NASA has inspired the minds of people all throughout our country for 54 years. From the Moon to Mars, and even to the outer reaches of our Solar System, NASA has developed technologies that expand far beyond space flight. Instead of cutting NASA’s budget, we should be growing it. Compared to other federal agencies, NASA receives a microscopic amount of money.
In the words of Neil deGrasse Tyson, “We stopped dreaming.” We need to start dreaming again, and that starts with funding NASA adequately. By investing in NASA, we are investing in the U.S. economy.
35 years ago, Voyager I and its twin Voyager II were launched and have been speeding through the outer reaches of our solar system and sending back unprecedented data and images back home. They were launched in 1977 and have traveled farther from Earth than any other spacecraft in history.
NASA will host a media teleconference at 2PM EST on Monday, Dec. 3, to discuss the latest findings and travels of Voyager I.
The graphic is meant as a starting point for anyone interested in the what the future of space exploration might look like. NASA plans to create a more interactive version of this infographic that digs deeper into each of the technology areas.
You are undoubtedly familiar with the first words spoken on the Moon by Astronaut Neil Armstrong, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." But having just past the 40th anniversary of the last man to set foot on the Moon, you may not be aware of the last words spoken on the lunar surface.
NASA is preparing to fly a Deep Space Atomic Clock, or DSAC, demonstration that will revolutionize the way we conduct deep-space navigation by enabling a spacecraft to calculate its own timing and navigation data in real time. The DSAC would fly and validate a miniature mercury-ion atomic clock 10 times more accurate than today’s systems. That kind of improvement is a big deal, because precision timing is vital to the navigation and performance of any deep space mission.
“Now, if we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas. Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy – every dollar. Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s. They’re developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs; devising new material to make batteries 10 times more powerful. Now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race. We need to make those investments.” - President Obama, 2013 State Of The Union
Increasing NASA’s budget should not be viewed as a Congress pouring money into the proverbial black hole, but instead as an investment in our future. The technological innovations NASA creates trickle down to the rest of society, creating new jobs, new products and new markets. NASA is the engine that is propelling our economy forward into the future.
Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the Moon, launched 40 years ago today.
“By going back to the moon, you accelerate your ability to go anywhere else — both in terms of experience and in terms of resources, and testing new hardware and navigation techniques, communication techniques and things like that,” Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt said. “And it’s only three days away.”