What is your opinion on the Mars Landing, and Moon Landing?

43 years ago we had the Moon landing. . Do you believe that we got some benefit from that. or was it just a waste of money, that could have been spent to improve life here on Earth.

So we land on Mars. what is that doing for anyone , except jobs in that industry. Jobs could have been created in an industry that humans here on earth could benefit from. like maybe passenger air craft that get transport people from LA to Paris in 2 hours.

7 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Best answer

    I understand your concern, but I personally believe that it represents a misunderstanding of how the economy works with human nature. This is what I mean:

    The space programs were not conducted by government bureaucracies. Sure, NASA was involved, but only in an administrative and organizational role. Most of the technological effort was actually performed by private industry under contract to the government. Space suits, rocket engines, re-entry tiles - all those things were provided by people working for a living at their local aerospace factory. Did that "improve life here on Earth?" Well, it certainly did for the hundreds of thousands of folks that were involved in the effort, and the folks that owned the restaurants that they frequented, and the folks that built the houses that they lived in. Furthermore, the space programs actually succeeded. It's not like we have to repeat the Apollo series endlessly. We have been there and done that (despite whacko internet claims to the contrary).

    Now let's compare that with government programs that were created with the express purpose of "improving life here on Earth." The War on Poverty was initiated in the mid 1960s. It has continued in one form or another for decades, and we continue to pour trillions into it. It has not succeeded. We have more poverty now than we did then, and it has cost thousands of times more than the NASA budget for all those years. How many more decades do we have to devote to that futility?

    Your example of a hypersonic transport is comparable. NASA is working on that technology. Great. It is being accomplished by folks working in private industry. But the technology is not the issue. The free market is the issue. You cannot force business folks to endure two hours of discomfort and charge them $20,000 for a single trip across the Atlantic. They are not gonna do it. That's not "improving life on Earth." I guess you could subsidize their tickets, but that's not "improving life" for the taxpayers who have to pay the guy's fare to take care of his own business.

    There is a difference between exploration and free enterprise. Exploration involves things that private industry would never undertake on their own, because there is no immediate profit motive. If that exploration takes us to the planets, the goal is sufficient unto itself, especially for the minimum cost and the economic benefits it provides in the form of private business.

    Free enterprise occurs after the technology is complete. You cannot force it to occur. That's what we keep trying with massive government incentive programs. Green energy, hypersonic transports, electric cars, etc. You cannot force someone to buy an electric car for $45,000 because you think it will help clean up the planet (especially if it won't). And if you help him pay for it by raising taxes on everyone else, you are just kidding yourself. That won't make it any more attractive, and it will not drive the price down.

    If you eliminate the space programs, you do not help anyone. You just hurt the folks that worked on the programs. It is not a zero-sum game. You do not get to simply move that money elsewhere. I wish it worked that way, but it does not. The money is lost along the way in bureaucracy and administration. You end up with - essentially - nothing. That would not be a wise choice.

    Source(s): A lifelong career working in private industry with government funded contracts
  • Jimbob
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    I wish people would stop referring to it as 'the moon landing'. There where six moon landings between 1969 and 1972. But, that's not what this question is about, so I digress. What this question appears to be is another 'space exploration is a waste of money and doesn't benefit anyone' question. Let me ask you a question. Did you type this question on a computer and submit it over the internet? Do you use a cell phone? Do you watch television? Do you use a GPS for navigation while driving your car? Do you take prescription medications? NONE of these things would be possible without space exploration. So, yes, space exploration creates jobs in an industry that just about every human on the planet benefits from every single day of their lives. You want a plane that can travel from LA to Paris in two hours? Which industry do you think would eventually develop such a technology?

  • 7 years ago

    There are *many* benefits from both programs.... inventions, materials, processes, manufacturing.... A couple of samples - do you have any cordless tools...? A drill? Screwdriver maybe? In the 1960s, NASA needed a powerful, reliable drill for coring samples on the moon. Now - batteries and motors have been around for years, and the first cordless drills were actually used on board German U-boats in WWI - however, they weren't powerful or reliable.... NASA spent $2 million on the coring drill sent up on the missions - a lot for a cordless drill - but they went up with an Ion battery, and a motor specifically wired and geared for that battery. It opened up the multi-$billion cordless tool industry.

    Fireman use Nomex in their heat suits to protect themselves from the heat of fires; That was developed specifically for spacesuits on the moon - a fabric that would be air tight, provide insulation, and be tear resistant. Today, it's saved hundreds of lives since it's incorporation in fireman's protective gear.

    There's dozens of others like that - and it's *why* we should have a manned and unmanned space program - what's invented for the needs of these missions may not have ever been thought of before; and these inventions & materials may fulfill a need here on Earth. Primarily - keeping someone alive with very few resources - and long times in between re-supply. Imagine using this system to maintain (and improve) the lives of millions here on Earth.

    We *need* NASA. It's America's R & D. Not everything will have a wide-spread use, but... you never know what can be discovered or used until you try.

  • RickB
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    > "...could have been spent to improve life here on Earth."

    It WAS spent to improve life on earth. A certain amount is spent on machinery; but the vast amount is spent on research, development, and education. The space program is one of the only government programs that actually regularly TURNS A PROFIT (in terms of spinoff technology, etc.) Although there are many examples of this, a good example is computer technology. The "space race" of the 1960's was DIRECTLY responsible for the push to miniaturize electronics (so they could fit into a tiny capsule!) Cheap, miniaturized electronics inspired hobbyists to start building their own computers (before that, nobody had even conceived of the idea of "personal computing" -- in everyone's mind, computers were--and always would be--giant behemoths affordable and useful only by governments and huge corporations). And when hobbyists started building their own computers, certain people started to think of computers in a radical way, as personal devices. Well, the rest is culture-shattering history.

    The space progam of the 1950's and 1960's in particular had a huge effect on the quality of science and math education in the U.S. As a direct result of the "space race," our school systems churned out a generation of top-notch scientists and engineers that were (and still are) the envy of the world. In those days, U.S. science & math scores were among the highest in the world, instead of near the bottom as they are now.

    Spending money on scientific research has ALWAYS been a good bet, in all societies at all times. It's sometimes a hard sell if you look at just the short term, because the tangible benefits are often not immediate, and often are so intertwined with other enterprises that they are hard to trace back to the money spent on research, until you look at them years later in a historical context. It's not the same as paying your $5.00 and getting a hamburger in return. But looked at in the long term and looked at carefully, the payoff is always there.

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  • John W
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Before the Apollo missions, we did not know if the Moon formed separately, was captured or split from the Earth. We now know that it's likely an impact event blowing material from the crust and mantle off that reformed. This knowledge has allowed us to understand planetary development better and to understand the changes to tidal patterns, our weather, the evolution of life and historical accounts of eclipses which had differed in location from where the calculations prior to Apollo said they would be. We never know where discovery will take us so you can never discount the value of discovery.

  • 7 years ago

    The Apollo program had a HUGE technology driver effect, many times the value of the money actually spent.

    Smaller programs such as Mars Rovers are more focused, but why do you hate having good tech jobs that pay well for doing excellent science work ?

    Let the airlines pay for such a plane. Why should we, the public, subsidies them, especially at the cost of science ?

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    You need to read a book now and then. You know, something more stable than internet memes. Conspiracy theories and wacko protests come and go like dandelion blossoms. Knowledge lasts. Here is a bit of knowledge: the space pen has been a nice little business, supporting many people for 47 years, just because a half dozen people used one in a satellite.

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