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Let’s Shift Funding From NASA to NOAA July 20, 2009

Posted by federalist in Government Spending.
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I’ve railed against lavish government funding for NASA before.  Apparently the space agency’s publicity machine is having a hard time keeping up its inspiring vision: A report today is entitled, “Space Program Struggles for Direction.”

This reminds me of a good question raised by Robert Ballard a few months ago when he appeared on The Colbert Report: Why does NASA have a budget over one thousand times the size of NOAA’s?  Investment in oceanic research and development today will have generate returns orders of magnitude greater than investments in outer space.

Granted, I don’t believe our government should currently be funding either endeavor.  In past generations there were some plausible arguments for government sponsorship of NASA, but given that the Department of Defense now has its own vast budget for the exploitation of space, and given the competitive markets for both private and foreign space launch capacity, these earlier premises are no longer valid.

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