons Of Privatizing Space Exploration – Forbes


Imagine how something like the Hubble Space Telescope would work if it was a product of the private sector. In order to be something worth doing, for a private company, there would need to be a way to recoup the cost and to return a profit sufficient to attract the investors that would fund that cost. So, how does one profit from something like the Hubble Space Telescope? One would have to charge researchers to use it and one would have to sell the data obtained from it. Both of those things would impede the progress of science. The American people (via their representatives) decided that we were willing to each pay $1.60 a year to put this giant telescope in space and operate it so that researchers around the world could use it at no cost and so that teachers around the world could uses its images and data, at no cost, to educate their students, and so that every person could gaze upon the wonders that telescope delivered to us and be marveled by our universe. Over 14,000 scientific papers have been published using data from Hubble. Over 1.3 million observations have been made. Is it worth the cost?

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