The brilliant astronaut John Young wrote the forward for Tom Jones' book "Sky Walking."
One of the things he mentions is that because of the ISS, astronauts were able to develop agricultural advances involving wheat production which have the potential to solve the world's hunger problem. Spaceflight, as I've said many times, is not about somersaults, as fun as that might be to see. Spaceflight is about making things better for humanity.
Some of the most frequently asked questions about the U.S. space program are "Why go into space when we have so many problems here on Earth?" and "What does the space program do for me?" These are legitimate questions and unfortunately not enough people have been made aware of the vast benefits the space program provides that increase the quality of our daily lives. Applications on Earth of technology needed for space flight have produced thousands of "spinoffs" that contribute to improving national security, the economy, productivity and lifestyle. It is almost impossible to find an area of everyday life that has not been improved by these spinoffs. Collectively, these secondary applications represent a substantial return on the national investment in aerospace research. We should be spending more.
Out of a $2.4 trillion budget, less than 0.8% is spent on the entire space program! That's less than 1 penny for every dollar spent. The average American spends more of their budget on their cable bill, eating out or entertainment than this yet the benefits of space flight are remarkable. It has been conservatively estimated by U.S. space experts that for every dollar the U.S. spends on R and D in the space program, it receives $7 back in the form of corporate and personal income taxes from increased jobs and economic growth. Besides the obvious jobs created in the aerospace industry, thousands more are created by many other companies applying NASA technology in nonspace related areas that affect us daily. One cannot even begin to place a dollar value on the lives saved and improved lifestyles of the less fortunate. Space technology benefits everyone and a rising technological tide does raise all boats.
BECAUSE IT IS GOOD FOR AMERICA AND IT IS GOOD FOR HUMANITY!
Read the rest at The Space Place by clicking here.
A few things that make our lives easier, safer, and better, developed and perfected directly and only because of a need in the space program.
(Many more can be found on the page at Space Place.)
AIR QUALITY MONITOR
ENRICHED BABY FOOD
WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEM
WEATHER FORECASTING AID
FIRE RESISTANT MATERIAL
DIGITAL IMAGING BREAST BIOPSY SYSTEM
BREAST CANCER DETECTION
ADVANCED WELDING TORCH
RADIATION HAZARD DETECTOR
FIREMAN'S AIR TANKS
AIDS TO SCHOOL BUS DESIGN