What If The NASA Budget Was The Equivalent Of The US Military’s?
The NASA budget is at an all-time low today. But to be fair, it is the most any other country in the world is spending on their respective space program in the world. Nevertheless, it is important to note that just by comparing the US spending on this issue and the overall spending of the rest of the world doesn’t mean that much. After all, it all boils down to the GDP of any given country.
Space exploration and by extension, the NASA budget has seen a sharp decrease over the years, when back in the 1960s it made up 4.5% of the country’s GDP, to today when it only makes up just 0.5%. This half a percent represents 39.3 billion dollars, of which roughly 18.5 billion goes to the NASA budget. The entire US federal budget is at about $2.7 trillion, which is 2,700 billion – so it’s easier to see the difference. The NASA budget is then further divided into several other categories. For instance, 5.3 billion go into science (28.5%), 4.5 billion go into exploration (24.3%), 21.6% goes into operations, 15.4% go into safety, and the rest of 10.2% goes into other expenses.
Anyway, the question here is what if the NASA budget was similar to that of the Military, which is around $600 billion. And in doing so, we could divide that sum of money as shown above.
Nevertheless, there is another way of looking at the situation. For starters, NASA says that with $450 billion it would be able to send the first humans to Mars by the late 2030s or early 2040s. That would also leave $150 billion to spare.
Besides the Mars project, NASA could also finish the most powerful space telescope ever built, the James Webb Space Telescope. And it could also partner up with SpaceX for its first mission to Mars in 2018, the Red Dragon Mission. Or even pay for NASA operations on board the ISS through 2024.
Now, this would be just one year’s worth of one such budget. So, you can imagine what could be achieved if the NASA budget would be the equivalent of the Military’s year after year.