The Instigator
Farooq
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
tjzimmer
Con (against)
Winning
27 Points

NASA funding should be drastically cut.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2008 Category: Technology
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,920 times Debate No: 1254
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (13)

 

Farooq

Pro

Although many wonderful things have come out of the space program such as satellites the amount of science being reaped for the amount of money being put in is unacceptable. There is no reason to go to the moon again and the space station provides some scientific benefit overall it is a voracious money-hole that could better be spent on health care, education, or military. Perhaps during the Cold War the notion of SDI being developed would have been a reason to continue, but not now! Based on our knowledge we have determined that things like light-speed or moon/other planetary colonies would be impossible or not viable. Why would taxpayers want to pay for that useless Hubble telescope anyways? Does it really matter if there is a weird nebula in the Andromeda galaxy? We should get our heads out of the clouds and start thinking about actual down-to-earth issues instead.
tjzimmer

Con

NASA is one of the most beneficial programs ever created on earth. It has provided so much technology in health care, astrology, communication...the list goes on. The cell phone you carry everyday is because of the space program. The use of internet worldwide is a result of research done by the space program. You claim that NASA spends too much money yet we have to think about the future. As our population increases the need for space and more resources may come down to exploring outside the earth. We are such a tiny spec in this galaxy and we face many dangers that could lead to our extinction things in space. Some say the dinosaurs were destroyed because of an asteroid and it could happen again and completely destroy us. Medical experiments that cannot be done on earth have been done in our space hobbles. These scientists are working on cures for cancer, diabetes, and aids as we speak Our future could depend on the technology we find from NASA and the proof is in what they have already achieved in our present town.
Debate Round No. 1
Farooq

Pro

I have in no way stated that some benefits have been reaped from the space program in the past such, the most prominent example being the advanced satellite network that currently allows for better weather predictions, better television, better spying, and a variety of other commercial uses. But we as a society must not always be enslaved to past achievements, each generation must re-evaluate the areas which their government funds, and adjust it to fit the circumstances. The United States today is currently struggling poorly funded social programs, a 20 trillion dollar or so deficit, an overextended military, and an imminent economic recession. As America looks towards the future it is going to have to buckle up and change its ways if it is going to survive as a great power. One way to help ease the pain would to cut various programs that taxpayers don't need to really be worrying about right now. As for interplanetary colonisation one must realise that the distances between planets are too far for the future to hold any VIABLE solution to colonisation and know that lightspeed is, as scientists believe today, impossible. Scientific benefits from the space program are certainly there in some fields, but the most prominent of all, astronomy, is completely useless and provides no practical benefits to human kind, especially when there is much good that money could achieve on the ground as for alleviating taxes, funding social programs, or dealing with the crippling deficit. The space program certainly no longer consumes that big a chunk of the federal budget but as I pointed out before, that could be the difference between life and death for a patients on the wait-list for heart surgery or other usage. If the space program has as many benefits as you believe why don't private corporations take it over? There answer is simple, the benefits are far outweighed by the risks and financial costs. You speak of the amounts of medical benefits that biologists can do in space to help cure diseases, but for the same amount of money how many malaria risks or TB patients could it save? Rather than gamble, couldn't we invest in the surety of life-saving that could be reached by building wells in needed locations or attacking TB? If a cure for AIDS was developed, don't you think it would find itself in a similar predicament to TB, eliminating it from the 1st-World and doing nothing deal with it in the places where it is needed most? Overall it is time for America to put the money invested in the space program to better use. The world's pockets are not deep enough to deal with luxuries and unachievable dreams.
tjzimmer

Con

I can totally see your point with America needing to focus on the home front rather than on the space frontier. Yet, I totally disagree with you. You talk about the need to cut back funding because of our budget deficit as well as social programs etc. But, you fail to realize that we can cut many other things than one of the proudest and most beneficial programs in the US. Domestic programs can be refunded based on their success yet some show that these programs are not worth the investment thats why they are doing bad. Also, why not take some money from foreign aid? We spend millions on that but you seem to be fine with that expanding the debt. The fact is that the debt we have in place now is basically impossible to climb out of. We have an intertwined debt with nations such as China that are set at a dead lock. Cutting NASA funding wouldn't magically climb us out of debt. If anything the money gained from cutting NASA would be spent immediately on other stuff that wouldn't pay off the debt interest even. NASA isn't privatized because it is such a good program and there is a lot of discoveries there that the government doesn't want people and most importantly our competitors in the world to know about. The space program can provide even more wonders than it has in the past. And you are wrong to say we can't dwell on the past. We learn from our past achievements and failures and NASA is obviously positive aspect of US government investment. Why would you want to cut back a program that has done so much for our society making us the SUPERPOWER you talked about in the previous post. NASA and the efforts in the cold war has given us this leg up in the world and continues to separate us intellectually and technologically from many other nations. Everybody in the world comes to America for education and to learn NASA, to take back the knowledge to their own nation. Debt and domestic programs can be addressed without cutting NASA funding. If we ever were to cut back NASA some of our countries greatest minds would be out of work. And also the amount money it would cost to revamp the program and bring it back to where it is at today would not be worth the cost and extremely expensive. NASA is one of the things you cannot fully appreciate until you need it. Exploration outside this world is necessary because it leads to magnificent discoveries. Remember people thought the world was flat, but when it was explored a new world was found. Who is to say NASA cannot find something that could completely revolutionize the world as we know it today. Thinking about America's future any intelligent person would say that our state of the art space program is an asset that we should keep thriving and prosperous, not cut down and lose interest.
Debate Round No. 2
Farooq

Pro

Although NASA once consumed a lively chunk of the federal budget (like over 5% in the 60's) you are correct in assuming that it no longer eats up very much in the grand scheme of things. Neither does funding a major hospital in Tampa. Neither does the Senate's salaries. Neither does phasing out a few coal plants in Missouri. Neither does Chicago's welfare program. Neither does the US's Darfur aid. Neither forming a new mechanized battalion. The list goes on, until you have pretty much the entire US budget conglmerated out of many different little things. Just think of how much money could be saved if something went through them all and cut out all those uselessl little expendutres. And the space program is not least of these.

"NASA is one of the things you cannot fully appreciate until you need it" you stated in your last arguement. What if you don't need it? Isn't this total gambling? There is no finacially feasible sort of colony that could ever be established, and I for one do not want to see money drained away for some fanatic's dreams of developing light-speed or building a Martian colony. Sure there is much mineral wealth around space, but it costs far too much to transport it. Insane amounts, which why no one has ever considered doing it.

As for astronomy can you actually think of a way it has benefited anything? We have gotten what we need out of it: asteroid rebuttal scenarios, navigation, etc but doing we really need a multi-billion dollar telescope to tell us how many stars Andromeda has or the diameter of Betelgeuse? Sure those pretty pictures of nebulas and such are nice but wouldn't it be nicer if that money had been invested in helping rid TB from a few more patients saving a few more lives, or paying for something else? I certainly think so.

Yes people belived the earth was flat and sent explorers like Columbus about. Yet you must realize that Columbus was not exploriing for exploration's sake, he was trying to improve Spain's commercial status by finding a trade route to Asia. There are no trade routes in sapce, and little money to be mind, most of NASA seems to be jsut dedicated to exploration for exploration's sake. There is no concrete idea about how to invest with profits being reaped soon enough. They don't lack vision, the trouble is they have too much of it and need to think of practicality instead.
tjzimmer

Con

Research from NASA could eventually save the human race as we know it. Unforeseen things could come along that NASA may have the technology to combat. It is a gamble, but a gamble that has provided us with so much innovation thus far. It is a great program and it should not be cut back. Is it really far fetched to envision a need for another human colony in space when our population is increasing at a ridiculous rate? I think not. I would cut back other programs based on their success rate. NASA has time and time again been successful. I will never be convinced to cut back something so great for mankind.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Capt.Herp 6 years ago
Capt.Herp
Once humankind becomes complacent and spends its existence sitting around in easy chairs without reaching out in further exploration efforts, humankind will be doomed to stagnation.

As it stands right now, NASA's shuttle program is little more than a delivery truck to a space station. That being said, I grew up in the space race era, and when young remember every launch, from Alan Shepard's up-and-down flight through the last Apollo mission. I know EXACTLY where I was when they televised Neil Armstrong first setting foot on the moon (when he blew his line slightly, lol), and I remember afterwards going outside and looking up at the moon and realizing that there were actually PEOPLE up there now, on that seemingly timeless satellite, and I was somewhat awed.

I think, personally, that it's time to increase NASA's budget so that they can make a space station on the surface of the moon, and use that as a stepping-off place to go to Mars, possibly (they're throwing that idea around right now).

They said we could never fly. Man figured it out. They said we'd never go to the moon. We did. Never say never, Farooq. We need to continue to reach out into space and never let ourselves be comfortable and complacent. The day we do that will be the day our downfall as a species begins.
Posted by Farooq 6 years ago
Farooq
was that statistic made up on the spot? Or did you find it in an investgative piece done by the World Weekly News?
Posted by spencetheguy 6 years ago
spencetheguy
this is a fact:
every dollar you invest in the space program 124 worth of technology comes out.
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Vote Placed by claypigeon 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Farooq 6 years ago
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