The Instigator
soulreaperjo
Pro (for)
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The Contender
OldIronGuts
Con (against)
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Private Sectored Investment Is Preferable to Public Sectored Investment In Space Exploration

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,582 times Debate No: 18729
Debate Rounds (5)
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soulreaperjo

Pro

Resolved: Private Sectored Investment Is Preferable to Public Sectored Investment In Space Exploration

Contention I: Private Sector's Ability to Provide More Funding To the Program
The private sector's have much higher potential to provide funding into the space program then public would ever be able to as much of our government revenue is being rationed out into other projects. Also, if one of these projects of NASA were to fail it would be our people who would suffer from the billions of dollars required to recompense them. In an overall survey by BEAURAU OF LABOR STATISTICS in 2009, employees in Private sanctioned businesses have an average higher annual salary of $3,000 more than government (public) controlled jobs. From these stats you can imply the opportunities private companies can offer, whereas for government sanctioned investment, there capability is completely out of the same reach as private sanctions.

Contention 2: Industries That Have Led From Space Exploration
Space Tourism, now a very under-rated industry has long been a product of space exploration. There is great potential for this industry to become a great activity, provided by Virgin Galactic, Boeing, and the Russian Space Agency. Even though at a very costly price, as more people take advantage of their space tourism opportunities, the price of space tourism will become more affordable for the everyday people as competition in these private sectors increase.

Contention 3: Private Company's Higher Efficiency Rate
If Space Exploration is centrally controlled by the government, they will spend our money at an excessive rate, basically because they don't have to take responsibility for where it goes. Usually there is little or no regard for such vast expenditures. Our first expeditions to the moon were at a cost of billions of dollars and what do we have to show for it? A few pounds of rock? Does that sound like efficient trade of value? In Fact, NASA has even endorsed the partial privatization of the space program on May 11, 2009, NASA Administrator Chris Scolesce told a congressional subcommittee that the agency plans to give a 150 million dollar stimulus package to private companies that plan to design, build, and service their own rockets. As this would create dramatic savings in both time and money for NASA. Private concerns are also likely to be operated more efficiently as private enterprise is always interested in investment and receiving value for the money spent,- If such enterprises into space were conducted by private companies you may be sure that valuable rewards would be forthcoming.
OldIronGuts

Con

Response: Contention I
I would first like to address the topic of funding. While it is true that NASA spending is limited by a budget(a very large budget, much larger then any private space organization currently has), NASA has the capability to ask for more funds from congress. It is at this point where congress may grant NASA more funds. It would also seem that your statement claiming that funding for the space projects has a much higher potential then public funding is a overstatement to say the least, funding for space exploration would be hindered by a board of executives deciding what is profitable and what is not(after all it is a business). How ever since NASA's goal is scientific achievements it can invest heavily into audacious programs which could provide major breakthroughs in the scientific community. As Peter Diamandis (space entrepreneur) said to CNET in an interview "NASA should be in focusing on breakthroughs in propulsion systems. They should be taking very high risks, funding things that are likely to fail because that's what government should be doing, pushing the envelope,", simply a risk that most if not all private space corporations would not consider especially at this stage of development. I would also like to address the point of compensation of a failed project. Failure reaches across both sectors as which has been demonstrated by Rocketplane Limited where they were given 180 million in tax payer dollars to produce a craft that was suited for sub orbit exploration, and after many delays in the crafts production Rocketplane Limited went bankrupt and got sued. I would like to also address the topic of public workers getting paid more then public workers. This is true, however the gap however noticeable it is, is not sizable enough to conclude that a private space company would have a huge edge over the public funded NASA that would attract the best engineers and workers to work for a private company rather then NASA (the fact that the name recognition of NASA is so great that it would lure more potential workers then a slightly increased salary, also the fact that these people worked for NASA would give these people somewhat of a status and a edge when they are seeking employment after they leave NASA)

Contention 2:
I would first like to define the word "Space Exploration" which is the use of space technology to explore outer space. And it is true that space tourism is a product of space exploration how ever space tourism will not lead to the advancement of space exploration and the scientific benefits that comes with it. Space tourism is a business and the priority of a business is to make a profit not so much as space exploration and the benefits that come along with it. The main misconception of space tourism is that at this stage of time the crafts don't actually go in to space they simple float in subspace and experience a free fall which simulates the weightlessness of space. The cost of actually sending a person in space varies on the person but typically it costs 20k for each pound that the person weights so a person weighing 150 pounds will be charged three million dollars to go in to space (not to be confused with going into sub orbit which costs a mere 200k). The company must also provide a spacecraft that would not only be able to exit and enter the atmosphere but also be advance enough to experience the rigors of atmospheric entry. Overall the private company must pour millions (potentially billions) into building a craft (which will most likely be prone to delays) and developing technologies that makes space travel safe for the average person (a program with such audacity will most likely never be attempted by private companies due to the high chance of bankruptcy and minimum return with a tiny targeted market). As to the idea in the future when these companies receive more customers allowing for expansion and the eventual affordability of space tourism. This is mostly true, technology will improve which will most likely drive down prices of space tourism but the cost of space exploration will remain very expensive making it a distant dream to most entrepreneurs. Does this mean that the eventual transition between a government funded program and a privately owned cooperation is impossible,no. How ever as of today it is a distant dream that can only be achieved by breakthroughs of NASA. Space exploration especially manned exploration is still in it's early stages being very costly, but however like the first computers which too were very costly and impractical to sell to the general public I have great faith that with great minds and great breakthroughs with NASA that space will be accessible to the general public like computers.

Contention 3:
I have already addressed the how the dauntless spending of NASA could be quite beneficial to the scientific community, while a private company would not consider such projects.
I would like to address the the accusation that billions of dollars were spent to pick up a few rocks. This is a gross understatement, you enjoy many comforts and products of NASA research everyday such as, cordless power tools/appliances, smoke detectors, strides in water quality(water filters), satellite television, satellite navigation (GPS), Google Earth, strides in virtual reality, artificial limbs, dialysis, MRI and CAT scans, breast cancers screening, the ear thermometer (replacing the need for mercy filled thermometer and currently uses infra technology), techniques to increase the attention span of a child with ADHD, better quality roads, improved radical tires, improvements in landmine removal techniques, structure analysis (find imperfections allowing for improvements in crafts), freeze dried food, temper foam, scratched resistant lens, ribbed swimsuits, athletic shoes, personal alarm systems and space pens* to name a few benefits that NASA has introduced and when I say "a few benefits" I'm grossly understating myself. Our military would not be at it's capability it is today (logistically and physically) if NASA was not funded. The capability of rapid deployment and rapid communication can be attributed to NASA in both direct and indirect ways. The USAF would not be as advance as it is today if advanced in aero space technologies and designs had not laid the ground work for today's 5th generation jets. Not only this, NASA has provided metals that are able to withstand the stress of extreme speeds at which these jets fly at. It is a impossible task to explain how much NASA has benefited the united states and the world in eight thousand characters so I will not attempt to do so but I will say that the investments were very much well worth the rewards. As to the topic of NASA giving out loans and grants to space companies to develop crafts for sub space purposes. It's true that many companies have been given grants from NASA to jump start the development of sub orbit crafts, how ever as we have seen with RocketPlane Limmited, these corporations like all business can fail leaving all projects and any advancements in aerospace technology or potential advancements will be lost at the tax payer expense, with public spending projects if a project is experiencing budget problems, then the project may be delayed and worked on and a later date instead of simply abandoning the project all together(I'm not saying that a project will never be abandoned, there have been a number of abandoned projects in NASA).

So it is reasonable to conclude that space exploration can not be transitioned to private companies at this point in time or in the foreseeable future. The purpose of a business is to make a profit although privatizing space exploration could lead to great potential of vast amount of funds which could be invested into projects; the status quo, greed and appeasing investors will ultimately hinder the funds that could be invested in to space exploration hindering advances in space exploratio
Debate Round No. 1
soulreaperjo

Pro

soulreaperjo forfeited this round.
OldIronGuts

Con

I stand by my argument.
Debate Round No. 2
soulreaperjo

Pro

soulreaperjo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
soulreaperjo

Pro

soulreaperjo forfeited this round.
OldIronGuts

Con

Pinkie Pie.
Debate Round No. 4
soulreaperjo

Pro

soulreaperjo forfeited this round.
OldIronGuts

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for his time, and i would also like to thank the voters for their time as well. Good debate.
Debate Round No. 5
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