The Instigator
Starskii
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Samuel60
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The United States government would be wise to invest more in NASA.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Starskii
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/9/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 926 times Debate No: 60214
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

Starskii

Pro

The first round is for accepting, second for opening argument, third is for rebuttal, fourth is for closing statements.

So, I will be debating for an increase in NASA's budget.
Samuel60

Con

I accept your challenge
Debate Round No. 1
Starskii

Pro

In 1966 NASA's budget peaked at 4.4 percent. [1] Obviously this was in preparation for the Apollo 11 mission that would bring the United State's astronauts to the moon on july 20th 1969. [2] So the important question is was it worth that large of a slice in the budget? I'd say yes, and it still is today.

Technological Progress

NASA has impacted many things but moreso has changed engineering and science. Here's a few "small" examples.

Insalin Pump: By working on a tool that could measure astronaut's vitals, NASA unintentionally helped millions suffering with type 1 diabetes. [3]

Water Filters: Not suprisingly NASA has use for efficient water filltration systems. The water filltration systems NASA invented in the 70s now helps clean our drinking water and save the environment in areas where drastic water pollution has taken place. [4]

Cat Scanners: Yeah, you know that thing we use to detect cancer? Yeah you can thank NASA for that. [5]

Computer Microchips: They were first used in the Apollo guidance computer. [5]

Solar Energy: [5]

This list could go on for a very long time, but I think you get the point. NASA has been pioneering in technology since it's creation and still today captures the hearts and souls of talented engineers and inventors. If you want bigger lists, check my sources.

Fixing our problems at home (in space!)

It is said often in NASA-hating circles that "we need to fix the problems on Earth before we worry about space." Although it is true that we need to fix our problems here on Earth, NASA may be the solution and therefor something we should support. "Problems on Earth" I assume refer to starvation, the economy, and the environment. So I will adress each individually.

Food Shortage: When you are launched into a hostile, low-gravity environment like in low Earth orbit or the moon food becomes a very serious commodity. Preserving it, growing it, and preparing it in these hostile conditions will help us in growing more food in a sustainable way back at home. It is also important to note that most of the worlds starvation is brought on by governmental mismanagement and not neccesarily a real food shortage.

The Environment: Have you ever day-dreamed about how awesome it would be to live on Mars? Or what it would be like to be a colonist on the Moon? Or a realistic present day example -- what it would be like to live on the ISS?

The truth is that the same things that would help us terraform places like Mars are the same contraptions that would save us from climate change on Earth. Be it renewable energy, carbon capture or water sanitation. By advancing in these fields we will better understand how to combat pullution struggles here on Earth.

The Economy: Every invention I listed above and plenty of others have impacted our economy positively. The effect these inventions create is un-measurable. However what is measurable is how much NASA invests back into our nation for "spinoff" inventions. These inventions take NASA's newfound technology and implements them in every day scenarios. In 2011 NASA invested 900 million dollars in the state of Florida alone. [6]


For the reasons listed above, I stand by my claim that NASA should gain more funding to continue space exploration and to continue hiring inspired engineers and inventors that may change the entire way we live our lives. (Possibly even to the extent that the computer microchip has.)

Sources:

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2]: http://en.wikipedia.org...

[3]: http://science.howstuffworks.com...

[4]: http://science.howstuffworks.com...

[5]: http://www.design-laorosa.com...

[6]: http://www.nasa.gov...


Samuel60

Con

-Thank you for such a well written argument, instigator.

Argument:

Budget: As you can recall, in the year of 2012 President Barrack Obama has signed/given the permission to start the new NASA budget. The agency received $17.8 billion, which is less than the the 2011 budget, but keep in mind that the budget is continuously rising and falling each year, the numbers have risen greatly after the 90s. $3.8 billion of that money will actually be used for space exploration. The amount of money is based on how long the exploration will be and how long it will take to construct a spacecraft. Yes, $17.8 billion is a large amount, and the question is, is it worth wasting that money?

$4.2 billion is used to perform actual space operations, this may include building the probes and other necessary machines to launch in space. $5.1 billion is used for the science department, where James Webb's telescope is settled. There astronomers and astrophysicists calculate the amount of years it will take to finish the exploration and what will be needed to take to space. The science department (JWST) has not been working diligently lately. They were behind work, and what I am asking myself now is, do we really have to waste our money on procrastinated work? $530 million is brought straight to this department.

The problem with this budget is it is $150 million more than the 2011 bill, but they have been telling us it has dropped entirely. In total, the amount that JWST received was $380 million more. According to the bill, “the agreement accommodates cost growth in the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) by making commensurate reductions in other programs.” NASA, unfortunately doesn't have enough money I am assuming, since it has decided to cut other costs for the explorations, which I believe are fully necessary. NASA is one of the organizations that receives the most money out of every organization, merely because it is the only space exploration-handled administration out there. Cutting other costs is crucial to many other departments.

These missions will soon enter a financial crisis if the cuts will occur again. NASA administrator, Charles Bolden said, "“requires us to live within our means so we can invest in our future." So, let's pray the cuts won't happen again(1).

Sources:
http://www.universetoday.com...

2015 Budget: NASA has requested money for their new upcoming plans. The congress has added up their money to give it to the space exploration administration. First of all, we should all agree that our economy is not doing so well these days, and NASA is continuously asking for more money each year. Luckily, this budget is $200 million less than the last years budget which was $17.646 billion, and the next year's budget is $17.460 billion, which is still almost the same exact amount. The cut for this year is 1%. Apparently, there is still some good news, such as, some departments received more money, but the bad news is much worse.


The astrophysics had a cut of over $61 million including the cut for the SOFIA spacecraft. Planetary science had a cut of over $65 million. These cuts exclude the opportunity for new technological devices to be used (2).

Sources:
http://www.slate.com...

Cons about space exploration: One of the main problems is unforeseen risks, and you can't avoid them. Challenger exploded in 1986 killing 7 people. In 2003, the Columbia shuttle also exploded while it was returning back to Earth. Also the radiation from the sun is a danger to many space explorers. Another main problem is, it is difficult to justify further space explorations. There are other concerns that we should handle, such as, crime and our economical crisis. Unmanned probes may seem as a good idea at first, but the problem is they don't adapt to unforeseen dangers. Mars Climate Orbiter got the wrong coordinates to set on mars and exploded during its taking. $120 million was wasted for the probe's construction.


Sources:
http://www.ehow.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Starskii

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for responding in a timely manner. Now, back to the debate.

My opponent has no clear thesis or arguement, his facts may be accurate but he makes no point with them. "Is that budget worth it?" Unfortunately, our contender never actually answers this question.

The economy

One of the few clear points that my opponent made was the opinion that our economy isn't doing so well. However, this is not true. During the second quarter of 2014 the United States economy grew by 4 percent. [1] Unemployment in the workforce has fallen to 3.1 percent which is significantly lower than it was during the recession. [2] Also, my point that NASA is GOOD for the economy still stands.

Con has made very few points, and has not clearly taken a position. Vote Pro!

"The cut for this year is 1%. Apparently, there is still some good news, such as, some departments received more money, but the bad news is much worse." - Con

^^^ What do you mean by that? How does it aide in your arguement that NASA doesn't need more funding? That kinda sounds like we're arguing for the same thing.

sources:

[1]: https://www.bea.gov...

[2]: http://www.nytimes.com...

[3]:
Samuel60

Con

-I would like to thank my opponent for responding.

Rebbutals:

My opponent says that I haven't answered my question "is it worth wasting money?" Well, through a series of thorough entries that I have written it is obvious that I am saying that it isn't worth it.

An yes, instigator the economy is still bad. For instance, I could clearly tell that you have neglected these factors that our economy is facing: Decrease in sustainability, refuse to practive foreign trade, trade deficits, we don't manage access to the market, etc. etc (1).


Well, NASA isn't pioneering in technology very well these days because of the continuous budget cuts (see my entry). Also, notice how my opponent says that NASA helps the environment. Well, actually space explorations damage the environment.

Also, NASA has said that our current path won't reach Mars. Meaning that NASA is not on the path to put humans on Mars (see reference 2).

Vote me!

Sources:

[1]: http://economyincrisis.org...
[2]: http://www.spacenews.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Starskii

Pro


First I would like to restate my points.

Environment

Funding NASA isn't inherently good for the environment. However the technological advancements made in areas relating to artificial biomes and terraformation would be the same technologies that would save our planet. Therefore, funding NASA has a more positive impact on the environment than negative. The more we learn about climates the more we can preserve our own.


So, how bad is space travel itself for the environment? This question is under some pretty heavy debate (ha) but it is largely accepted that solid fuel rockets used in the stratosphere releases chlorine which reacts with oxygen. This process is linked to ozone depletion, however international laws are vigilant when it comes to banning things like this. But realistically, space exploration on the current scale presents little danger environmentally. [1]

But by increasing NASA's budget we open up the possibility of putting men on Mars and one step closer to terraforming Mars. Also by funding NASA we are funding more great engineers and scientists that can make other discoveries.

My points on the environment still stand.

Economy

How's the United States economy today? Considering housing prices are no longer in free fall[2]; Unemployment has continuously gone down since the recession[3]; The national GDP is at an all time high[4], and the DOW is peaking[5].

Also I would like to restate that NASA spends a huge portion of it's budget reinvesting in innovations here at home. In 2011 NASA invested 900 million dollars in the state of Florida alone. [14]


I think this proves that not only is our economy in good enough shape to spend more on NASA, NASA helps the economy! (even in hard times.)

Technologies&Discoveries

I am going to just list discoveries or inventions that have been made in recent years by NASA. This is of course a rebuttal to the statement that "NASA is not pioneering in technology."

1: Nanoceramics that fight cancer and make your hair shiny. [6]

2: An Earth sized planet in a "habitable zone." [7]

3: 715 other planets. [8]

4: Extraterrestrial neutrinos found caught in Antarctica. [9]

5: Key ingredients for life on Mars [9]

6: Invisible braces [10]

7: Memory Foam [10]

8: Scratch resistant lenses. [10]

9: A "Zombie star." [11]

10: The ISS was constructed partially thanks to NASA. [12]

These discoveries are but a few made since the creation of the organization. However a bigger budget means more telescopes. more reinvestment into our country and more inventions.

Rebuttals

1: "Well, NASA isn't pioneering in technology very well these days" Wrong, disproved not only by my list above, but Curiosity and other rovers on the surface of mars make discoveries quite often. So does the Hubble telescope that has discovered THOUSANDS of planets.


2: "NASA has said that our current path won't reach Mars. Meaning that NASA is not on the path to put humans on Mars" We are not debating about the current path. We are debating whether it is worth it or not to CHANGE the current trajectory of NASA. (with money :) )

3: "First of all, we should all agree that our economy is not doing so well these days" this is a common fallacy called bandwagoning. I don't think "we all agree" that our economy is doing poorly. In fact, I have proven that our economy is for the most part back to normal.

Conclusion

Given the discoveries that NASA has made, I would contend that NASA has proven to be a worthwhile agency and as such should have a larger budget. I feel that we can afford a little more than 15 billion dollars of our budget when we spend 718 billion on defense[13]. I have given evidence that NASA benefits our economy, environment, and general welfare. Support NASA, vote pro!!!


Sources:

[1]: http://news.nationalgeographic.com...

[2]: http://money.howstuffworks.com...

[3]: http://data.bls.gov...

[4]: https://www.google.com...

[5]: https://www.google.com...

[6]: http://science.howstuffworks.com...

[7]: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov...

[8]: http://www.foxnews.com...

[9]: http://www.space.com...

[10]: http://www.discovery.com...

[11]: http://www.cnet.com...

[12]: http://www.iss-casis.org...

[13]: https://www.google.com...

[14]: http://www.nasa.gov...
Samuel60

Con

-First of all, I would like to add something to my rebuttals. When I explained that the cut is 1%; it is still crucial to many departments in NASA because the objectives might never be complete, and most scientists might not be paid as much.

Further Rebuttals:

Environment

Each time a spacecraft is launched into space it impacts our Earth somehow. For instance, it leaves space debris in the stratosphere and harms the stratospheric atmospheric layer. The reason the layer is being damaged is because the gas that the rocket emits causes the molecules in the layer to break apart. Every rocket engine causes some kind of impact to the atmosphere and the environment. I appreciate you including the stratospheric damage in your entry, I just added a bit more information on this factor [1].

Sources:
[1]: http://www.slate.com...

Trip to Mars might never occur

The trip to Mars might actually never occur, I see that you have ignored my reference that I provided for you in the previous round. The main objective of NASA as they say is to put a man on the planet Mars. But due to the continuous budget problems this trip might never occur. In order to send a man to mars a lot of recourse's are supposed to be provided for these astronauts. And that is something that NASA currently can't afford. When the vice president of this agency, Lockheed Martin Thomas Young was asked when will NASA put a man on Mars, he answered, "never." Young has also said, "the dominant strategic issue facing the civil space program is human spaceflight [2]."

Sources:
[2]: http://www.slashgear.com...

Economy

As for the economy, I have explained this before. I could also see that you are agreeing with me on some points. You actually admit that economy has always been in crisis after the recession occurred. NASA does not invest in the whole portion; it actually borrows more money from the government than the amount of money it invests in corporations.

Technologies and Discoveries

As for the technological discoveries, I can't really argue about that, they do produce stellar devices, though. But... some of these devices as I have explained harm the atmosphere and the environment. Also, some of them fail to work. For example, Challenger exploded causing 7 astronauts to die in the space craft [listed before] or the Mars arbiter that received incorrect coordinates and crashed on the planet.

Conclusion

NASA, from my perspective hasn't yet improved significantly in some parts of its field. My opponent says that we invest a lot of money in our defense forces. Well, isn't defending the society and its citizens supposed to be the number one priority in the country. First, we must put people in a civilized, safe society before we can make a step farther. NASA has made great discoveries thought many years, but now I wouldn't put all my hopes into this administrations. VOTE CON!!!
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Samuel60 2 years ago
Samuel60
for sure, comrade.
Posted by Starskii 2 years ago
Starskii
As were you. If you find an interesting topic go ahead and send me a pm! I would gladly debate you in the future, comrade. :P
Posted by Samuel60 2 years ago
Samuel60
You were a worthy opponent, I am looking forward to debating with you sometime in the future.
Posted by Samuel60 2 years ago
Samuel60
still, this will be a long financial and engineering process that will cost a lot of money.
Posted by Samuel60 2 years ago
Samuel60
I mean, it will be possible if the bduget cuts will decrease.
Posted by Samuel60 2 years ago
Samuel60
Not quite
Posted by Starskii 2 years ago
Starskii
"2: "NASA has said that our current path won't reach Mars. Meaning that NASA is not on the path to put humans on Mars" We are not debating about the current path. We are debating whether it is worth it or not to CHANGE the current trajectory of NASA. (with money :) )"

To me that is a very clear contradiction to your statement: "I see that you have ignored my reference that I provided for you in the previous round." since it was in response to that point in your argument. By allowing NASA to have a larger budget the departments in NASA would be expanded, thus the possibility of a man on Mars is reopened.
Posted by Samuel60 2 years ago
Samuel60
quite few departments received money while the crucial ones (astrophysics) had a cut off
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
StarskiiSamuel60Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: An interesting and fun debate to read. But Con undermined his own case with this statement in particular: " NASA isn't pioneering in technology very well these days because of the continuous budget cuts". It would seem, then, to support that NASA would pioneer more technology is more was invested, rather than less-which was Pro's case and resolution. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.