The kids are fond of saying, “What’s really good?” and in a way it’s a kind of non question like saying, “Seriously?”, but when it comes to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) I’ve asked myself many times what’s really good with those folks, their budget and their mission.
On this day in 1958 Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics & Space Act into law, establishing the new federal non-military space agency whose mission became to “pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.”
Maybe it’s not the nicest thing to say on their birthday but their budget is huge, the Cold War is allegedly over (even though my Jamaican neighbors are probably secretly Russian spies) and one dollar is too much for something that’s worthless in my opinion.
I’m a big believer in science and I’d love to be on board with a great many thing, but when it comes to space exploration I’m more reluctant cause a rat done bit my sister Nell with Whitey on the moon. Her face and arms began to swell and Whitey’s on the moon. I can’t pay no doctor bill, but Whitey’s on the moon. [I’m not pooping off slurs for fun. It’s a reference. Check it]
I’d hate for the survival of some to be so at odds with learning more about our universe and our place in it, but when money’s short you get to see where people’s priorities are. Even talking about going to the moon, Mars, Io or anywhere else can get to feeling like a slap in the face.
After hearing astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson  speak I reconsidered some things but even more recently I was presented with the idea that if we’re short on resources on earth we could mine resources in space. That also makes me a bit uncomfortable but so do children in Ghana picking apart our discarded computers for the valuable and toxic components to sell to companies that sell it back to us in upgraded electronics.
Splitting an asteroid could provide minerals and metals thereby preventing even more of a rapeover of Africa and the rest of the planet.
Solar panels in space could harness more energy than solar panels on earth.
If nuclear and offshore drilling are on the table why isn’t this?
According to mnn.com NASA is “is commissioning eco-friendly airplanes for our next three generations. More importantly, they are investing millions into this effort.”
Maybe we’re still thinking too small here. NASA earn your keep. You’re 52 years old now, you should know better.