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Space Exploration: Government Vs Privately Funded

2952 words - 12 pages

The world today revolves around technology and is in an ever upward spiraling path of new advancements. This path is now at what some people call the “final frontier”, or the space age. The discoveries being made on this front are overwhelming in comparison to the technology that the world had only twenty years ago. Space exploration was once left up to the governments, as they battled to be the first country in space, but with national debts raising and the cuts made in response, space exploration is beginning to become new grounds for private business owners. Private companies are already beginning to send off rockets at a fraction of the cost that government does, but if more money was put into the government space program, then they might be able to get to that point to. This is beginning to raise the question for taxpayers, “Should the government continue using taxpayer money to fund the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or should space exploration be left up to private companies?” While the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has achieved extraordinary things in the fifty-five years since it was created, but in today’s day in age, with the United States government seventeen trillion dollars in debt and the government shut down, the weight of space exploration should be left up to the up and coming private space companies which is evident through the current achievements that private companies have already made.Counterexamples can be brought up in this argument and some people still believe that the space frontier should be just left up to the government. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk the moon, suggested before his death that, “the death of the government shuttle program and the rise of privatized space flight could spell an end to U.S. dominance in the wild black yonder” (Chacos). But when looked into further, these counterexamples can be refuted. This conspicuous conclusion can be seen by looking at what NASA has done in the past compared to what it is doing now, by looking at other countries government funded space agencies, by looking at the successes of current day privately funded space programs, and by looking at a private space company that is currently doing extremely well.
While NASA may have once been the leading space organization in the world, the cuts and budget changes are not giving NASA what it needs to succeed. Today, NASA makes up around .5%, or $17 billion, of the national budget. This number is much smaller than the 4.5% in 1966. The United States government is cutting many different organizations and administrations in an attempt to balance the budget. The launching of a NASA space shuttle alone costs around half a billions dollars. Along with research and other things being made by NASA, it is extremely hard for the administration to launch shuttles. The government is being forced to turn its money from NASA, due to the high cost of building and launching rockets, and pay the...

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