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/u/JeffHoffman on I am Jeff Hoffman, MIT Professor of Aerospace Engineering and former NASA Astronaut. Ask Me Anything!

19 Feb 2015, 19:22 UTC
/u/JeffHoffman on I am Jeff Hoffman, MIT Professor of Aerospace Engineering and former NASA Astronaut. Ask Me Anything!
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There are many answers to this. Every econometric study done about NASA shows that every dollar spent on NASA (high technology development) produces several dollars of growth in the national economy. Actually, the amount of money spent on NASA is less than one half of one percent of our federal budget, and only part of that goes towards human spaceflight. If NASA were cancelled entirely, our budget deficit would see almost no difference. The technology developed to solve the unique problems of space flight usually find their way into the national economy. But politicians are generally concerned with next year's budget rather than the long term. Many scientists and engineers nearing retirement today testify that they chose their profession partly because of the excitement of the Apollo program. I think space exploration still has the power to excite people and motivate students to study harder. These are things that cannot be measured in dollars or rupees, but they are real. A great society should do great things, in the arts and sciences, and in exploration. I hope that the naysayers do not win out, or else we will all be much poorer. Thanks for your enthusiasm, and keep fighting the ...

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